This article tells you how to make a USB drive that can boot Windows 11 and how to use it to install Windows 11.
Windows 11 Tool for Making Media
The Windows 11 Media Creation Tool, which you can get from Microsoft’s website, lets you make a USB drive that can start Windows 11. It’s very easy to use because it shows you how to do everything step by step.
- Visit the Download Windows 11 page on Microsoft’s website and click Download Now under Create Windows 11 Installation Media.
- Press Accept on the screen that says “Notices and Terms.”
- To agree to the default language, click Next. To change it, uncheck Use the settings that come with this PC.
- Select the USB flash drive, then press the Next button.
- Press Next after choosing the device you want to use as the Windows 11 bootable USB.
- Wait until the setup is done. You’ll see a screen that says “Downloading Windows 11,” and then one that says “Creating Windows 11 media.”
- On the last screen, where it says “Finish,” click “Finish.” Your USB drive is ready to go.
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Using Rufus to Make a USB Drive that Can Boot Windows 11
You can also download the Windows 11 ISO file and burn it to a USB drive to make a bootable Windows 11 flash drive.
There are many ways to do this, but we like to use Rufus because it can download the file for you and make the device bootable, making it easier to use than other similar tools.
- Get Rufus and run it.
- From the Device menu, choose your USB drive.
- If it isn’t already set, change the Boot selection to Disk or ISO image.
- Select the arrow next to SELECT and change it to DOWNLOAD.
- Choose DOWNLOAD, then choose Windows 11 from the pop-up menu. Press Continue to continue.
- Choose all the details for the Windows 11 ISO and press Continue after each one to move on to the next question.
- Release: Choose the most recent version available (it should be preselected). Use our List of Windows Version Numbers to find out which version is the most recent.
- Edition: Make sure Windows 11 is chosen.
- Choose the language you want to use from the menu.
- The only option for architecture is x64.
- Click on “Download.”
- Choose where you want to save the ISO file on your computer, then click Save to start downloading Windows 11.
- Wait while Rufus downloads the Windows 11 ISO image to your computer.
- Choose START.
- If you want to make any changes, choose them and then press OK.
- Read the message that says everything on this drive is about to be deleted, and if you agree, click OK.
- The ISO files will be copied to the USB drive while you wait.
This is the last thing to do. When Status says “Ready,” you can choose “Close.”
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How to Put Windows 11 on a USB Drive
Now that you have a Windows 11 USB ready to go, you need to change your computer’s boot order so that it checks the flash drive for installation instructions. All of these steps are explained in our guide on “How to Boot From a USB Device.”
Another way to use this new flash drive to install Windows 11 is through Windows (no need to change the boot order). Open setup.exe from the drive to do this.
Of course, this won’t help if your computer doesn’t work right and you’re installing the OS to fix it or if it’s a brand-new build that doesn’t already have Windows on it. But if you’re going from Windows 10 to Windows 11, you might use this method.
It’s easier to use the ISO image directly if you want to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine. You can get it by using either Microsoft’s website (step 1) or Rufus (steps 2 and 3). (step 9).
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