make win10 bootable usb

How to make Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive

Microsoft Windows 10 is now available as a free upgrade to all eligible Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. You can even download Windows 10 ISO file directly from Microsoft. In this step by step tutorial, we are going to show you how to make Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive from its ISO image file downloaded from Microsoft.

In this guide, we are going to show the following three different ways to create Windows 10 bootable USB using three different tools:

  1. Windows USB/DVD Download Tool
  2. Rufus
  3. Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Prerequisites:

  • USB flash drive with at least 4GB capacity for 32-bit OS or 8GB storage capacity for 64-bit Windows 10 OS.
  • Internet connection to download Utility/ISO.
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How to install Windows 10 on VirtualBox

How to make Windows 10 bootable USB with Windows USB/DVD Download Tool

Windows USB/DVD Download Tool is one of Microsoft’s official bootable media creation solutions. Here’s how to make a bootable Windows 1- USB using this tool:

  1. You need to download Windows 10 iso image file if you do not have it already.
  2. Download Windows USB/DVD Download tool and install it.
  3. Plug your USB drive to your computer.
  4. Launch Windows USB/DVD Download tool and click “Browse” button.
    windows 10 bootable usb tool  1
  5. Browse and select the downloaded Windows 10 ISO file click “Open”, and then click “Next”.
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  6. Click on “USB device” button.
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  7. Make sure you targeted USB drive is select in the dropdown and click “Begin Copying” button.
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  8. You’ll be prompted that your USB will be completely erased, click “Erase USB Device”  and then click Yes to confirm.
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  9. The tool will now begin creating bootable USB device, be patient and let the media creation process complete.
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  10. When the process it completed, you’ll have a Windows 10 bootable USB in your hand.
    win10-bootable-usb-tool-8

If this tool somehow failed to create bootable Windows 10 USB for you, you should try Rufus guide below.

How to create Windows 10 bootable USB with Rufus

Rufus is a free utility that is capable of creating Windows 10 bootable USB. I personally have found Rufus faster than the Windows USB/DVD tool. Here is how to create bootable Windows 10 USB using Rufus:

  1. If you have not already, download iso file of Windows 10.
  2. Download Rufus and install it.
  3. Connect your USB flash drive to your computer.
  4. Launch Rufus and set it up:
    • Device: select your connected USB flash drive.
    • Partition scheme: (it’s worth noting that Rufus also supports bootable UEFI drive.)
    • File System: NTFS.
    • New Volume label: any name for your USB drive.
  5. Click the on the disc icon next to ISO image dropdown.
    bootable windows 10 rufus 1
  6. Browse and select the downloaded Windows 10 ISO image file.
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  7. Now click the “Start” button to begin the bootable USB creation process.
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  8. Rufus will prompt you that all your data on your USB device will be erased, click OK to continue the process.
    bootable windows 10 rufus 4
  9. Rufus will now begin writing data from ISO file to your USB and will make it bootable, which may take several minutes depending on your USB’s write speed.
    bootable windows 10 rufus 5

Once the process is completed, you can now use your USB to clean install Windows 10 on your computer.

How to make Windows 10 bootable USB with Media Creation Tool

If you do not have Windows 10 ISO file, or don’t want to download it, Microsoft allows you to directly download and create Windows 10 bootable USB suing its Media Creation Tool. Here is how to:

  1. Download Microsoft Windows Media Creation tool for either 32-bit machines or 64-bit machines.
  2. Connect your USB drive to your computer. Make sure it is properly formatted and has at least 4GB of usable space (8GB recommended for Windows 10 64bit.)
  3. Launch the tool, and on the “What do you want to do?” screen, select “Create installation media for another PC” and click “Next”.
    Win10 bootable 1
  4. On the next screen Choose your language, your desired Edition of Windows 10, and its Architecture (64bit, 32bit, or both) and click “Next”.
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  5. Select “USB flash drive” and click “Next”.
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  6. Select the USB flash drive that you want to make bootable and click “Next”.
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  7. The tool will now download the relevant Windows 10 files directly from Microsoft’s servers and make your USB drive a bootable Windows 10 media. Once the process is completed, click Finish. That’s it!
    Win10 bootable 5

Now you have an extremely USB drive that come in handy to install Windows 10 on any of your computers without any need of downloading the complete OS all of them.

Now that you’ve Windows 10 bootable USB in your hands, you can now Upgrade to Windows 10, or clean install Windows 10, and then you can easily find Windows 10 key and last but not the least, make sure to delete Windows.old folder from your C:\ drive.

If you see any discrepancy in this guide or want to add something, let us know in the comments section below.

5 thoughts on “How to make Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive”

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