How to Migrate Windows 10 to SSD without Reinstalling

Posted by @AOMEI

October 23, 2018

When you upgrade to SSD, you can easily Migrate Windows 10 to SSD without the need to reinstall system or your installed programs.

Upgrade to SSD for better performance

Even if you have a very old computer, changing your old hard disk drive (HDD) with a solid-state drive (SSD) can make your computer run much faster. Usually, an SSD is 10 times faster than the common HDD.

HDD and SSD are the different kinds of disk and both of them apply nonvolatile storage to store data. But HDD is metal platters with a magnetic coating and data can be read or write when the platters are spinning; while SSD is a new kind disk which is short for Solid State Drive, there are no moving parts in SSD and data are stored on memory chips.

In this way, there is no platter spinning when data need to be read or write. So compared with HDD, SSD has faster loading speed.

So if you are a Windows 10 user who is tired of waiting a long time for computer to boot up or programs to load and pursuits for faster speed or want to replace HDD with SSD.  

System migration vs clean install

To upgrade HDD to SSD, you generally have two options, to fresh install Windows or migrate system to SSD without reinstalling.

You may concern about if the computer is even slower after system migration than when system is installed on hard drive. Well, that is a rare case. The most likely reason is that the SATA operation mode is set to IDE mode while the new SSD requires AHCI mode.

Besides, some old operating systems are not optimized for SSDs, so you should do some SSD optimization operations in order to get the best of SSD. Unlike Windows 7, Windows 10 has made been optimized for SSDs.

Generally, system migration is easy to complete and leave you fast performance. Therefore, if you are running Windows 10, it is highly recommended to migrate OS to SSD to save time and efforts of reinstalling or configuring system.

SSD data migration tool

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a complete data protection software for PCs, laptops and workstations. It is able to help you transfer Windows 10 to SSD by cloning operating system and installed programs without reinstalling. Its easy-to-use interface can make you finish the task easily.

You can migrate OS from MBR disk to GPT SSD without converting the disk partition style, and vice versa. You just need to click a few buttons to perform the migration, and this tool will take care of the rest. Before you boot from the SSD, you need to make sure the firmware boot mode is configured correctly. For boot from GPT disk, you need to enable UEFI mode while for MBR disk, Legacy mode.

If you prefer using free software, AOMEI Backupper also provides a free edition that allows you to clone hard drives to SSDs without issues.

Steps to migrate Windows 10 to a smaller SSD

After connecting your new SSD to your Windows 10 computer, you can follow the steps below to transfer Windows 10 to SSD. You can connect the SSD with SATA cable or other connection ports. If your laptop only has one drive bay, then you can connect the SSD with an SATA-to-USB adapter as an external drive.

Step1: Download, install and open AOMEI Backupper Professional. Click Clone on the left side on the interface and then choose System Clone on the right of the interface.

System Clone

Step2:This software will regard Windows 10 system as source partition for migrating to SSD automatically. So just choose a partition on another disk (eg.Disk 1) as destination partition and then click Next.

Choose Destination Partition.gif

Step3:After reading the message in the pop-up windows, please clickYes to continue.

Click Yes

Step4:In the following windows, you can choose "Align partition to optimize for SSD" option to optimize the performance SSD and then click Start Clone. ("Sector by sector clone" option refers to clone al the sectors no matter it has been used or not, it will take more time.)

Start Clone

Step5: When the progress is 100%, please click Finish to end up this operation. Then you can enjoy the fast speed of SSD.

Click Finish


Finish migrating Windows 10 to SSD, please enter BIOS to set boot system from SSD, after this setting, your system can boot from SSD. The HDD can be used as backup space and data storage, and you can also use AOMEI Backupper to backup SSD to HDD partition.

SSD has become popular among windows users due to its fast speed, so if there are users who Plan to move the whole data from HDD to SDD without reinstalling system and any programs on original HDD, how can they do? Don’t worry; to reach this goal, you can also use AOMEI Backupper Professional by clone HDD to SSD to solve the problem.

In case you change your mind in the future, you can clone Windows 10 SSD to HDD on the contrary. 

Will the Windows 10 license be transferred to SSD?

You may also wonder if you need activate Windows 10 again after the migration. That depends on what kinds of license you use. Retail or volume license key can be transferred to SSD, that is to say, Windows 10 automatically be activated after migrating to SSD. However, for OEM keys, you need to activate Windows by phone.

Generally, laptops are using OEM key and desktops will pre-installed Windows are also OEM. To make sure if your license is OEM, you can right click on This PC and select Properties to check on the Product ID. If there is the three characters “OEM” in the Product ID, it is OEM key.