Freeware: How to Clone an SSD to a Larger SSD in Windows 11

This article shows how to clone an SSD to a larger SSD in Windows 11 via reliable and user-friendly software.


By Lucas / Updated on June 6, 2024

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Scenario: Need to clone an SSD to a larger SSD in Windows 11

“I bought a 1TB SSD for my Windows 11 to replace my 256GB SSD which is just about full. I'd like to just transfer everything over, including the OS, to the new SSD. Does any tool recommend?”

--From tomshardware

Clone SSD to larger SSD for quick disk upgrade in Windows 11/10/7/8

Nowadays, when people talk about disk upgrades, the prevailing topic has already changed from replacing HDD with an SSD to replacing a small SSD with a larger one.

SSD has become the top choice for consumers seeking disks with higher disk performance, and as a result, an increasing number of people would want to pick a large-capacity SSD. Cloning SSD to larger SSD can offer Windows 11 sufficient storage space for your daily usage. By purchasing a larger SSD, you can guarantee that you will have sufficient capacity for future upgrades and installations without compromising performance. 

When you have a larger SSD, which would be better—clone the original SSD to a larger one, or do a fresh installation?

Honestly, there’s no better one. It all depends on your requirements:
▶ Clone entire system disk:
Clone is to create a total duplicate disk from the source disk, OS, all files, and installed programs…everything is just like the original.
Clean installation:
You will need to reinstall everything like OS, programs… And your files and personalized settings will disappear. You’ll need to spend time downloading and rebuilding all on that new disk. Thus, if you happen to have the idea of building a new PC environment, this is a nice choice.

Therefore, if you just pursue a quick disk upgrade, with no other changes, cloning a small SSD to a larger SSD would be a more convenient method.

Preparations for clone SSD to SSD in Windows 11

It is imperative to adequately prepare for the migration of the Windows 11 operating system to a larger SSD in order to ensure a seamless process.

1. A new, larger SSD

Among the numerous varieties of SSDs that are available are SATA SSD, M.2 SSD, NVMe SSD, PCIe SSED, and other brands. You are required to acquire an SSD that is compatible with your computer or laptop and has an adequate amount of storage space (which is greater than the capacity of your previous SSD).

2. SATA to USB cables are required

The majority of computers are equipped with two SSD ports, which enable the installation of the new, larger SSD in the computer case in conjunction with the existing SSD. If not, a USB to SATA cable can be employed to establish a connection between the computer and SSD.

3. A screwdriver

A screwdriver is necessary for the insertion of an SSD into the computer casing or the replacement of a smaller SSD with a larger SSD after cloning.

4. Software for loning SSDs in Windows 11

It is imperative to have a dependable disk cloning tool in order to transfer an SSD to a larger one. Cloning software can help users easily clone the disk; however, not every tool is as reliable and handy as AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is a practical disk and partition manager for all Windows users, for it supports Windows 11/10/8/8.1/7.

This professional and user-friendly disk cloning software that is compatible with a diverse selection of HDDs and SSDs. It is capable of cloning HDD to SSD, SSD to HDD, smaller to larger SSD, and SSD to M.2 SSD, among other functions. With just a few keystrokes, it enables you to clone old SSD to a larger SSD. Furthermore, AOMEI Partition Assistant will bypass the SSD initialisation procedures due to its ability to intelligently modify the partition layout and allocate storage space.

If you’re a Windows Server user, don’t worry, it has a Server edition to assist you. Unlike Samsung Data Migration only supports Samsung devices, AOMEI Partition Assistant supports all brands of SSD in the market, Samsung, SanDisk, Intel, Kingston, Crucial… You can freely clone HDD to SSD, smaller SSD to larger SSD to use all free space on your devices.

AOMEI Partition Assistant

The Best Windows Disk Partition Manager and PC Optimizer

1. If you need a clone from MBR system disk, MBR to GPT disk, or from GPT system to an MBR disk/GPT disk, please upgrade to the Professional edition.
2. If you only want to use your current OS on the new SSD, you can choose the “Migrate OS” feature.

How to clone an SSD to a larger SSD in Windows 11

Since Windows 11 will soon start its 22H2 version update, you might start to think “how do I clone my SSD to a larger SSD in Windows 11” now. Wait for a second, before you start, there are some preparations you should take into your mind.

▶ What you need:
1. A detectable SSD. Make sure your new SSD can be detected by your computer, and the connection should be stable.
2. All data on that larger disk will be erased, if it’s not a new SSD, please backup if there’s anything important.
3. Select a reliable and user-friendly tool with high security.

Now, let’s see how to clone an SSD to a larger SSD in Windows 11 with AOMEI Partition Assistant.

After your connect your larger SSD, follow the steps to safely clone your disk.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, click "Clone" in the main interface and select "Clone Disk".

Disk Copy

Step 2. Choose the hard disk that you need to clone as the source disk and click "Next".

Copy Disk in Windows 10 Quickly

Step 3. Select the destination disk to store the data on the source disk, and then click "Next".

Seleect Destination Disk

Step 4. Then, you can check the source and destination disk in the next window or change to “Sector to Sector clone”, and click the "Confirm" button to continue if there is no problem.

Edit Disk

Here, you can also click the "Settings" button to adjust the partition size on the destination disk or tick "4k alignment" to improve the reading and writing speed of SSD if the target disk is an SSD drive.


Step 5. At last, click "Apply" and "Proceed" in the main interface to start cloning the hard drive.


Now you can try to boot your computer from the larger SSD.

What you need to do after the clone

If you don’t remember what the note shows how to boot from the destination disk, here we’ll show you details.

1. Change boot order

Boot your PC, go to BIOS, and change the boot order.

Boot order

You can run “SSD Secure Erase” to wipe the old SSD and make it a data disk.

2. If the larger SSD shows a smaller capacity:

When you clone a smaller SSD to a larger SSD, the exceeding space will be shown as unallocated space in Disk Management. So, you need to create a new partition or allocate this space to another partition.

If the destination cloned SSD is over 2TB and it’s an MBR partition style disk, please convert it to a GPT table, because the MBR disk has a 2TB limitation.

The system recovery partition hinders the cloning from correctly scaling the C disk, you can change partition size without losing data to solve it.

Ending line

What you might wish to know about how to clone SSD to a large SSD in Windows 11 is all shown in this article.  AOMEI Partition Assistant offers you the best choice. After reading this article, you must find how versatile this tool is. In addition to all the functions we’ve mentioned above, you can also convert the file system between FAT32 and NTFS or fix the RAW drive. You can enjoy more convenient services like moving installed applications, converting dynamic disks to basic disks, and Partition Recovery Wizard, etc, after upgrading to the Professional edition.

FAQs about clone SSD to larger SSD on Windows 11

1. What is the optimal capacity for a system SSD?

The optimal size of an OS SSD is contingent upon the specific needs and utilisation patterns of the user. The operating system and essential software are typically advised to be installed on a minimum of 128GB of storage. Nevertheless, larger capacities, such as 256GB or 512GB, are recommended for a more optimal experience. This allows for the storage of supplementary applications, files, and updates while simultaneously ensuring optimal performance. Additionally, a larger SSD guarantees sufficient storage capacity for system caches and transient files, which can enhance the overall performance of the system. Ultimately, the optimal capacity of an OS SSD is contingent upon the user's unique requirements and preferences.

2. Can I clone my SSD without using third-party software?

While Windows 11 does not have built-in cloning tools, you can use the "Backup and Restore" feature to create a system image and restore it to the new SSD. However, third-party cloning software is often more straightforward for this purpose.

3. Can I clone an SSD to a smaller SSD?

You can clone an SSD to a smaller SSD only if the total data size on the source SSD is less than or equal to the capacity of the smaller SSD. Ensure there is enough free space on the target SSD before cloning.

4. What should I do if my cloned SSD does not boot?

If the cloned SSD does not boot:

  • Ensure it is set as the boot drive in the BIOS/UEFI.
  • Check the connections to make sure the SSD is properly installed.
  • Verify that the cloning process completed successfully without errors.
  • Use Windows recovery tools to repair the bootloader if necessary.

5. How long does it take to clone an SSD?

The time it takes to clone an SSD depends on the amount of data being cloned and the speed of the SSDs and connection interfaces. Typically, it may take several hours.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.