Ive got a laptop running Windows 10 pro (originally shipped with W10 standard that i upgraded to Pro) that shipped with a 1TB HDD. I want to upgrade the HDD to a SSD.

Im familiar with doing this on OSX (Mac) using a programme called Carbon Copy Cloner, which creates a bootable clone of your drive. So you just run the clone process swap over the drives and your all done.

OSX's operating system is free and thus doesn't require a license. Where as W10 / W10 pro do require licenses so i presume the license transfer process is slightly more complex.

Ive been reading up online about how to do it, but allot of the articles seem to be pointing to 3rd party software, im not sure if its the correct software to use, or an affiliate marking ploy. Can someone point me in the right direction to port / transfer my data and license from the HDD to SSD ?

2 Answers 2


You can link your Windows license to a Microsoft account. When you log on to the new system, it'll register the license for you.


Open Settings. Click on Accounts. Click on You info. Click the Sign in with your Microsoft account instead link.

Complete your sign-in information. Click Sign in.

Type your current password. Click Next.

Click the Set a PIN button, or the Skip this step link to complete the process.

After you completed the steps mentioned above, you could remove the Microsoft account, but reverting the process will also remove the device from your account, which will undo the association.

You can verify that your digital license is linked to your Microsoft account by using these simple steps:

Open Settings. Click on Update & security. Click on Activation.

The Activation page should now read "Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account". Additionally, you can sign-in to your Microsoft account using your web browser and navigating to the Devices section. If you find your computer listed, it means that the license is linked.

Alternatively, you could clone the HDD to the SSD. If you bought a Samsung SSD, it comes with a free copy of Samsung Magician which will clone the drive for you. There are many other drive clone products, some free and some paid.

  • 1
    It is important to note that, you can only transfer Retail licenses, it is not clear if the author purchased a retail license or not. If one were to attempt to migrate an OEM license, using this method, the activation on the new machine wouldn't be successful
    – Ramhound
    Jan 4, 2019 at 23:21

Use System Image Backup.


The above instructions are for Windows 7, but it's the same for Windows 10.

  • 1
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    Dec 19, 2018 at 17:00

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