How to migrate Windows 10 to SSD with freeware?

Position: How Tos - Backup & Restore - How to migrate Windows 10 to SSD with freeware?

Want to migrate Windows 10 free of charge? Windows 10 has a faster booting time than previous versions of Windows, which can be further improved after upgrading system disk to SSD. Here is a step-by-step guide to show you how to transfer entire Windows 10 including installed applications, settings and files to SSD drive using a free Windows migration tool so that you don't have to reinstall system or programs. DiskGenius Free edition provides an easy and free method to help you transfer Windows 10 to SSD / HDD. If you want to move Windows OS to SSD, follow the guide below.

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

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Table of Contents

Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

"Hi, Recently I have been looking for solutions to clone Windows 10 to SSD from a large HDD. Currently, Windows 10 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 with previous versions of Windows, Windows 10 improves a lot in efficiency, for example faster booting time, overall improved performance, better user experience. If Windows 10 is installed on SSD instead of traditional hard drive, computer booting time and performance will be faster. Hence, many users prefer to add an SSD to computer and make it as the system drive. However, not all computer users want to reinstall Windows, install application, configure settings, etc. for the process is quite time-consuming and complicated. If you are one of them, there is an easier solution: migrate Windows to new SSD. All you need is connecting the SSD, as free Windows migration software will complete all rest tasks for you.

Freeware to migrate Windows 10 to SSD

If you are looking for freeware to migrate Windows 10 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 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 migrating Windows OS, DiskGenius Free also provides many other useful functions such as resize partition, clone disk, 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 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.

Step-by-step guide to migrate Windows 10 to SSD using free system migration software

Preparations for Windows 10 system migration

  • 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 migrating Windows 10 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; 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 (D:), 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 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

You may also like:

How to migrate Windows operating system to SSD / HDD?
How to manage EFI/UEFI boot options from Windows?
How to backup computer to external hard drive in Windows 10?

Frequently asked questions on Windows 10 migration

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

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

NO. System migration is available for DiskGenius Free Edition. With this freeware, you can migrate Windows10/8/7/Vista and Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008 operating system with ease.

3. 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.

4. 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 10 migration. With DiskGenius Free Edition, you can easily migrate Windows 10/8/7 to new SSD or HDD without reinstalling OS and applications. It is the best free tool for those who want to improve computer performance with SSD and don't want to reinstall everything from beginning. In addition to transferring Windows to SSD, DiskGenius Free provides many other features, just free download it and try it for yourself.


DiskGenius -  A free system migration program helps clone Windows 10 to SSD/HDD easily and quickly.

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