Best Data Migration Software

By Dusan Vasic July 16, 2021

More than likely, you’ve been in a position that required the grueling task of moving your data between hard drives. Have you treated yourself to a brand new SSD, but the thought of reinstalling your operating system and accompanying applications seems tiresome?

Thankfully, there are better and faster ways of getting your PC back on track without having to resort to manual installation of each individual program or endlessly copying data meant for backup. That’s where data migration software comes in, transforming the arduous process into a simple task.

Top 7 Data Migration Tools

  • Cloud backup
  • Ransomware and antimalware protection
  • File sync
  • Cloud storage unavailable with Essential plan
Best price $49.99/year
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  • Bootable recovery
  • Advanced partitioning features
  • OS only or complete migrations
  • No free cloud storage
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  • Simple UI
  • Fast backup and restore speeds
  • File syncing
  • Dedicated cloud backup unavailable
Best price $39.95
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  • Top-notch partition management
  • User-friendly
  • Free version
  • Windows only
Best price $59/year
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  • Migrates user accounts and settings
  • Data recovery
  • Straightforward wizard interface
  • High starting price
Best price $59.95/year
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  • Free transfer assistance
  • Fast data transfer
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Free trial unavailable
Best price $59.95
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  • Plug-and-play backup
  • Boot mediums
  • One-click recovery
  • Lacks features
Best price $69.95 /5 PCs
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Do I Need Data Migration Software?

Our team recommends exploring data transferring tools when you’re replacing either your system or storage drive. Furthermore, migrating data for backup and implementing other data loss solutions is a prudent move.

Windows 10 reinstallation may require you to download and install multiple updates. Simply migrating the clean and up-to-date Windows 10 installation from a backup may save you a lot of time when you’re booting up your system from the ground up.

Migration software can help you by keeping backup data on a spare drive. Therefore, you can avoid any unpleasant situations if you don’t have top ransomware software or power surge protection to keep your information safe.

Why Companies Need Specialized Software for Migrating Data?

Manipulating and transferring data from massive data centers is another category altogether, compared to creating an exact clone drive of your PC. Enterprises might upgrade their hardware infrastructure or perform maintenance while needing to preserve the same databases. This type of software can be helpful for website consolidation or even data center relocation.

Data Migration Challenges

The reputation of data transfers being risky and complex is well deserved. It’s especially true for complex data centers that require lengthy planning and always pose a risk.

Data Loss

The potential loss of data is the most serious issue that can occur during the migration process. The software solutions presented here eliminate most of the risk, and each has its approach to data mapping and migration while including other features.

Poor Execution

Failure to prepare properly and use the appropriate software can cost your company both time and money.

Therefore, when you upgrade your servers or personal hardware, implementing the appropriate data migration tool and professional help can save you more than a few valuable hours.

Hardware Manufacturer Specific Tools

Hardware manufacturers like Samsung, Intel, and Western Digital have their own migration solutions. However, these programs are helpful if both drives are from the same manufacturer. Samsung’s software, for example, isn’t compatible with Western Digital. Therefore, we’ve reviewed universal solutions that aren’t limited to particular hardware. 

1. Acronis True Image

" Best Overall "

  • Backup:
    Cloud, network drive, external drive, NAS
  • Additional Features:
    Anti-ransomware, anti-malware, recovery
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows, Windows File Systems, macOS, macOS File Systems, iOS, Android

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Cloud backup
  • Ransomware and antimalware protection
  • File sync
  • Cloud storage unavailable with Essential plan

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Cloud backup
  • Ransomware and antimalware protection
  • File sync
  • Cloud storage unavailable with Essential plan
  • Backup:
    Cloud, network drive, external drive, NAS
  • Additional Features:
    Anti-ransomware, anti-malware, recovery
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows, Windows File Systems, macOS, macOS File Systems, iOS, Android

Acronis True Image is the go-to backup and PC migration software for users who need malware protection alongside powerful migration and backup features. 

It’s easy to see why Acronis has the most comprehensive offer on the market. The product combines both a personal backup and antimalware solution. If you’ve ever had issues with ransomware, you’ll appreciate the significance of this feature. With both cloud and external drive backup, any files that were encrypted as a result of a malicious attack can be restored with just a few clicks. 

Acronis True Image allows users to back up their information on the cloud, external drives, network drives, and NAS devices. However, cloud storage requires an Advanced or Premium subscription. Don’t worry. This data migration software’s free trial comes with all the features available with the Essential version. This includes full image backup, file-level active drive cloning, recovery options, and antimalware protection for the drive you’re using. 

The Advanced subscription includes 500 GB of cloud storage, while the Premium starts with 1 TB for free with the option to upgrade to 5 TB. Furthermore, those plans include Microsoft 365 backups, while the Premium version has blockchain certification of files and electronic signatures for further protection and privacy. Having the option to protect both Android and iOS devices is another feature that most users will find handy. 

This disk migration software has a simple and effective interface. You can select particular files and folders or the entire drive (the default choice by the software) and the backup destination. It’s up to the user to choose a backup schedule. The program includes the “nonstop” option that actively backs up new and updated files.  

Even though our team recommends using dedicated antivirus software, Acronis’ AI-enhanced behavior analysis handles malicious files superbly. Keep in mind that the Advanced and Premium subscription plans include complete malware protection, while the Essential only deals with ransomware. AV-TEST, an independent IT security institute, analyzed the antivirus features, and Acronis passed with flying colors. 

As a backup, antimalware, and migration tool, Acronis True Image provides an all-in-one package that eliminates the need for you to pay for an antivirus. However, if you’re in the market for just a migration tool or backup software, you should consider less costly options. The program also lacks any partition management features that some data migration solutions have.

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2. Paragon Hard Disk Manager

" Best for hard drive health "

  • Backup:
    Drive, virtual hard drives
  • Additional Features:
    Disk partition management, recovery, disk wipe
  • Free Trial:
    No
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7 SP1)

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Bootable recovery
  • Advanced partitioning features
  • OS only or complete migrations
  • No free cloud storage

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Bootable recovery
  • Advanced partitioning features
  • OS only or complete migrations
  • No free cloud storage
  • Backup:
    Drive, virtual hard drives
  • Additional Features:
    Disk partition management, recovery, disk wipe
  • Free Trial:
    No
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7 SP1)

If you’re looking for the best PC transfer software, you can’t go wrong with Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager Advanced. The program has excellent features, including data migration options that are worth looking into.

Whether it’s backing up your system, migrating your drive, or completely wiping your data, Hard Disk Manager Advanced can help you stay organized. If you want to upgrade your PC with a new SSD, the software is perfectly capable of supporting an HDD to SSD migration. Furthermore, you get to decide whether you want an OS migration or the complete drive. The program even includes a File Transfer Wizard that enables it to copy files between storages formatted to other operating systems like macOS or Linux. This comes as no surprise since Paragon developed dedicated software for macOS and Linux as well.

Like Acronis True Image, Paragon has recovery tools in the form of its Recovery Media Builder. Users can choose to restore data from virtual backup containers like pVHD, VHD, VHDX, VMDK, and PBF images while having the option to encrypt their backup and compress it.

Most users will appreciate the software’s ability to change partition sizes, delete, split, merge, format, and even reformat them to different drive formats like FAT32, NTFS, and HSF.

Windows migration software from Paragon also includes comprehensive data deletion tools with multiple algorithms to remove your data thoroughly.

Furthermore, the Recovery Media Builder add-on allows for restoring your computer in the WinPE (Windows Preinstallation Environment). It provides an excellent solution for emergencies when you can’t boot up your drive. And if that’s not enough, Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced even includes email notifications to let you know if the migration or other processes were successful.

The cost is another strong suit. Most software migration programs we reviewed include a subscription-based payment plan, whereas with Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced, home users usually pay a flat fee. With business versions, there are subscription and perpetual licensing models on offer and a 30-day free trial to see if the program is right for you. 

3. AOMEI Backupper

" Best for businesses "

  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD, NAS, cloud drives
  • Additional Features:
    Bootable rescue media, email notifications, compression, encryption
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP), Windows Server

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Simple UI
  • Fast backup and restore speeds
  • File syncing
  • Dedicated cloud backup unavailable

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Simple UI
  • Fast backup and restore speeds
  • File syncing
  • Dedicated cloud backup unavailable
  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD, NAS, cloud drives
  • Additional Features:
    Bootable rescue media, email notifications, compression, encryption
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP), Windows Server

Migration and backup software often go hand in hand. Migrating data to a backup essentially serves the same purpose as preserving the data. Another paid and free OS migration software solution is AOMEI Backupper. The program is available for both home and business use, and depending on the subscription, you may even have more tools available. 

The Server and Technician Plus plans support Windows Server from 2003 to 2019 (including R2), while all other plans support Windows XP and newer. Home users will rarely need to use AOMEI Backupper for server-based operating systems and will do much better with the Standard freeware version, Professional, or Workstation. At the same time, it’s useful to have the option of free data migration software and the ability to try it out before you upgrade. 

As the name suggests, AOMEI Backupper can create backups of your system and data drives, then clone them, effectively migrating your information to a new drive. The software has no issues migrating data from an HDD to SSD and even backing it up on local, external, USB flash, and cloud drives. It also supports NAS devices. Paid plans include backup encryption for an extra layer of security and a compression algorithm for backed-up images. 

AOMEI Backupper interface is easy to navigate and intuitive to use. Even users who don’t have a great deal of experience will find it simple to set data migration software for SSD cloning while taking advantage of the SSD Alignment feature. You can determine the backup schedule and even sync files between folders or devices. Our DataProt team also liked seeing the option to create Windows PE bootable rescue media on a USB drive, DVD, or CD. 

AOMEI Pricing for personal and businesses isn’t based on a subscription model, rather perpetual licensing with the option to upgrade to a higher plan. For a home user, it has the best balance of extensive backup features and price. However, you might want to check out Acronis True Image or MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro if you’re looking for additional features.

4. MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro

" Best partition management and backup "

  • Backup:
    SSD, HDD
  • Additional Features:
    Disk partition management, recovery, bootable media builder
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7)

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Top-notch partition management
  • User-friendly
  • Free version
  • Windows only

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Top-notch partition management
  • User-friendly
  • Free version
  • Windows only
  • Backup:
    SSD, HDD
  • Additional Features:
    Disk partition management, recovery, bootable media builder
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7)

MiniTool Partition Wizard comes with both free and paid versions. To use it as an HDD or SSD migration software, you’ll need the paid Pro option. 

Primarily MiniTool Partition Wizard is a disk management tool. However, the program does include an impressive amount of features that most demanding users will find helpful. The software has tools to migrate OS to an SSD or HDD, create bootable media, data, and partition recovery tools. Furthermore, users can run diagnostics on their disk drives, analyze read and write speed, find bad sectors,  and fix file system errors.

Unfortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard is a Windows-only software. Thankfully, it still supports older versions of Windows, which even Microsoft doesn’t support anymore. Therefore, this hard drive migration software will help you move essential data from older OS versions like Windows XP, Windows 7, and above. 

MiniTool Partition Wizard has a nicely designed and user-friendly interface. Main program functions are sorted in the top tabs, with each subsection having multiple options and tools. You can queue up different operations and make changes or prioritize other tasks. If you’re not experienced with disk management features, each task launches a wizard that will guide you through the process. 

MiniTool Partition Wizard has free, Pro, Pro Platinum, and Pro Ultimate versions. There is a considerable annual subscription cost but with licenses for fewer PCs than with Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced or Acronis True Image. The best offer for this HDD and SSD data migration software is the Pro Ultimate version with the perpetual license for up to five PCs and a somewhat reasonable price tag. Having a partition management tool is convenient, and MiniTool Partition Wizard offers users even more.

5. EaseUS Todo PCTrans Pro

" Best for beginners "

  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD, drive image
  • Additional Features:
    Account transfer, program key export, data recovery
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP), Windows Server

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Migrates user accounts and settings
  • Data recovery
  • Straightforward wizard interface
  • High starting price

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Migrates user accounts and settings
  • Data recovery
  • Straightforward wizard interface
  • High starting price
  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD, drive image
  • Additional Features:
    Account transfer, program key export, data recovery
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP), Windows Server

Another data and OS migration software solution comes from EaseUS. The Todo PCTrans application provides users with an easy way to transfer data between Windows-based platforms.

EaseUS Todo PCTrans offers a free version. However, most users will use it to test out the program with a small file transfer since it’s limited to two programs and up to 500 MB of data in total between two PCs or local drives. Home and Business users are not limited on the amount of data or programs they can migrate. In addition to software migrate features, the EaseUS Todo PCTrans subscription includes data rescue and recovery options, scan and transfer program keys, and migrate user accounts. The business plan is suitable for a workload on multiple PCs.

EaseUS Todo PCTrans does direct PC to PC transfers, app migrations, and image transfers. You can also back up your PC on an external drive by creating an image file. 

Furthermore, the program has a system and a large file cleanup feature. Users with clogged-up drives find these features useful, especially if you’re storing many unnecessary files. 

The main limitation of this hard drive migration software is that it’s only developed for Windows. However, it does support Windows XP and above and multiple Windows Server versions from 2003 to 2019. The list of software that EaseUS Todo PCTrans supports for the application transfer feature includes Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Lightroom. 

The main downside of EaseUS Todo PCTrans is the price tag for an individual user. A monthly subscription of $49.95 for a license that includes two computers is a bit steep. For a much lower price, Acronis True Image provides malware protection and cloud storage. 

Our examination of Todo PCTrans found this data migration software for Windows 10 and below to be perfectly adequate. For businesses, this software saves plenty of time for IT admins.

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6. Laplink PCmover Professional

" Best for speed "

  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD
  • Additional Features:
    Multiple transfer options, 24/7 assistance
  • Free Trial:
    No
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP)

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Free transfer assistance
  • Fast data transfer
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Free trial unavailable

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Free transfer assistance
  • Fast data transfer
  • USB 3.0 support
  • Free trial unavailable
  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD
  • Additional Features:
    Multiple transfer options, 24/7 assistance
  • Free Trial:
    No
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP)

Moving data from an old PC to a new one can be a long and arduous process. Laplink enables you to transfer software to a new PC without a hitch, including all your data, profile, and settings.

PCmover Professional is a Windows-only solution that works on Windows XP up to Windows 10. The software analyzes the files, and you can choose what to migrate based on the software’s recommendations.

PCmover doesn’t recommend migrating programs that may be incompatible with the new PC. That includes system-oriented tools like firewalls, anti-spyware tools, and even Windows antivirus solutions. Furthermore, it’s advisable not to transfer software related to your old hardware.

The data transfer software could undo changes made by the migration on the new device if any issues interrupt or corrupt the process. The source system is never affected by the transfer, so you can simply start the process again.

There is no free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test things out without any real risk. To assist users and enhance the offer, Laplink’s customer support team is standing by 24/7 to assist you with the migration.

When it comes to data migration tools, PCmover doesn’t offer an impressive list of additional features. For a similar cost, you can get an Acronis True Image yearly subscription with cloud backup and antimalware. Alternatively, Paragon’s Hard Disk Manager and MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro include disk partition management, recovery, and Windows PE bootable environment.

However, PCmover Professional offers streamlined migration, which delivers the fastest transfer available for a flat fee. If your primary focus is saving time, Laplink has you covered.

7. O&O DiskImage 16.5

" Best for restoring your system "

  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD, image
  • Additional Features:
    Recovery, cloning
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8)

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Plug-and-play backup
  • Boot mediums
  • One-click recovery
  • Lacks features

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Plug-and-play backup
  • Boot mediums
  • One-click recovery
  • Lacks features
  • Backup:
    HDD, SSD, image
  • Additional Features:
    Recovery, cloning
  • Free Trial:
    Yes
  • Platform:
    Windows (10, 8.1, 8)

O&O DiskImage is widely regarded as one of the top data migration tools on the market. O&O Software is a German company with more than 20 years of experience. This military-grade system is an official Microsoft Partner and a NATO supplier. 

O&O DiskImage is a valuable tool for Windows users that enables you to backup complete computer drives or create more selective backups. Since we live in an era where digital assets are as important as physical ones, having an option to restore your personal computer with one click is important. O&O DiskImage is among the best PC migration software solutions. By creating a disk image, you can quickly migrate your data to a new drive, and DiskaImage works smoothly with HDDs and SSDs. 

O&O DiskImage has an option to create a bootable USB or a CD/DVD to restore your Windows system. Furthermore, you can establish an O&O DiskImage RecoveryPartition, which will restore the last system image directly from it. This recovery partition provides an additional layer of security in case you misplace the external recovery medium. 

Users can set up an external recovery drive, allowing for plug-and-play backups. The O&O DiskImage To Go function serves as data migration software by creating a boot medium from any external drives you choose as a backup. Each time you plug in the selected drive, the software will automatically back up your system, and if required, restore it back with just one click. 

Unlike the other software solutions we tested, O&O DiskImage doesn’t support earlier versions of Windows, focusing more on Windows 10, 8.1, and 8. However, Windows 7 backups created with DiskImage can still be restored. If you prefer to give free data migration software for Windows 10 a try, AOMEI Backupper is a better option. 

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Methodology for Reviewing Data Migration Tools

Software Differences

Most software solutions that promise successful migration of data have different approaches. Some programs are entirely focused on migration, while others have additional functions, like backup, disk cloning, partition management, data erasure, and even anti-ransomware and anti-malware features.

Most programs differ in the way they approach migration. Some software solutions can support migration to different kinds of medium, while most can support HDD to SSD migration which most users looking to upgrade their PCs will appreciate.

Of course, some software options stand out thanks to their comprehensive offer. The best migration software might fit one user while not covering the needs of a business with an IT department regularly maintaining and servicing the computer infrastructure.

Therefore, our team explored the tools developed by different manufacturers and found offers that cover the needs of everyday users while providing a bit extra.

What to Expect from Backup Functionality?

Most software we reviewed either have automated backup and file syncing or require users to maintain and update image backup of their system. Software options that provide a way for creating cloud backup options have the most significant advantage. Also, a comprehensive offer that includes file syncing with external drives, and network-attached storage or NAS, is an excellent asset.

While free data migration software for SSD is a good starting point, we recommend you explore additional ways to preserve your digital assets. Most migration-oriented programs can assist you with creating safe backups for a flat fee, which can be priceless, knowing that you’re preserving precious memories or important work-related projects.

Partition Management

Most tools capable of creating clones of your drives or making an exact match of your system come with powerful built-in partition management features. While this isn’t a must-have, more often than not, it’s useful, especially if you need to restructure your drive before cloning or migrating it.

Bootable Recovery

Bootable recovery is an excellent option for a file migration tool to have. Within the Windows PE environment, you can initiate the recovery of your system, saving you plenty of time that would go towards a complete Windows reinstallation process.

Price

Price is always the decisive factor, and in a best-case scenario, it should be proportional to the features the software has. Some solutions we reviewed provide a better balance between the cost and features than others.

FAQ

What is the best data migration software?

The best software for your data or system migration depends on your needs. If you’re looking to move just your OS to a brand new SSD, AOMI Backupper, EaseUS Todo PCTrans, Paragon Hard Disk Manager Advanced, and MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro are the best solutions. 

However, almost all programs we reviewed can help you back up and migrate the necessary data to a new PC.

How do I migrate to SSD for free?

Most software solutions that we reviewed have a free trial that you can use to try out the migration features. All programs can help you move your system to an SSD from an HDD. 

What is data migration software?

It’s software capable of moving applications, data, and even operating systems from one environment to another. The process creates an exact copy and prevents data loss, and it’s often necessary because of hardware maintenance, upgrades, or data recovery. Some tools are even capable of transferring accounts, settings, and other user data between different environments.