What's the Best Disk Cloning Software, Free or Paid?
If your hard drive has run out of disk space, is exposed to disk write/read failures, or becomes too slow to boot Windows, you will request a hard drive replacement. There are a number of reasons why you might want to clone a disk or clone a hard drive.
To clone a hard drive means to make a 1-to-1 copy of the original drive. It's the quickest and easiest approach to replace a hard drive along with its data. By cloning a disk to a new one, you can escape from the tedious work of transferring data and programs to the new drive. Since disk cloning has so many benefits, what's the most popular disk cloning software on Windows Devices? Should you trust free hard drive cloning software or paid solutions?
To find the best free disk cloning software, we spent a month testing more than 20 tools on the market, some options offer both free and paid editions, and some canceled the free edition but only gave the free trial. Below are our testing statistics that you may be interested in.
|🔢 Software Quantity we tested||24|
|⏳ Time duration||1 month|
|✅Compatible System||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|⚒Demand Scenarios for Disk Cloning||Hard drive upgrading, data transferring, saving disk data as a backup,|
|🚩Free limits||Unlimited free, limited data that can be cloned|
|👍 Easy of Use||Interface, operation|
|🕦Disk Cloning Time||From 5min-1hour|
After an in-depth review of both free and paid software, we found that the best idea for choosing the paid disk cloning software includes 24x7 tech support, a stable cloning process, lighting-fast cloning speed, and no chance of making mistakes and receiving cloning errors. But if you still persist on a free plan, we also cover your needs. Following is the list of popular disk cloning software, including 1 paid software and 11 free cloning software(some only provide free-trial versions):
- EaseUS Todo Backup 🔥🔥🔥
- Acronis True Image
- Macrium Reflect
- Paragon Drive Copy Professional
- AOMEI Backupper
- MiniTool Partition Wizard
- Active@ Disk Image
- Iperius Backup
- Symantec Ghost Solution Suite
- DriveImage XML
- O&O Disk Image
Tags: with 4.7 Positive Ratings, 3 in 1 software offers both backup, disk imaging, and clone features
With 10 years of market domination in providing the most secure and feasible backup plans for computers and enterprises, EaseUS Todo Backup is also recognized as a user-friendly and efficient disk cloning tool. It has a range of cloning options that are completely free from 2005 to 2020. Later it employed class-rate techniques in calculating disk parameters, and the average cloning speed was greatly improved by 20-30s per GB; that's a huge leap that makes the EaseUS cloning option a paid feature since 2020, and we don't find any other free and paid software that can compete with it.
- Selectively clone a partition, several partitions, or an entire hard drive
- Cloning speed is fast, barely with errors
- Be good at cloning a hard drive with bad sectors
- Support 1-click system clone, which can migrate Windows OS to HDD/SSD easily
- Be able to clone a hard drive without OS from a bootable disk
- Imaging a disk to make the same copy of the original hard drive to a new SSD
- Let you clone a bigger HDD to a smaller SSD
- Replace a failing hard drive without losing data
We appreciate that a system partition backup and clone are included. The fact that you can run it on a schedule makes it just that much more beneficial. - lifewire
In addition to EaseUS hard drive cloning tool, many other disk cloning programs are available. It can be a challenge to select one. To save your time, we recommend these hard drive cloning tools based on their ease of use, how powerful they are, and their overall usability and reliability.
Tags: now called Acronis Cyber Protect Home, widely used by commercial users for backup purposes
Acronis True Image Ofiice(https://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/computer-backup/) is a fast and powerful cloud disk cloning tool and imaging application. It also features advanced artificial intelligence technology and blockchain data notarization, providing real-time protection against encryption and ransomware. This high-quality disk cloning software is an excellent choice for personal users to back up and protect their systems. You can start the 30-day free trial.
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac systems
- Run a backup in the background while working on other tasks
- Unique cyber protection solution effectively safeguards all of your data, apps, and systems
- Multiple disk cloning and backup options: Mirror imaging, Disk cloning, and All-in-one recovery drives
Acronis True Image helps the user to clone the WD drive to a Samsung 970 Evo Plus successfully, and it supports disk cloning between different types and brands of hard drives.
Let’s upgrade some NVMe storage! ? Replaced the 128gb WD with a 512gb Samsung 970 Evo Plus. Using @Acronis True Image to clone the disk, and Acronis Disk Director to rearrange and expand the partitions. pic.twitter.com/u0JaqerFe3— Glitch IT (@GlitchITLimited) January 25, 2023
Tags: best open source disk cloning software, free, no support available
Clonezilla (https://clonezilla.org/) is one of the top free disk cloning, disk imaging, and data recovery program. Three versions of Clonezilla are available to download: Clonezilla Live, Clonezilla Lite Server, and Clonezilla SE. The Clonezilla SE version or server edition of the program can clone over 40 computers at the same time. It is a great open-source disk cloning and imaging software.
- Clone disk/partition to a separate hard drive
- Support Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems
- Support multiple file system: FAT 12/16/32, ext2/3/4, NTFS, HFS+, UFS
- Provide a number of encryption options to encrypt disk images with eCryptfs or use AES 256-bit encryption
Clonezilla ensures free and complete hard drive cloning, but the process is more complex compared to some third-party software, like EaseUS Todo Backup.
Tags: no longer free, free limit
Macrium Reflect Free Edition (https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree) is a very popular hard drive cloning solution for both personal (especially the free version) and commercial/enterprise use. It is compatible with the Windows operating system, enables you to do disk imaging and disk cloning, allows you to access images from the file manager, and creates a Linux rescue CD. You can fully restore non-booting systems with the free version, as well as schedule backups or create live images of your OS.
Note: Its company has recently announced that the Macrium Reflect Free version will be retired as of 1st January 2024.
- Easy to use and intuitive user interface
- Clone an entire hard drive or specific partitions
- Rapid Delta Cloning increases cloning speed by copying file system deltas
- The free license also covers business use
- Support Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP plus Linux
- Support FAT 12/16/32, exFAT, NTFS, HFS+ and ReFS
Macrium Reflect Free edition is a great way to clone various types of disks, and it can deal with SSDs, GPT, MBR, UEFI, and resizing partitions. It works fine on computers.
Computer seems stable. I have concluded that the correct (and possibly only) free way to clone a Windows installation drive is Macrium Reflect Free, which handles SSDs, GPT, UEFI, partition resizing, and OS booting. Skip Acronis Disk Director.— Ben Hutchison (@Aldaviva) October 21, 2022
Tags: backup available, few user feedback
Paragon Backup & Recovery Free (https://www.paragon-software.com/free/br-free/) is a free disk cloning software that can create backups and partitions. You can use this complex drive cloning tool to back up the operating system and migrate it to a new computer. You can also choose to copy the entire hard disk or partition. Its quick recovery allows you to return to normal operations after a system problem occurs.
- Come with a wizard to assist the user in restoring backup images
- The Recovery Media Builder tool enables you to create your own recovery environment
- Community Edition is available completely free for the non-commercial purpose
- Backup files, volumes, and disks entirely or pick one at a time
We can hardly find any comments or user feedback on social websites. But the product we tried works perfectly on Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers. You can still have a try on your own.
Tags: a wonderful backup and restore tool with the disk cloning feature, compatible with Windows, free for home use
AOMEI Backupper(https://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-backupper.html) is a dependable and comprehensive backup program that provides a variety of powerful capabilities to assure your data's safety. The free disk cloning tool, which lets users generate an exact replica of their hard drive or SSD, is one of its standout features. Users can simply migrate their operating system, upgrade their storage devices, or back up their vital files and settings by using this feature.
AOMEI Backupper's user-friendly interface and advanced choices make disk cloning an easy and efficient procedure, giving customers peace of mind and the ability to quickly restore their system in the event of data loss or hardware failure.
- All-in-one computer safeguard tool with data backup, clone, and sync features
- Compressed backup and encrypted backup
- Create bootable media like USB, CD, DVD
- Clone HDD to SSD, SSD to HDD, SSD to SSD, clone a small hard drive to a larger hard drive
- Backup files, system, and disks
- Supports various backup types, like the incremental and differential backup
Tags: a free and robust disk and partition manager
MiniTool Partition Wizard(https://www.partitionwizard.com/free-partition-manager.html) is a robust and dependable free partition manager with a plethora of options for managing and optimizing your hard disk or SSD. Among its amazing features is the free disk cloning feature, which allows customers to clone their entire drive or a select partition quickly and effortlessly.
MiniTool Partition Wizard makes disk cloning simple and painless, whether you want to update your storage device, transfer your operating system, or generate a backup of your data. With its simple interface and many options, customers may clone their disks in a matter of seconds, assuring the safety of their data and a smooth transition to a new storage device.
- Create and delete partitions in very simple steps
- You can use it to move or resize your partition
- Erase all data saved on the partition completely
- Quickly convert your hard drive from FAT to NTFS without losing any data
- Clone and copy the hard drive and partition for instant usage
- Combine two partitions into one without losing data
Tags: best known as a disk imaging tool
Active@ Disk Image (https://www.disk-image.com/index.html) is a disk cloning and imaging tool for Windows that can be used to make an exact copy of any PC disk. The disk images may be used for backups, PC upgrades, or disk duplication purposes. It is compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2012, Server 2016, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.
The free version of this hard drive cloning program allows you to create and restore disk images, compress images, and mount images as virtual drives.
- Support storage devices including HDD, SDD, USB, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, and more
- Variable disk copy utilities: Disk to Image, Image to Disk, Create Raw Image, verify Image, Copy Disk to Disk, Clone Disk, Mount Image, etc.
- Provide three image compression options: fast, normal, and high
- Mount images as virtual drives
Tags: good for enterprise
Iperius Backup (https://www.iperiusbackup.com/index.aspx) is a complete Windows utility for data backup and hard disk cloning. The software supports cloud services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, and more. Cloud backups are secured with AES 256-bit encryption to ensure your data is safe.
Iperius Backup is a top HDD or SSD disk cloning and imaging tool for enterprise users that enables you to perform files, databases or VMs backup.
- Support incremental backup and synchronization
- Support hard disk cloning, P2V, recovery drive creation
- Backup databases including Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB
- Backup to NAS, USB drives, FTP, Cloud, S3
- Free to trial
Tags: cross-platforms compatible
Symantec Ghost Solution Suite (https://www.broadcom.com/products/cyber-security/endpoint/management/ghost-solutions-suite) is one of the top hard disk imaging software that enables you to copy hard drives on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. This hard drive cloning tool provides full solutions for imaging and deploying desktops, laptops, tablets, and servers.
- Web-based user interface outfitted with wizards
- Migrate OS from HDD to SSD
- Compatible with various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux
Tags: by imaging a disk
DriveImage XML (https://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm) is an easy-to-use and reliable program for imaging and backing up disks and partitions. It provides two versions: Private Edition allows users to use it without charge and Commercial Edition for commercial use. This disk copy tool enables you to create safe "hot images" from drives in use. Images are stored in XML files, allowing you to process them with 3rd party tools.
- Clone directly from disk to disk, from drive to drive
- Schedule automatic backups
- Support Windows XP, 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
- Backup, image and restore drives formatted with FAT 12, 16, 32, and NTFS
Tags: able to clone a disk, but best known as an easy disk managing solution
O&O Disk Image (https://www.oo-software.com/en/diskimage-backup-your-data) is a comprehensive disk management software with full features, including disk cloning, imaging, and remote scripting for Windows 7+ operating systems. With this hard drive cloning tool, you can back up an entire computer or single files whenever you want – even while the computer is being used. O&O DiskImage lets you carry out a system restore onto a computer whose hardware is different from the original machine.
- Easy to use and highly customizable
- Support Incremental and differential backups
- Support SSD drives and the latest UEFI System
- Clone the entire hard disk and restore even to a system with different machines
The Final Word
With so many possibilities accessible, you must be perplexed as to which one to select. Don't worry, here is a quick rundown of what we discovered:
- 🥇EaseUS Todo Backup - Best overall in every aspect. We analyzed over 20 various disk cloning software applications and decided that EaseUS Todo Backup is the best option for Windows users due to its superior performance and ease of use. It can completely secure your computer data with backup and clone features.
- 💾Macrium Reflect - Best free disk cloning software. If you do have no budget for disk cloning, then Macrium Reflect is your best choice. Although its UI is a little complex, its free cloning feature will ensure smooth and successful cloning.
- 🏠Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office - Best home data protection. As its name shows, Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is designed for home data security. If you have several devices to manage at home, then it is n excellent tool you should never miss.
- 💼Iperius Backup - Best for enterprise. With a robust processor, Iperius Backup integrates with various cloud services and provides reliable disk cloning and image feature for enterprise users.
Is this article useful? If so, share it with your fans and acquaintances on social media to help them effortlessly clone hard drives using these free tools.
Frequently Asked Questions About Free Disk Cloning Software
The following are the top topics related to free disk cloning software and how to clone a disk. Check the brief answers to these problems.
Does Windows 10 have cloning software?
Windows 10 doesn't come with hard drive cloning software. For cloning software for Windows 10, try EaseUS Todo Backup. It is a tool for cloning a hard drive. You can use this tool to make full copies, upgrade HDD to SSD, and replace the old disk without any data loss.
How do I clone my OS to SSD?
You can use the best disk cloning software - Ease Todo Backup, to clone Windows 10 to a smaller SSD with the steps below.
Step 1. Connect the new SSD to your PC. Run EaseUS Todo Backup for Windows 10 Clone.
Step 2. Select "System Clone". Choose the new SSD as your target disk for saving the cloned Windows 10 system.
Step 3. Then click "Proceed" to start cloning Windows 10 to HDD/SSD now.
After this, insert your new SSD into your computer and, reboot the PC, change the boot order to set the computer to boot from the new SSD with cloned Windows 10 system:
- Restart the PC and press F2 or F8 to enter BIOS settings.
- In the Boot option, select the new SSD as the new boot drive and save all the changes.
- Exit BIOS and restart the computer; you should be able to see Windows 10 running on your new SSD without any problems.
Which is better, fresh install Windows 10 or clone?
Clone is the process of duplicating the entire Windows 10 operating system from one hard drive to another. It will copy the Windows 10, system update, installed programs, profile, etc., and save more time than a fresh install. So, it is the choice for most people when replacing a new hard drive. If you don't want to store the previous data, then a fresh, clean install is a good option.
Was This Page Helpful?
Updated by Larissa
Larissa has rich experience in writing technical articles. After joining EaseUS, she frantically learned about data recovery, disk partitioning, data backup, and other related knowledge. Now she is able to master the relevant content proficiently and write effective step-by-step guides on computer issues.
Written by Jean
Jean has been working as a professional website editor for quite a long time. Her articles focus on topics of computer backup, data security tips, data recovery, and disk partitioning. Also, she writes many guides and tutorials on PC hardware & software troubleshooting. She keeps two lovely parrots and likes making vlogs of pets. With experience in video recording and video editing, she starts writing blogs on multimedia topics now.
Sherly/Jul 20, 2023
Sherly/Jul 20, 2023
Jane Zhou/Jul 20, 2023
Rel/Jul 20, 2023