Preparing a bootable USB of Windows 10 is as simple as making a bootable USB of Windows 8 or Windows 7. In fact, all the methods and tools out there to create Windows 7 bootable USB work great with Windows 10 as well.
To prepare the bootable UEFI USB drive of Windows 10, we recommend using a free tool called Rufus over the Microsoft USB/DVD Download Tool as Rufus is more reliable and offers more features when compared to other tools in the market.
But since there are many users who might want to use the official Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, we will be using the tool to prepare the bootable USB of Windows 10. And we will use the free Rufus tool to prepare bootable UEFI Windows 10 USB drive (method 1).
Method 1 of 2
Bootable UEFI USB of Windows 10 using Rufus
UPDATE on April 2nd, 2019: Rufus now supports downloading Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft. Refer to our how to download Windows 10 ISO using Rufus guide for directions.
Step 1: Visit this page and download the latest version of Rufus. Rufus is a portable utility and hence doesn’t require an installation.
Step 2: Connect your 8GB+ USB drive to your PC. Be sure to backup all data from your USB drive.
Step 3: Run the Rufus utility. Click the Yes button when you see the UAC prompt to launch the tool.
Step 4: Under the Device section, select the USB drive that you want to make bootable, select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers, or GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer depending the type of partition type on your PC.
Step 5: Next, select the File system as FAT32 (default) as it supports both BIOS and UEFI. But if you’re sure that your PC doesn’t support UEFI, you can choose NTFS for a faster installation.
Step 6: Enter a volume label, click on the CD/DVD drive icon to browse to the Windows 10 ISO image file. Select the file. To download the latest ISO, please go through download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft guide.
Step 7: Finally, click the Start button, click the OK button when you see the warning dialog to continue its job.
Once Rufus completes its job, you’ll see the “Done” message. That’s it!
You can now open UEFI settings and make necessary changes to boot from USB drive.
Method 2 of 2
Windows 10 bootable USB using USB/DVD Download Tool
IMP: If you get “The selected file is not a valid ISO file” error, please follow the instructions mentioned in our how to fix the selected file is not a valid ISO file error guide.
WARNING: Before using this tool, please make sure that your PC doesn’t support UEFI as Windows USB/DVD Download Tool doesn’t help you prepare the bootable USB for UEFI PCs. To create a bootable USB of Windows 10 for UEFI supported PCs, please follow the instructions in Method 1.
Step 1: Click on this official link to download Windows USB/DVD Download Tool directly from Microsoft servers.
Step 2: Connect a USB flash or hard drive with 4GB+ capacity and backup data before continuing further. Please be sure to back up all data from your USB drive as the drive will be formatted in the coming steps.
Step 3: Run the downloaded USB/DVD Download Tool setup file and then follow the easy on-screen instructions to get it installed on your PC running Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
Step 4: Launch Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, click the Browse button to browse to the folder where Windows 10 ISO image file is located. After selecting the ISO image, click the Next button.
Step 5: In the following screen, you need to select the USB device as your media type. To do so, click on the USB device button. And if you want to prepare the bootable DVD, please click DVD instead.
Step 6: Next, you’ll be asked to select your USB drive. Please carefully select your USB drive from the drop-down list before clicking the Begin Copying button. Again, it’s important to note that a wrong selection of drive will cause data loss.
The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool starts copying all the contents of the ISO image to the USB drive and will make it bootable in a couple of minutes.
Once done, you can connect bootable USB to the PC on which you want to install Windows 10, change BIOS settings to boot from USB, and start installing Windows 10.
Hope this helps!
I really prefer Rufus, because of its faster copying speed, compared to Media Creation Tool.
This is stupid ! All of you tuts just the same within just the same failure over and over again ! Windows 10 USB setup boot loop ! It’s theMicrosoft that is crap and it’s tools for creating this crapp ! Everything wrong with it ! I have newer had such issues with Windows XP and Server Edition ! One thing is for sure, these typ of expired OS-ses boot every god damn time and install also without any glitches ! But new type of OS like Win 10 just got like Linux ! Bott problems, boot loader problems, loop problems etc .. not to mention driver support and so on ! Bringing Linux type of problems to Windows environment ! We need only one boot type that is working and not various types taht fails all the time !
Look arround, internet is full of complaints and posted problems with MS “we will fix it later crapp” that newer get fixed properly ! This number should be magnified at least by 2x due not all user post crappy problems with MS !
I got the boot USB to work up into its as where do you want to install windows and it gives me a list of 6 different partitions and then says windows can’t be installed on these petitions I tried to click on a new petition in a doesn’t give me that option where do I go next
Rufus 2.18, last version to support Windows XP.
I like Rufus, because faster copying speed, compared to Media Creation Tool.
Laxmikant S Bhumkar says
Thanks for sharing step by step guide on making Windows bootable disk.
What happens to my existing data on the USB drive. Now after installing windows I only see a small partition on my USB for 32GB. My actual USB is 1TB and had a lot of data that I don’t see anymore.
Than Thoai, yes, you can. Refer to our this guide: intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-7-and-windows-88-1-from-same-usb/
than thoai says
Can i create one usb with multi system. Ex: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.
It was a complete and helpful guide. I hope you guys go ahead and have fun with blogging.
Good luck and Keep it up! :)
my ecs h61h2-a v(1.0) cannot detect uefi boot device in bios
i can see my usb in bios but in end of line bios meno boot uefi cannot detect usb drive
You may wish to update this guide since it refers to a very old version of Rufus and doesn’t explain all the options correctly if you are using a very large flash drive (mine was 128Gb) that cannot be formatted with plain old FAT32. In Rufus v2.9, please note that you will want to select the ISO file first, as doing that resets all earlier choices. Danged if that didn’t catch me twice.
If win 8.1 are being troubled by the uefi partition. Create your bookable usb using rufus. You will need a win10 iso and set rufus to partition to gpt for uefi computers. Only thing that worked on a series 5 samsung that I was ready to give up on.
Good guide and thank you. Only thing I did different was used rufus.
MIKE O'REILLY says
LISTEN GUYS HAD LOTS OF TROUBLE WITH THIS SO HERE IS THE SIMPLE ANSWER GO TO MS DOWNLOAD PAGE FOR W10 ISO FILE AND DOWNLD THE MEDIA CREATION TOOL HERES THE THING WHEN YOU ACCEPT THE DOWN LOAD YOUMUST SAVE IT TO THE USB DRIVE NEXT CLOSE ALL YOUR WINDOWS AND OPEN THE DRIVE TO ENSURE IT IS IN THERE IF SO CLICK ON IT AND THIS WILL TAKE YOU BACK TO THE PAGE WHERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE ISO FILE WHICH WILL THEN LOAD STRAIGHT INTO USB THE ISO AND MED CREATE FILES MUST BE TOGETHER IN USB DEVICE TO MAKE THE FILE BOOTABLE YOU CAN DO THIS AS OFTEN AS YOU LIKE FOR YOUR FRIENDS TO KEEP
I followed the instructions EXACTLY and my laptop won’t recognize the USB as a boot device? However, my old Windows 8.1 UEFI USB is recognized and boots just fine?
I’ve done this over 3 times already and same failed result?
I got my ISO from Microsoft.
Thank you for this tutorial! After many attempts with various methods, I was finally able to install a clean version of Windows 10! One thing to note if anyone is trying to install on a Surface Pro 3, make sure to select ‘GPT partition scheme for UEFI’ for step 4 in Method 1.
Thomas McGranahan says
Having a good USB is great and relatively easy, BUT how do you get WIN 10 to recognize the USB port as bootable. I have tried everything and can get neither the DVD or USB moved up to first choice on booting. I can’t tolerate a computer that I cannot upgrade or fix.
Thanks for letting me know about the update. Will update the guide soon.
This tutorial should be updated to reflect Rufus v2.2.668 (May 2015) as most people would be using it since it’s the latest stable version you get from the Rufus page (https://rufus.akeo.ie). The options too choose and screen shots are different with v2.2 and may confuse some people on what to choose.
Harald Scheve says
Thanks for the help, but what I need to know is: How to get into BIOS setting in WINDOWS 10?
It is different to WINDOWS 8.1. After upgrading from W8.1 to 10 I would like to do a clean install via USB stick.
Can you help?
Sam, go for Standard installation.
Sam Winchester says
I get the option to choose Standard Installation for the ISO, or Windows To Go.. Which one should I choose for dual-booting Windows 10 with 8.1?
If you’re machine supports, you must use FAT32.
Thomas Andersson says
Step 5 confuses me
“Step 5: Next, select the File system as FAT32 (default) as it supports both BIOS and UEFI. But if you’re sure that your PC doesn’t support UEFI, you can choose NTFS for a faster installation.”
Why can’t we use NTFS for UEFI? (I’m doing a UEFI install on a machine already running Win 8.1 in full UEFI mode).
How about a way to do it with diskpart or parted since both of the ways you’ve described are unconventional
^Dan. USB has always been universal to me, I can’t begin to fathom the problem you have.
I used YUMI from pendrivelinux to make a Win10 bootable memory stick.
Dan 911 says
MicroSD interfaces are more reliable. With USB I only once got a boot thumb drive to work, and for Windows XP. All tools I tried on three PCs and four different brands simply busted my sticks or messed their partitions useless, all the way to Win 8.1. I understand the way USB leaves to the manufacturer to implement a firmware solution for device access makes it impossible to have a “universal bus”.