Upgrade the SSD in your Lenovo Legion Y740 for optimum performance

Lenovo made it relatively easy to exchange RAM and storage in the updated Legion Y700 series gaming laptops, so you can keep your device relevant in the future. The 15- and 17-inch Legion Y740 models are available with both a 2.5-inch hard drive (HDD) and an M.2 PCIe SSD (solid-state drive), giving you some options for payment and more gets flexibility for upgrades. In this manual we show you how to add or upgrade the M.2 SSD in the 15-inch Y740 and the larger 17-inch model.

Hardware and software to get the job done

How to upgrade the M.2 SSD in your Lenovo Legion Y740

Note: Before you start upgrading on a PC, it's a good idea to back up your data in the unlikely event that something should go wrong. You must also be sure that you are not working in a static electricity environment, as this can damage the PC's internal hardware. Consider investing in an anti-static wrist strap to prevent unnecessary damage.

There are quite a few Legion Y740 configurations available in both formats and you can opt for a lonely 1 TB hard drive (which can also be upgraded), a lone PCIe SSD in a few sizes or a combination of both. The included SSD is generally a fast PM981 from Samsung, but Lenovo only offers formats up to 512 GB. If you plan to use most of your games on an SSD for better performance, that space will quickly become full, especially when Windows 10 takes a bite.

If you have a Y740 with an existing M.2 PCIe SSD, we recommend cloning data to the replacement SSD using an external SSD enclosure. This ensures that you do not have to reinstall Windows 10 after the upgrade and that all your files and data are in the same place. Similarly, if you add an M.2 PCIe SSD to a Legion Y740 with an HDD only, you can clone Windows 10 and other apps to the new SSD to improve boot speeds and overall performance.

We have been successful with cloning Macrium Reflect and have even written a complete manual to help you get the job done. Samsung also makes a cloning instrument for use with its hardware. You can also perform a clean installation of Windows 10, but know that you are essentially starting all over again.

After you have backed up your data and completed all the necessary clones, you can proceed with the SSD upgrade process. Both the 15- and 17-inch versions of the Y740 have the M.2 SSD slot in the same general area. We use the 15-inch Y740 as a guide, so if you have the 17-inch version, don't worry if everything in the laptop is not quite the same as in our photos. Clean up a well-lit workspace and make sure you switch off the laptop before removing the back panel.

  1. Screw the 11 fasteners on the back plate of the Legion Y740 using a Philips screwdriver. The aluminum panel and the plastic vent come out as one piece.

    Unscrew the fasteners

  2. Pry it up bottom panel using a crowbar tool or your thumb. Start with the front corners and work slowly along the entire panel to prevent damage.

    Pry up the bottom panel

    Pry up the bottom panel

  3. Screw the single silver clasp hold the M.2 SSD in place using a Philips screwdriver. Once released, the SSD should appear and remain tilted.

    Loosen the fastener

    Loosen the fastener

  4. Slide the M.2 SSD out of the slot. Be careful not to pull it up too far, otherwise you will damage the M.2 slot.

    Slide the SSD out of the slot

    Slide the SSD out of the slot

  5. Place the new one M.2 SSD in the lock. Note that it is coded and only fits one way.

    Insert the M.2 SSD

    Insert the M.2 SSD

  6. Screw the single silver clasp at the end of the M.2 SSD. Do not over tighten.

    Screw in the single fastener

    Screw in the single fastener

  7. Replace the silicone pad on top of the SSD. This helps dissipate heat.

    Replace the silicone pad

    Replace the silicone pad

  8. Replace the bottom panel of the laptop, applying pressure to the edges and in the middle. You will hear the panel click into place when it is seated correctly.

    Replace the bottom panel

    Replace the bottom panel

  9. Screw the 11 fasteners on the rear panel.

    Screw in the 11 fasteners

    Screw in the 11 fasteners

You are now free to start up your Legion Y740 and check whether the storage upgrade went according to plan. If Windows 10 does not automatically recognize your new drive, refer to our manual for formatting a new drive so that it works correctly.

Our top hardware and software picks

Our choice for an upgrade M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD is the 970 EVO Plus from Samsung. It is incredibly fast, it lasts a long time and it is relatively cheap for the performance you get.

Flashing SSD speeds

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Unreal performance up to 1 TB

The 970 EVO Plus from Samsung offers great reading and writing speeds, a competitive price and a five-year warranty, which together is an impressive package. Sizes start at 250 GB and go up to 1 TB.

The smaller 15-inch Legion Y740 is an excellent gaming laptop that stays cool but offers impressive performance. Get access to an RTX 2070 GPU and take advantage of storage and RAM upgrades to keep it relevant in the future.

15-inch gaming laptop

Legion Y740 15

Calm, cool and powerful

An RTX 2070 GPU and hexa-core Intel Core i7-8750H CPU ensures that this gaming laptop does not cool down. It is all packed in an aluminum chassis that is competitively priced.

If 15 inch is just not enough screen space for your gaming needs, the 17-inch Legion Y740 must fit the bill. It is also available with the more powerful NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU and also offers simple upgrades for storage and RAM.

Extra equipment

To make the upgrade process easier and less risky, consider investing in some of these affordable PC tools, and don't forget Macrium Reflect and an external enclosure for those who want to clone drives.

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