This page covers two parts of the guide for cloning HDD to a smaller SSD. If you are trying to replace your old HDD with a new smaller SSD by migrating the OS, follow through the tips below and you will successfully migrate everything to your new SSD.

  1. Part 1. You-Must-Do Preparations - Get your computer and SSD fully prepared for the cloning
  2. Part 2. Tutorial: Clone Bigger HDD to Smaller SSD - Use Secure Disk Cloner to upgrade HDD to SSD

Can I clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD?

"Lately, my desktop runs extremely slow and I want to do something to optimize its performance. The first idea I came up with is to upgrade the machine from the old HDD to a new SSD.

However, I found that many stand-alone cloners don't allow to clone larger HDD to smaller SSD. I used 500 GB HDD and the new SSD is 256 GB.  And the smaller SSD is far beyond the used space on the HDD. Can I just move the user data by cloning HDD to SSD? "

With faster writing and reading speed, being quieter, SSD becomes hot among users. Most people choose to move hard disk data to an SSD. As we all know, SSD is designed with a smaller capacity than HDD.

When it comes to cloning HDD to smaller SSD, people have difficulty in finding a proper cloning tool that can resolve the larger to smaller cloning issue. If you are having the same trouble, stay calm.

On the following, you will find detailed guidelines to get rid of this issue, transferring everything from the old HDD to the new SSD.

Part 1. Preparation for Clone HDD to Smaller SSD

Here is a list of preparation jobs for you to get ready before  cloning hard drive:

# 1. Download EaseUS Disk Clone Software for Clone HDD to Smaller SSD

EaseUS Partition Master, with its disk clone feature, allows you to copy the HDD data to SSD fast without damaging either device. You can apply it to upgrade the disk on all Windows system-based computers. 

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

# 2. Prepare the SSD

  • First, make sure that your SSD capacity is bigger than the used space on the HDD. 

If the HDD usage is bigger than the SSD capacity, you won't be able to clone the bigger HDD to the smaller SSD. To do so, you may need to delete or clean useless large files from the HDD in advance. 

  • Next, clean up SSD, leaving it unallocated.

To avoid cloning errors, we suggest you delete all partitions on the SSD disk, leaving the whole disk unallocated. 

Part 2. Tutorial: Clone Larger HDD to Smaller SSD

With the following tutorial, you can clone a 1TB HDD to a 500GB SSD or clone a 500GB to a 250GB SSD without any limitations. Once again, to clone a bigger HDD to a smaller SSD disk, you need to confirm that the actual data usage space on the HDD is equal to or smaller than the SSD capacity. Then EaseUS Partition Master will clone all data to your new disk.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Now let's learn how to copy data from a larger HDD to a smaller SSD:

Step 1. Select the source disk.

  • Click the "Clone" from the left menu. Select the "Clone OS Disk" or "Clone Data Disk"  and click "Next".
  • Choose the source disk and click "Next".

Step 2. Select the target disk.

  • Choose the wanted HDD/SSD as your destination and click "Next" to continue.
  • Read Warning message and confirm "Yes" button.

Step 3. View the disk layout and edit the target disk partition size. 

Then click "Continue" when the program warns it will wipe out all data on the target disk. (If you have valuable data on the target disk, back up it in advance.)

You can select "Autofit the disk", "Clone as the source" or "Edit disk layout" to customize your disk layout. (Select the last one if you want to leave more space for C drive.)

Step 4. Click "Start" to start the disk cloning process.

If the source HDD is an MBR system disk, EaseUS Partition Master will diagnose whether your system support UEFI boot. If yes, the target SSD will be a GPT disk, and you need first to change its boot mode to UEFI in BIOS. 
If the source HDD is an MBR data disk, the cloned SSD will be MBR. 
If the source HDD is a GPT system disk, your SSD disk will be GPT without any boot issue after the cloning. But you'd better check the boot mode first.
If the source HDD is a GPT data disk, the SSD will be GPT too, after the cloning.   

After cloning, you need to change the boot order in BIOS to the new SSD to make your PC bootable, follow the steps here to see how to do it:

Step 1. Insert the SSD to your computer, restart the PC, and press F2/F12/DEL to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot section and use the arrow key on your keyboard to set Windows boot from the SSD.

Step 3. Save the changes and restart your computer.

After this, your data and system will be visible and work on the new SSD again. Sometimes, your cloned SSD won't show full capacity; you can click the link below to learn how to fix it.

related articles

Solved: SSD Not Showing Full Capacity After Clone

So, if you got a new SSD and are having issues showing total capacity after cloning your hard drive, follow the fixes below.

computer management

After reading this page, do you know how to clone HDD to smaller SSD? If you think this passage is helpful, click the buttons below to share it with more people.


Sum Up for Clone HDD to Smaller SSD

On this page, we offered you a fast and secure solution to answer all the questions about cloning a larger HDD to a smaller SSD. With the help of EaseUS Partition Master, you can clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD, 500GB HDD to 250GB SSD. 

Besides disk replacement, EaseUS Partition Master also enables you to finish some advanced operations, such as migrating OS to SSD, convert MBR to GPT, or GPT to MBR, etc.

People Also Ask

1. Can I clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD?

To clone a larger HDD to a smaller SSD, you should consider using EaseUS Partition Master. Utilizing Partition Clone: it can copy data from a source partition to a target partition. You may use it to clone NTFS drive, FAT32 drive, and so on.

2. How do I clone my hard drive to a smaller SSD for free?

Sorry, there is no free option for cloning. You can use EaseUS Partition Master to easily clone your hard drive to a smaller SSD. Just run it, use the Clone Disk feature, choose the source & target disk, and start the cloning.

3. Can I clone a 1tb HDD to a 500gb SSD?

Yes. It is possible to clone 1TB HDD to 500GB SSD. In fact, the answerer is positive, as long as the used space on the source HDD is not larger than the capacity of the destination SSD.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

Read full bio