One of the new features available in Rufus 2.0 and above versions is the ability to create Windows To Go drives in a few mouse clicks.
As all Windows 10 users likely know, the Windows To Go feature was first introduced with Windows 8, although there were third-party solutions to install Windows to USB drive even before the release of Windows 8. For those who haven’t heard about Windows To Go before this, the feature allows you to install and run Windows 10 from a USB drive.
Although the official Windows To Go creator present only in the Enterprise and Education editions, there are third-party tools out there to install any edition of Windows 10 to a USB drive.
NOTE: With Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004), Microsoft has removed Windows To Go feature from Windows 10. This means that none of the editions of Windows 10 now offer a built-in tool to create Windows To Go drive. From here on, you will have to use tools like Rufus to prepare Windows To Go even if you are running Enterprise edition.
Now that the popular Rufus tool supports creating Windows To Go drive, in this guide, we will show how you can use the Rufus to create Windows To Go drive with just a few mouse clicks.
Things to remember while preparing Windows To Go drive
# The Windows To Go feature of Rufus is available only when you are running the software on Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 versions. This means that you need a PC running Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10 in order to prepare Windows To Go drive using Rufus.
# The size of the USB drive that you want to use as Windows To Go drive must be at least 16 GB. We recommend you use a USB drive with a capacity of 32GB, though.
# We recommend you use a Windows To Go certified USB drive for optimal performance. Standard USB flash drives are not ideal for installing Windows, meaning that the Windows OS installed on your standard USB flash drive will be very slow compared to the one installed on certified drives.
# Rufus supports all editions of Windows 10 and Windows 8/8.1.
Windows To Go option missing in Rufus?
It seems that Rufus 2.3 and later versions do not offer the ability to create Windows To Go drive when using Windows 10 ISO downloaded using the Media Creation Tool.
So, if you want to create Windows To Go with Rufus, please directly download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft within in your web browser without using the Media Creation Tool or download via MSDN or TechNet (subscription is required).
And if you have already downloaded Windows 10 ISO using the Media Creation Tool, try using the other free tools in the market. Refer to our five free tools to create Windows 10 To Go USB drive to know all tools.
Preparing Windows 1o To Go with Rufus
Follow the given below instructions to create your Windows To Go drive using Rufus software.
Step 1: The first step is to visit this page of Rufus and download the latest available version of the software. When you are on the download page, please click on the normal Rufus instead of the portable version.
Step 2: Connect your USB flash drive that you want to use as Windows To Go drive and backup all data from the drive to any other location as the drive needs to be erased completely, and all data will be deleted while doing so.
Step 3: Launch Rufus software on a PC running Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 10.
Step 4: Select your USB drive from the Device drop-down menu.
Step 5: Next, select the partition scheme from the available three options. If you’re going to use the Windows To Go drive with the MBR partition scheme, select the “MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computer.”
Select the GPT partition scheme for UEFI only if you’re sure about it.
Step 6: Select the File system as NTFS as FAT32 can’t be used to create Windows To Go. You can safely skip the Cluster size section.
Step 7: Click the browse icon next to Create a bootable disk using the option to browse to your Windows ISO file and then select the same.
Step 8: Select the Windows To Go option before clicking the Start button. You’ll see the following dialog if your USB drive has Removable attribute.
You can skip the warning and click the Yes button, but the performance of your Windows To Go USB drive might not be as good as Windows To Go certified drives.
Next, you’ll see “Your USB drive will be erased” warning. Click the OK button to begin installing Windows.
The software might take up to a couple of hours to prepare the Windows to Go drive. On our test PC running Windows 10, Rufus took over 90 minutes to make Windows To Go drive of Windows 10.
Once the job is done, you’ll see the “Ready” message. You can now restart your computer to test your newly prepared Windows To Go drive. Good luck!
Do let us know if you have any difficulties in following the guide or experiencing any issues by leaving comments.
Our how-to use Rufus to download Windows 10 ISO guide might also interest you.