How to create a bootable USB in Windows 10

Posted by Matthew on December 15, 2016

A bootable USB drive gives you a way to set up a Windows 10 backup. Most will probably never need such a backup. However, if you ever need to do a fresh Windows 10 installation you can set up a bootable USB. This is how to create a bootable USB in Windows 10.

Firstly, there are a couple of things you’ll need. The USB drive must have at least four GB of free storage and be empty. Secondly, add the Rufus software to Windows 10 from this website page. This is a third-party program you can set up a bootable USB for Windows 10 with. Click Rufus 2.10 to add the software to Windows, and then open its window as below.


Next, insert the USB stick into a USB port. Then you should see the USB drive listed on the Device drop-down menu. Below that there are few other drop-down menus you can configure the bootable USB with, but it should be ok to leave those at their default settings.

Select the Create a bootable disk using check box. Then select ISO Image from the option’s drop-down menu. An ISO is a Windows 10 Disc Image file, and you’re going to need one for the bootable USB.

You can save a Windows 10 ISO to one of your folders from this page on the Microsoft site. Select your edition of Windows 10 from the Select edition drop-down menu. Then select either 32-bit Download or 64-bit Download depending on which Windows 10 version you’ll need for the bootable USB. You can check your system type by opening the System window.


When you’ve selected either the 64 or 32-bit option, the ISO will take a few hours to download. Remember that the ISO weighs in at a hefty four GB.

Once you have downloaded the ISO, select it in Rufus by pressing the Click to select an image button beside the Create a bootable disk using drop-down menu. Press the Start button to set up the bootable USB. Note that this will erase existing data on the USB drive.

Once the bootable USB drive is set up, you can then boot up a desktop/laptop from the USB. You might need to configure the hardware to boot from a USB with the BIOS or UEFI first. Then when you boot up with the drive, enter the Windows 10 product key to initiate set up process.

So that’s how you can set up a bootable USD drive with Rufus. You can also set up a bootable USD drive with the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool or Command Prompt.

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