How to Make a Bootable USB Flash Drive with Windows 10 Pro
To create installation media, go to the software download website, where you'll find step-by-step instructions. On that website, you can select a version of Windows and create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD. To go directly to one of the versions, select one of these links:
windows 10 pro usb flash drive download
A USB flash drive, external hard drive, or DVD. A blank USB flash drive or external hard drive with at least 8 GB of space, or a blank DVD (and DVD burner). We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD because any content on it will be deleted. When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you're told the disc image file is too large, you'll need to use dual layer (DL) DVD media.
This topic covers how to manually create a Windows installation flash drive from Windows installation ISO disc image file or DVD, and is intended for manufacturers looking into creating media that they can use to manufacture Windows devices.
The steps described on this page assume you have Windows installation media and access to a Windows technician PC. If you're looking for an easy, automated way to create a bootable Windows installation flash drive, see:
If you are installing Windows 10 on a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista, or if you need to create installation media to install Windows 10 on a different PC, see Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC section below.
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If you want to install Windows 10 directly from the ISO file without using a DVD or flash drive, you can do so by mounting the ISO file. This will perform an upgrade of your current operating system to Windows 10.
Step 5: Choose USB flash drive option and click Next. If you want to create an ISO file and then burn it to USB later, you can choose the ISO file option.
Step 6: Select the USB flash drive connected to your PC and click Next. Then, wait until the Windows 10 is downloaded to the USB. After that, you can use the USB to install Windows 10 on another PC.
Update: To get the ISO for the official release of Windows 10, head to this Microsoft page and download the 64 or 32-bit version of the media creation tool. It will allow you to upgrade your Windows 7 SP 1 or Windows 8.1 PC or download the ISO to use later for a clean install. Also, make sure to check out our piece on creating a Windows 11 bootable flash drive.
Rufus works great for folks that use VMware ESXi as well, where the bootable USB media becomes your install target too: -takes-2-minutes-to-create-a-bootable-usb-flash-drive-for-esxi-installation
3. When the program opens, accept Microsoft's terms and conditions, then select Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC, and click Next.
5. Click Next when you've adjusted the options, leave USB flash drive selected, and plug your USB drive into your computer. Select Next to continue.
If it doesn't automatically boot to the drive, you'll need to reboot your computer into its BIOS firmware -- usually done by pressing Esc, F2, or a similar key while the computer is starting up -- and change the boot drive or "bootmenu" to your flash drive. The process for each computer (or motherboard if you're building a gaming PC) will be different. When you first turn on your computer, there'll be a small line of text telling you which button to press to enter BIOS. If you don't see it, or it goes away too fast, I suggest consulting your manual for instructions.
Before installing Windows using a USB, you need to create the installation media itself. Your computer will read this once the USB flash drive is connected, allowing it to boot from USB. Below are the steps to create this bootable USB flash drive using the Media Creation Tool issued by Microsoft.
Choose the USB flash drive option. In some cases where you want to keep the Windows 10 ISO file for manual installation to other USB flash drives using a tool like Rufus, you can choose the ISO file option instead.
The Media Creation Tool will download the Windows installation files and prepare the USB flash drive by erasing it and setting up a new partition. It will then copy all the downloaded files onto your USB drive. This will take a bit of time, so be patient.
Microsoft has a dedicated Media Creation Tool to make a bootable USB tool for Windows 10. It allows you to download Windows 10 installation onto a USB drive. However, using the Microsoft media creation tool is a hectic process as it requires you to go through multiple complex steps, including downloading an ISO image file from the internet. Apart from this, any interruption restarts the whole process, which means you may have to download Windows 10 ISO again.
Step 4. After successfully downloading the Windows 11 iso image file on the USB drive, start to install Windows 11 from the bootable USB drive on your computer by following the installation wizard step by step.
In the Media Creation Tool, I select the options I want, Create installation media for another PC, English (US), Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit, USB flash drive. On the Select a USB flash drive step, I get the message "We can't find a USB flash drive".
The Sandisk Cruzer usb drives use drivers that install through windows 7 and 8 as if they were hard drives. They are not in the removable drives section and that is why it will not allow you to select it.
Using a suggestion from MC10 in the comments, I downloaded the ISO and used Rufus to configure the USB drive as bootable. The configuration and install worked fine and there was about 700 MB free on the thumbdrive after configuring it.
I had same porblem with external hdd and also with usb drive. I tried all USB 3.0 ports and it didnt work so I tried to plug them into USB 2.0 port and it work perfectly. So you should try to plug it into USB 2.0 because windows creation tool probably have some problem with USB 3.0 ports.
When installing a fresh copy of Windows 10, you typically use a USB flash drive to launch the "Windows Setup" wizard to continue the installation process. However, on a device that has a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of the legacy Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), it is crucial to use the correct media for the firmware type to complete the installation successfully.
On Windows 10, you can use at least two tools to create a bootable USB flash drive. You can use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to download the files onto a removable drive with support for both firmware types (UEFI and legacy BIOS). Or you can use Rufus, a third-party tool that makes it easy to create a flash drive to install Windows with support for UEFI.
Once you complete the steps, the Media Creation Tool will download the files and will create a bootable USB flash drive that you can use to install Windows 10 on computers with support for UEFI and BIOS.
Installing Windows used to require putting the files on a CD or DVD. These days, installing Windows 10 is simple. All you'll need is a USB flash drive and another computer with access to the internet.
8. The installation files will be copied to your USB flash drive. This will take a while. When it's done, take the USB drive and insert it into the computer you want to install Windows onto.
The MCT will download a fresh copy of the installation files for Windows 10 to your local C: drive. This usually involves 4-5 GB of material, so it can take a while to complete. On my system, it took about 2 minutes thanks to a gigabit Ethernet connection via Spectrum. A progress indicator counts you through the download process.
On the other hand, if you want to, you can upgrade your PC to whichever version of Windows 10 is present on your USB flash drive. Simply run setup.exe from the root folder to launch the upgrade process, and the software will take it from there.
In order to pull this off, you will need a USB flash drive with at least 16GB of free space, but preferably 32GB. This process also requires a license to activate Windows 10 or Windows 11 on the drive, which means you have to either purchase one or use an existing license that is associated with your digital ID.
At the first screen, click the Access button, then select the Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC option and click Next. Confirm that the language, architecture, and edition are all correct and click Next.
Next, select the version of Windows that you wish to clone onto the USB stick. If you are using the free version of WinToUSB, your only choice will be Windows 10 Home or Windows 11 Home. You will then need to select your destination disk. Click the Select destination drive drop-down menu, then choose your flash drive.
When you want to launch Windows from your flash drive, insert it into the computer and restart the machine. During the boot process, you will need to press a certain key to reach the Boot menu. This key will differ depending on the make and model of your computer, but it should be listed on the screen as the computer starts up.
Find the option to boot the computer off your USB drive, then allow the PC to start up. The first time you run Windows off the flash drive, you will need to go through the Windows setup process. You must also activate Windows(Opens in a new window).
Luckily, Microsoft has another free tool called the USB/DVD Download Tool that will take the ISO and install it onto a USB flash drive or burn it to a DVD. Note that this tool is called Windows 7 USB/DVD tool, but it works with the Windows 10 and Windows 8 ISO image files also.
To get a Windows 10 recovery USB drive from another PC, you can ask Media Creation Tool for help. This tool is offered officially by Microsoft and it allows you to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC.