How to Move Windows 10 to SSD Without Reinstalling

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Windows 10 already has improved booting time compared to previous versions Windows, but moving it from a regular HDD to a new SDD will improve the booting time and overall performance of the system even more. There are a couple of ways to transfer your system data from your current HDD to a new SDD, and we’re going to talk about all of them in this article.

Probably the simplest solution is performing a clean install on the SSD drive, but you will lose all your data, and you’ll have to install all your programs once again. And it could take even more time than moving already installed operating system, but if you don’t like to experiment, you may choose this path. Installing a fresh copy of Windows 10 on a SSD drive is not different than installing it on a HDD. You have to format your current system partition, and then just install the fresh copy of Windows 10 on a SSD.

But there’s also a way to move already installed system to a SSD, without performing a clean install. All you have to do is to ‘clone’ your system partition to the SSD, and you’re good to go. But is that all so simple? No, it requires some work from your side to move your system properly. And in the remainder of the article, we’re going to show you all necessary instructions to move your installed system to the SSD drive properly.

But before all, you must backup your data, because if something goes wrong, you might lose it forever, and it will be required for the process.

How to Move Windows 10 to an SDD Without Reinstalling

Let’s start with a short summary, to move your Windows 10 system to the SSD drive, you need to: back up your drive, ‘shrink’ your disk space, copy your system partition to the SSD, and format the system partition on your HDD.

When you backed up your drive, it’s time to get rid of the additional disk space, because SSDs are have much less space than a regular hard disks, so we want your system partition to fit on the SSD drive. So, delete your personal files, music, photos, videos, and particularly all non-system files to make your partition as ‘small’ as possible. It’s okay to delete your personal stuff, because you’ll be able to get it back from the backup, once the process is done.

move windows 10 to ssd 1

Now, when you’re sure that your current system partition can fit on the SSD, it’s time to move. The easiest way to move your system partition to the SSD is by using the tool EaseUS Todo Backup. Just download the software, and you’re almost ready. Also, it is recommended to perform a defrag of your system hard drive, before you move it on the SSD, so keep that in mind.

And now, it’s finally time to move your Windows 10 to the SSD! To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Open EaseUS Todo backup
  2. Choose Clone from the left sidebar
  3. Click Disk Clonemove windows 10 to ssd 2
  4. Choose your current hard drive with Windows 10 installed on as the source, and choose your SSD as the target
  5. Check Optimize for SSD (this assures that your partition is correctly ‘formatted’ for the SSD)
  6. Click Next
  7. EaseUS will begin copying your disk, you can check Shut down the computer when the operation completed, and your computer will turn off when to ‘transfer’ is done

If the move is completed without any errors (the only possible error that could appear is the message which tells you that your drive is too big, in that case, just delete more files from your HDD), your system is moved to the SSD, and all you need to do is to get rid of the HDD partition with Windows 10 on it.

To wipe your original drive, do the following:

  1. Open This Computer
  2. Find your system drive, and right click on it
  3. Choose Formatmove windows 10 to ssd 3
  4. Wait until the process is finished

And that’s about that, your Windows 10 is now successfully moved to the SSD drive, and it will perform a lot faster from now on.

But, we have one more thing to do, we must restore your personal files and user folders. Since you probably don’t have enough space on your SSD, we’ll have to restore your files to the old, formatted HDD drive. To move your personal files and user folders without causing any system errors, follow further instructions.

First, go to your old drive (which is now completely empty), and create a new folder to store all your user folders and personal files. Name it whatever you want (we used WinReport). Now, goto C:\Users\<your username> and you should see all your user folders there. Right-click on each one, go to Properties, and then go to Location tab. Click on the Move button, and choose your newly created folder as the target. And all your user folders, like Desktop, Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Music, etc. should all be placed on your old HDD Drive.move windows 10 to ssd 4

And finally, the only thing left to do is restoring your personal files. To restore your personal files to the old HDD drive, follow these steps:

  1. Open your backup (whatever you chose to be your backup destination, cloud, external storage, another partition, etc.)
  2. And drag all your user files (documents, music, pictures, and other files) to your new “My Documents,” “My Music,” and other user folders.

By doing this, all your personal files will be accessible, besides the fact that they’re not on the system partition. But you may need to change the settings of your favorite apps and games, because they’ll probably save files in the ‘old’ My Documents.

That would be all, we presented you a full guide on how to move your Windows 10 system from your old HDD partition to the SSD, and how to get everything to work. So, if you’re planning to move your system to the SSD, I think this article features everything you need to know.

If you followed our instructions, and successfully moved your system to the SSD, please tell us your impressions in the comments.


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17 Comments on "How to Move Windows 10 to SSD Without Reinstalling"

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New cloned SSD will not boot windows, disconnected old HDD and set new SSD as boot order #1 , get error that cloned SSD is not a bootable device. Please help.'

I was wondering the same. The author has not addressed the boot issue.'

There is NO boot sectors on the SSD. It will never boot.
Boot to a drive that works, Run bootsec.exe in a DOS box, type “bootsect /nt60 X: /mbr” without the quotes where X is the SSD drive letter.
This will install boot sectors to the drive.'

Same here'

Has anyone solved this issue?'
yo, sorry no one has replied to you… but what you need to do is you need to restart your computer and when it turns back on you need to hold down F2, F8, or F12 until a screen pops up (I think its f12…)… but once that is up you need to move to a tab called boot sequence, then click on that, and then select and click on your ssd… basically what your computer is doing is it is trying to turn on using the hdd that doesnt have windows on it, and by making the ssd first… Read more »'

I have done that, but I can’t delete windows from the original hard drive because it says it’s the one being used, even though the clone appeared to work properly. But I attempted to power on the device with just the new cloned ssd, and it gave me an error. I’m not home so I can’t look right now, but if I remember correctly it was saying the boot up file was missing, or something along the lines of that.

I upgraded from windows 7 to windows 10, so I don’t have the repair drive.'

You need to remove the hard drive totally from the system and hook it up via a USB cable.
Windows 10 does a ‘check’ to make sure that NO Windows directory (I.E. C:Windows) is being touched even on a non-booting hard drive.'

same here.'

“New cloned SSD will not boot windows, disconnected old HDD and set new SSD as boot order #1 , get error that cloned SSD is not a bootable device. Please help.” (I’m quoting his because I don’t see a helpful response and I’m suffering from the same problem.)'

This didn’t work for me. I also get the same error, the new drive is not recognized as a bootable device. I tried making changes in the BIOS but I was not able to resolve the issue. I tried this with the original HDD disconnected and only the cloned SSD hooked up to the same cables as the original drive, no luck.'

This Failed. Cloned hdd to ssd. It did not mark the partition as boot. After I marked as boot. winload.exe gives a “digital signature not verified” error. Used windows 10 repair drive,but it failed to repair.'

When you format the drive you must make it a bootable drive not just a simple drive.'

IT’S “AN SSD” not “A SSD”…you sound like an idiot.
Yes, I am the English police. Stop defending complacency.'

this is not a hard and fast rule. SSD is an intialism and the first word is solid. “a solid state drive” would be correct, not “an solid state drive.” if you are intending SSD to be a time saving abbreviation of solid state drive and not a replacement in the vernacular, “a” could be considered to be correct. absolutes are for people who outsource their thinking.'

My computer has a “hidden” recovery partition which affects the cloning. I don’t know how to remove it.'

If i do this method, does the softwares will be copied too or i have to re-install the softwares i installed on C?