How to clone Windows 11 to SSD [AIO]

How to clone Windows 11 to SSD [AIO].

Ever because the launch of Windows 11, many customers have began upgrading their system parts together with the working system. And since storage media is a giant a part of any PC, there’s nothing higher than a Solid State Drive improve.

The Solid-State-Drive (SSD) is undoubtedly the current and the way forward for laptop storage. Unlike its older cousin — the mechanical laborious disk drives (HDD) — they’re much smaller, quieter, and sooner. Moreover, since they don’t have any shifting elements and as a substitute depend on flash reminiscence to carry and entry information, they’re additionally much less weak to bodily injury and thus more dependable than the ‘hard’ disks of outdated.

Whether you’re upgrading your storage media for the advantages afforded by an SSD or for another motive, you’ll invariably must clone Windows 11 onto your new SSD. But what’s disk cloning and the way can it enable you to switch Windows 11 to your new storage media? Here’s every part you must know. 

: How to Change Drive Letter on Windows 11

What is Disk Cloning?

Disk cloning, because the identify suggests, makes an actual copy of your present drive, together with your working system, your apps and settings, and your information, and transfers it to a brand new storage medium. The benefits of disk cloning are multifaceted. 

Disk cloning is useful while you’re seeking to improve to a bigger (ideally higher) storage media, or as a safety measure in case your present drive fails. But maybe the most important motive why customers clone their disks is when they’re establishing a brand new PC (which might be fairly a tedious course of). With disk cloning, all of the recordsdata, apps, and the entire working system are migrated to the brand new disk and there’s no have to do a lot else besides arrange the brand new drive. 

Since Windows doesn’t have an in-built disk cloning software, you’ll inevitably must depend on a third-party software, of which there are dozens of choices on the market. However, when you’re averse to using third-party purposes, an in depth substitute for disk cloning is disk imaging.

: How To Install Windows 11 From USB

Disk Imaging: A detailed substitute?

Disk Imaging creates a ‘snapshot’ of your system image and recordsdata which can be saved in your disk that may later be restored to your new SSD. Even although disk imaging will not be the perfect strategy to ‘clone’ Windows to your SSD, it’s a much less intrusive model of disk cloning used principally for information recovery within the occasion of a disk failure. You gained’t get an equivalent, sector-by-sector copy of your unique disk with disk imaging. But in case your objective is to get your Windows 11 settings, apps, and information onto an SSD, the compressed image of the disk can get the job executed, for essentially the most part. 

With all that mentioned, let’s now undergo the steps concerned in cloning Windows 11 to SSD.

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Method 1: Clone Windows 11 to SSD using native instruments (no third-party app or buy required)

This methodology of cloning Windows 11 to an SSD makes use of system image copying reasonably than strict sector-by-sector cloning. The solely downside with this methodology is that you’ll want to make use of the Windows Media Creation software in addition to have a USB device helpful to put in the Windows firmware on the brand new SSD. But when you don’t need to use a third-party software, then making a system image of Windows 11 and restoring it to your SSD later is the one different choice. Here’s how to take action:

Step 1: Backup your information

Like all issues, the protection of your information comes first. If something goes mistaken whereas transferring Windows to your new SSD, the restore operate will turn out to be useful. To create a restore level, comply with the steps beneath:

  1. Press Start, kind “create a restore point”, and hit Enter.
  2. In the “System Properties” window, click on on Create on the backside.
  3. Give your system restore level a reputation and click on on Create.

Step 2: Create a System Image

Now that you’ve got a system backup in place, it’s time to start out making a system image. Here’s how to take action:

  1. Press Start, kind “control panel” and hit Enter.
  2. Then click on on Backup and Restore below “System and Security”.
  3. Click on Create a system image within the left pane.
  4. Now, choose On a tough disk and select your SSD.
  5. Then click on Next.
  6. Click on Start backup.
  7. This will begin the system image creation course of. Wait for it to complete. Once the method finishes, click on on Close.

Step 3: Install Windows on SSD

Now that the system image file is created and saved on the brand new SSD, it’s time to put in a brand new copy of Windows on it. To accomplish that, we’ll be taking the assistance of the Windows Media Creation Tool in addition to a USB device (8 GB or more in dimension). 

Download: Windows Media Creation Tool

  1. Go to the hyperlink given above after which click on on Download Now below “Create Windows 11 Installation Media”.
  2. Run the downloaded file.
  3. Once the setup begins, click on on Accept.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Select USB flash drive, then click on Next.
  6. Click Next once more.
  7. Wait for the obtain and the Windows media creation course of to complete.
  8. Once executed, click on on Finish.

Step 4: Execute System Image Recovery

  1. Press Start and click on on the “Power” button.
  2. Then maintain down the Shift key and choose Restart.
  3. Your laptop will now restart and boot to the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Click on Use a tool.
  4. Then choose the USB that has the Windows set up media.
  5. Once the system restarts, you will notice the Windows Setup window. Click Next to proceed.
  6. Now, click on on Repair your laptop.
  7. In the brand new WinRE atmosphere, click on on Troubleshoot.
  8. Click on System Image Recovery.
  9. Click on Windows 11.
  10. In the “Re-image your computer” window, choose the Use the most recent accessible system image (really useful) choice and be sure that the situation is your new SSD that has the system image. Then click on Next.
  11. Now choose Format and repartition disks. This will be sure that all present partitions will probably be reformatted to match the format of the system image. Then click on Next.
  12. Click Finish.
  13. When prompted, click on on Yes.
  14. Now watch for the method to finish.
  15. Once it’s executed, restart your PC usually and Windows will now be in your new SSD. 

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Method 2: Clone Windows 11 to SSD using a free third-party app (with out reinstalling the OS)

As talked about earlier, there’s a backyard number of third-party apps that may enable you clone Windows 11 to an SSD. A number of notable mentions are Clonezilla, EaseUS Partition Master, and MiniTool. But, for our information, we’ll be using Macrium Reflect Free. If you’re using another third-party software, the steps will probably be barely totally different however the general process would be the identical. With that caveat out of the way in which, let’s start.

Step 1: Preparing your SSD

First issues first, security! Regardless of which software program you utilize, the very first thing to do is to backup your information. All the information on the goal storage media (SSD on this case) will probably be overwritten throughout the cloning course of, so now’s the time to back it up. Also, be sure that the SSD has more storage than your unique drive.

Additionally, it’s really useful that you simply create a backup of the system image as effectively. If you’re not sure how to take action, right here’s how to go about it:

  1. Press Start, kind “create a restore point”, and hit Enter.
  2. In the “System Properties” window, click on on Create on the backside.
  3. If the choice is greyed out, choose the C: drive, then click on on “Configure”.
  4. Now choose Turn on system safety.
  5. Click OK.
  6. You’ll be capable of click on on “Create” now.
  7. Give your system restore level a reputation and click on on Create.

Step 2 Download and set up a disk cloning software program

As talked about, we’re using Macrium Reflect Free for our cloning functions. 

Download: Macrium Reflect Free

  1. From the hyperlink above, scroll right down to the underside of the web page and click on on Download Free below “Reflect 8 Free”.
  2. Select “I need a personal free license”, enter your electronic mail deal with and click on on Continue.
  3. The hyperlink to get the downloading agent in addition to the license plate will probably be despatched to your electronic mail. Once you’ve gotten the obtain agent, run it and click on on Download.
  4. Once the obtain is full, click on on the setup file and click on on Next to start out the set up.
  5. Now merely comply with the on-screen directions to complete putting in Macrium Reflect Free.

Step 3: Plug in and arrange the brand new SSD

If you’re cloning Windows 11 on a used SSD that’s already plugged in, skip this step and go straight to “Step 4: Clone Windows 11”. But when you’re going to clone your working system to a model new SSD, then you’ll have to plug it in and set it up first. Here’s a short information on how to take action:

  1. Power off your PC utterly.
  2. Unscrew the aspect panel of your laptop cupboard and take away it.
  3. Connect the ability cable and a SATA connector to the SSD. 
  4. Now screw back the pc aspect panel and energy in your laptop. 

Once the system has booted up, it’s time to initialize the disk. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and choose Disk Management.
  2. You ought to see the brand new SSD in Disk Management. Right-click on it and choose Initialize Disk.
  3. In the “Initialize Disk” window, choose the partition model. For higher compatibility with Windows 11, select GPT. Then click on OK.
  4. Once the SSD is initialized, you will notice “Online” written below it.
  5. Now it’s time to start the cloning course of. 

Step 4: Clone Windows 11

As talked about in step 1, in case you are using an outdated SSD, it is suggested that you simply switch these recordsdata to an exterior drive as these will probably be overwritten throughout the cloning course of and also you gained’t be capable of entry them later. 

Once you’ve gotten backed up your information, comply with the steps beneath to clone Windows 11 to the SSD:

  1. Open Macrium Reflect Free. On the principle web page, you will notice a listing of drives accessible in your system. Click on the drive that you simply need to clone to pick out it (C drive is the default) and click on on Clone this disk.
  2. Then click on on Select a disk to clone to.
  3. Now choose the goal disk (the brand new SSD).
  4. Click Next.
  5. In the following window, you’ll be capable of schedule while you need the cloning course of to start. Click Next to skip scheduling and begin it immediately.
  6. Click Finish to start out the cloning.
  7. When prompted for backup, be sure the primary two choices are checked. Then click on OK.
  8. Wait for the cloning course of to finish. 
  9. Once it finishes, you’re going to get a affirmation for a similar. Click OK to finish.

Step 5: Replace your laborious disk

If you’re solely going to maintain the brand new SSD in your PC, you have to to interchange your outdated disk with the brand new one. Doing so is a mechanical course of not in contrast to what we did in Step 3:

  1. Power off your PC utterly.
  2. Unscrew the aspect panel of your laptop cupboard and take away it.
  3. Take the outdated disk out and substitute it with the brand new SSD.
  4. Now screw back the pc aspect panel and energy in your laptop. 

Once executed, your system will boot from the brand new SSD.

Step 6: Boot from SSD

If you’re planning on conserving each drives, you’ll have to change the boot order of your laptop such that it now boots from the brand new SSD. Doing so would require you to make adjustments to the BIOS. 

  1. Accessing the BIOS can fluctuate relying in your PC’s producer. In most instances, as you’re powering up your laptop, you have to to press F8 or F10 repeatedly (earlier than seeing the Windows emblem) to get to the BIOS.
  2. Once you’re on the BIOS setup display, use the arrow keys to navigate to the “Boot Menu” choice.
  3. Then choose the boot choice and alter it to the brand new SSD. Save the adjustments and exit the BIOS.
  4. Your system will now boot from the brand new SSD.

Step 7: Extend the SSD partition 

If the brand new SSD is bigger than your earlier disk, you should have some leftover house that you should use. For this, you’ll have to inform Windows to increase the partition manually. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Press Win+I to open the Settings app. With “System” chosen within the left pane, scroll down on the correct and choose Storage.
  2. Click on Advanced storage settings.
  3. Then choose Disks & volumes.
  4. Click on Properties for the amount that has Windows 11 cloned.
  5. Now click on on Change dimension.
  6. If you’ve gotten any further house, you will notice a distinction between the “Current” and the “Max” dimension. To avail of the extra house, kind within the most house accessible in MB, then click on OK.


Since the method of cloning Windows 11 to SSD generally is a little advanced, on this part we reply a couple of generally requested queries about it.

1. How do I transfer Windows from HDD to SSD with none software program?

If you don’t need to set up any software program, you possibly can nonetheless transfer Windows from HDD to SDD. Use Method 2 proven within the information above to learn the way. 

2. How do I switch Windows 11 from HDD to SSD totally free?

There are a bunch of free software program that you should use to switch Windows 11 from HDD to SSD. We have proven how to take action using Macrium Reflect Free in Method 1 within the information above. 

3. Does cloning erase the information on disk?

Cloning the disk solely erases the information on the brand new disk (if it’s not a brand new SSD). No information is deleted from the supply disk that at the moment holds Windows. 

4. Is there a local disk cloning software on Windows 11?

Unfortunately, no. However, the system image creation can be utilized for disk imaging, which is an in depth substitute for disk cloning. The solely distinction between disk cloning and disk imaging is that with the latter, you don’t get an actual copy of the supply disk. Rather, what you get is a compressed snapshot of the disk that holds Windows 11 that may later be transferred to the brand new SSD. Refer to methodology 2 within the guides above for a similar.

We hope you now know the way to clone Windows 11 to a brand new SSD. Since Windows doesn’t have a local software that can be utilized for this function, you’ll invariably must depend upon a third-party software. But if that doesn’t sit effectively with you, no less than the disk imaging course of can be utilized in its place. 

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