Trending October 2023 # How To Move Windows To Another Drive # Suggested November 2023 # Top 14 Popular |

Trending October 2023 # How To Move Windows To Another Drive # Suggested November 2023 # Top 14 Popular

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If your PC comes with a relatively low-storage HDD or SSD, you might want to upgrade it. But the main question is whether it’s possible to move the genuine Windows to your new drive.

Well, the short answer is yes! In fact, there are two possible ways to do it. This way, you do not need to install Windows entirely on your new storage device. Also, this can come in handy if you’re trying to back up the drive to recover the system in case of a future failure. 

In this article, we will guide you through both methods on how to move Windows to another drive, whether it be on an HDD, SSD, optical disk, or even your flash drive!

Before jumping into the main content, there are a few things you need to consider. You might want to get some additional devices, like a UPS (to prevent data loss from a power failure), a secondary device (flash drive or SD card for backing up data), and, most importantly, the right destination drive.


If you haven’t already bought a drive, we recommend getting one larger or with equivalent disk space than the former. While it’s possible to migrate Windows from a larger to a smaller drive, you will require a third-party cloning tool to do this correctly. In such a case, you may skip the first method as you’ll likely encounter a re-imaging process error.

Likewise, we also recommend getting an SSD over a traditional HDD or other storage disks. These days, you can find NVMe, SATA, or M.2 SSDs, all of which are faster, more durable, and quieter than traditional drives.

Moving Windows to another drive may take approximately 20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your system. Thus, there’s a potential risk of data loss due to power failure or other reasons.

As a precaution, we highly recommend backing up your important data using any preferred method. Well, you could use a secondary storage device (flash drive or SD card) or even online backup tools like OneDrive, Google Drive, and iCloud.

Defragging means rearranging the unordered or unorganized files on your hard drive. Basically, this is a Windows optimization technique that helps improve the speed and performance of your HDD.

Well, this process will store all the HDD’s data in a contiguous block, which can speed up the cloning process. Indeed, defragging your drive will organize all the unordered files, and hence the migration of Windows to another device becomes much more efficient.

Since cloning produces the exact copy of your source drive, all the temporary and junk files will also migrate to the new storage device. To prevent this, we recommend performing a disk cleanup, and here’s a quick guide on how you can do just that:

Now that you have backed up vital files, defragged your HDD, and performed a disk cleanup, it’s time to start moving Windows to your destination drive. Before that, kindly install your new HDD or SSD in the right slot and plug in the data and power connectors.

Once that’s done, you can now proceed with one of the two methods below. As mentioned earlier, you may skip the first one if you’re trying to clone a hard drive from a larger source to a smaller destination drive.

If you’re planning to transfer Windows to an equivalent-sized drive or on a larger one, the best method is to create a system image. Then, you can use this at your destination HDD, SSD, or an alternative disk to move the OS.

The other easy way to move Windows to another drive is by cloning your bootable drive. However, the process requires a third-party cloning tool. Some popular ones include Clonezilla, AOMEI Partition Manager, Macrium Reflect, etc.

For demonstration purposes, we have included the steps for Macrium Reflect. You may choose any other software, as the process should be somewhat similar:

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