How to Migrate Windows 10/11 to SSD with Freeware?

Position: How Tos - Backup & Restore - How to Migrate Windows 11/10 to SSD with Freeware DiskGenius Free Edition?

Want to migrate Windows 11/10 to SSD free of charge? Here is a step-by-step guide regarding how to transfer entire Windows 11/10 including installed applications, settings and files to an SSD using a free Windows migration tool DiskGenius Free Edition, so that you don't have to reinstall operating system or programs when upgrading computer with an SSD. Free download DiskGenius Free Edition and start to move Windows OS from HDD to SSD now.

DiskGenius - Freeware to transfer Windows 11/10/8/7 to SSD or HDD without reinstalling OS and software.

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Table of Contents

Nowadays, in the eyes of many computer users, the experience of using SSDs is completely different from that of mechanical hard drives. Given the highest storage capacity, price, and reliability of mechanical hard drives, smaller and faster SSD drives have become the ultimate goal of data storage technology. If you are thinking about how to transfer Windows 11/10 system hard drives to SSD hard drives for faster speeds, this article will introduce you to a simple method of using free software.

Can I migrate Windows 11/10 from HDD to SSD

"Hi, Recently I have been looking for solutions to clone Windows 11 to SSD from a large HDD. Currently, Windows 11 is installed on a 1TB internal hard drive. I purchased a 256GB SSD and want to add it to the desktop, for I was told computer will be faster if Windows is installed on SSD. What I really want is moving Windows to the SSD and keep other files intact on the HDD. I'm not skilled in computer staff and do not know how to make a clean install of OS. I tried two software claiming that moving OS to SSD free of charge, and yet I need to purchase it first. Do you have any free tool to transfer Windows OS to a smaller disk?"

Compared to its predecessors, Windows 11 boasts superior efficiency with faster booting times, improved performance and an enhanced user experience. For optimal speed, users can install the operating system on an SSD rather than a traditional hard drive. While many prefer to make an SSD their system drive, the process of reinstalling Windows, configuring settings, and installing applications can be time-consuming and complicated. Fortunately, migrating Windows to a new SSD is a simpler solution. With free migration software, all you need to do is connect the SSD and let the software take care of the rest.

Freeware to migrate Windows 11/10 to SSD

If you are looking for freeware to trsanfer Windows 11/10 from hard drive to SSD/HDD, you may as well have a try of DiskGenius Free Edition. DiskGenius Free is efficient Windows system migration freeware and it is able to transfer Windows operating system to a new and smaller SSD or HDD without interrupting any running software. This freeware makes it easy for those who want to upgrade computer by adding new SSD and do not want to reinstall everything. Apart from moving Windows OS, DiskGenius Free also provides many other useful functions such as resize partition, clone HDD to SSD, clone partition, backup & restore partition, check and repair bad sectors, wipe hard disk, unlock BitLocker drive, batch format USB drive, etc.

  • Allows you to transfer Windows to smaller SSD or HDD as long as the target disk has large capacity to hold original system.
  • Allows you to set whether to change boot sequence before migrating UEFI-based system.
  • Windows migration feature is available for both MBR and GPT disk and it also supports to migrate UEFI-based system.
  • Supports to create WinPE bootable USB disk which supports both UEFI and MBR boot method.
  • Supports to manage UEFI boot entries in Windows such as add, delete, backup, restore, edit UEFI boot options, set one-time boot option, modify boot order in Windows, etc.

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How do I migrate Windows 11/10 to SSD using free system migration software?

Preparations before moving Windows 11/10 to an SSD

  • Install the SSD to your desktop or laptop properly. Your computer will be able to boot from system on this new SSD after migrating Windows completes, thus, you should make sure it is correctly connected.
  • Backup files. If the SSD chosen as the destination disk contains files, you need to backup files beforehand, for the Windows migration process will remove and overwrite files on target disk.
  • Clean up useless files and uninstall unwanted application for original disk. For example, you can use Windows cleanup tool: right-click on system partition in File Explorer > Properties > Disk Cleanup. You can choose files you want to delete and click OK button; if you want to free up more disk space and delete system files, then click Clean up system files.

Here goes the step-by-step guide of moving Windows 11/10 from HDD to SSD with DiskGenius Free edition

Step 1. Free download, install and run DiskGenius Free from your computer, and click Tools > System Migration , as follows:

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Step 2. Select destination disk.

The pop-up window lists all disks except system disk, and you need to find out and choose the SSD as the target disk and click OK button.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

If the target disk contains too much free space, you can resize partitions on the disk by dragging mouse.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Moreover, DiskGenius supports to move all partitions from system disk to target disk if target disk is large enough, for example, if source disk contains other partitions apart from those related Windows such as drive (E:), you can right-click on partition and choose to migrate it as well.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Step 3. Change boot sequence for UEFI-based computer in advance.

For UEFI-based system, you can set whether to change boot sequence after Windows OS is migrated to new SSD: check the option "When finished, change computer boot sequence", and you can choose either "Automatically set to boot from migrated target system" or "Automatically enter BIOS after rebooting (manually set)". What do they mean? If you choose "Automatically set to boot from migrated target system", after system migration, computer will automatically boot from the system on the SSD which is set as the destination disk; if you choose the other option, when DiskGenius finishes migrating OS, your computer will enter BIOS firmware interface where you can manually change boot sequence. If you leave the option "When finished, change computer boot sequence" unselected, your computer will continue booting from the original disk. These options are only available for UEFI-based computers.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Step 4. Click Start button, and you will receive following message.

All files and partitions on target disk will be removed and overwritten, please backup files for target disk in advance. Then click OK button to continue.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Step 5. Choose the way to migrate Windows.

DiskGenius provides two system migration ways: Hot Migration and Reboot to WinPE, and you can choose either one based on your own requirements. Hot migration moves Windows 11/10 to SSD without closing current system, and you won't be disturbed by the entire process. Such system migration method is powered by Windows VSS technology, which is stable and effective. If you choose "Reboot to WinPE", DiskGenius will create the WinPE environment and then reboot to DiskGenius WinPE edition to complete rest operations. Thus, hot migration is recommended considering convenience and simple in operation.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Step 6. Wait for the process to complete.

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

Frequently asked questions on Windows 11/10 migration

1. Can I move Windows 11/10 to a smaller SSD?

Yes. DiskGenius supports to transfer Windows 11/10 to smaller disk, but you should make sure the SSD is large enough to hold data of all system boot related partition(s).

2. How do I move Windows 11/10 to a new SSD or hard drive?

Follow steps listed below and you will be able to clone existing Windows 11/10 OS to a new SSD or hard drive easily.

Step 1: Connect the new SSD or hard drive to the computer you want to migrate.

Step 2: Launch DiskGenius Free Edition and click System Migration button.

Step 3: Select target disk and click Start button.

3. How do I transfer my OS from HDD to SSD?

DiskGenius Free Edition is the tool that can help you transfer operating system as well installed applications to hard drive, SSD or USB external disks. You need to make sure you've backed up all data for the destination disk. Then follow the step-by-step guide above to complete the OS migration.

4. How do I clone my hard drive to SSD without reinstalling Windows?

System migration is the recommended solution if you want to clone everything including Windows 11/10 from a hard drive to SSD. The process will clone OS, customized settings, personal data and installed programs to the target SSD. Free download DiskGenius Free Edition and you can start the disk cloning.

5. Do I have to purchase DiskGenius so as to transfer Windows OS to SSD/HDD?

NO. System migration is available for DiskGenius Free Edition. With this freeware, you can migrate Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008 operating system with ease

6. Why choose DiskGenius?

DiskGenius Free edition covers a wide range of features on data backup, partition management and disk utilities. With this freeware, you can easily migrate Windows OS to SSD/HDD, clone disk, backup partition, copy partition, resize partition, convert disk between MBR/GPT, wipe hard disk, etc. Moreover, this freeware allows users to try the data recovery functions.

7. I bought DiskGenius Standard Edition. Can I upgrade it to the Pro edition?

Yes. You can upgrade to the Pro edition by paying the price difference. Please contact our support team via email to know how to upgrade software.


Here is the end of the guide for Windows OS migration. By using the free software DiskGenius, we can easily transfer Windows 11/10 systems to faster SSDs free of charge. This can significantly improve startup and running speed, extend the lifespan of the hard drive, and is also one of the most effective ways to protect the computer. If you are looking for advanced options such as how to transfer more data or partition management, DiskGenius also provides more features for you to use. Whether you are a beginner user or experienced user, this classic software can help you easily clone hard drive to SSD, migrate Windows, or backup system with ease.

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DiskGenius -  A free disk cloning tool to transfer Windows 11/10 from hard drive to SSD, clone HDD to SSD.

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