How to Create a Windows 10 Bootable USB Recovery Drive

Windows 10 bootable USB drives are extremely useful. You can use this drive to install a new version of Windows 10, run some system tools, and even repair your computer when it refuses to turn on.

There are many ways to create a bootable Windows 10 installation drive. You can use Microsoft’s own tool or use a free and open source third-party application to create your boot drive.

Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB Drive with the Media Creation Tool

If you haven’t downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file yet, use Microsoft’s media creation tool to create a Windows 10 bootable USB drive. The tool automatically downloads the ISO and helps you install it on your USB drive.

Before you start, make sure Stable internet and good download speed because you will be downloading a file several GB in size.

You will also need a USB drive with at least 8GB of storage. The procedure below will erase everything from the drive to ensure that nothing important is saved on the drive.

To begin:

  1. Open a browser on your PC and go to Download Windows 10 Location. You can also go to media creation page direct.
  1. Option Download the tool now to download the media creation tool.
  1. Launch the downloaded media creation tool.
  1. This tool displays the license terms above the fold. Option Accept to continue.
  1. Next, choose Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC right to buy. Option Next at the bottom.
  1. The tool now asks you to select the language, version, and architecture for the Windows 10 operating system you want to download. Select these options if you want or enable Use the recommended options for this PC. Option Next.
  1. Option USB flash drive above Choose the media to use to create a bootable USB drive. Option Next.
  1. Plug your USB drive into the computer.
  1. Option Refresh drive list in the media creation tool.
  1. Your USB drive appears in the list. Select the drive and then select Next.
  1. Wait for the USB drive creation tool to boot. This will take some time.
  1. When the bootable USB drive is ready, select End.

Use Rufus to Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB Drive

If you downloaded the Windows 10 ISO file, use Rufus to flash the file on your USB drive. Rufus is a free and open source application that allows users to create a bootable drive of various operating systems, including Linux and Windows.

To use Rufus:

  1. Plug your USB drive (with at least 8GB of space on it) into your computer.
  1. Go Rufus website and download Rufus to your computer.
  1. Double-click the downloaded Rufus file to launch the tool.
  1. Option Right in the User Account Control prompt.
  1. The Rufus window opens to allow you to configure your bootable drive. Steps 6 to 17 refer to the image below.
  1. Choose your USB drive from Device drop-down menu at the top.
  1. Are from Boot selection menu, select Disc or ISO image (Please select). Choose Option next to this option, navigate to where you saved the Windows 10 ISO file and select the file to add to Rufus.
  1. Guaranteed Standard Windows installation selected in Image options drop-down menu.
  1. Option GPT are from Zoning Diagram menu.
  1. Option UEFI (not CSM) are from Target system menu.
  1. inside Volume label , enter a descriptive name for your bootable drive. For example, Win10USBDrive is a pretty descriptive name.
  2. Option Advanced Format Display option.
  1. Activated Quick format right to buy.
  1. Activated Create extended label and icon files right to buy.
  1. Option Begin bottom of Rufus to start creating your bootable USB drive.
  1. Option ALRIGHT in the prompt that appears.
  1. Option Close in the secure boot prompt.

Your Windows 10 bootable USB drive is now ready.

How to boot your computer from a bootable Windows 10 USB drive

To boot your computer from the newly created bootable drive, you need to change the boot order in your PC’s BIOS settings menu. Also, you need to disable the secure boot option in the same BIOS menu.

On most computers, you can access the BIOS by pressing and holding F2 while your computer is booting. Read our guide to enter the BIOS.

  1. Plug your bootable USB drive into your PC and turn off the PC.
  1. Press and hold F2 on your keyboard.
  1. While the F2 key is held down, press Power to turn on your PC.
  1. You should now be in the BIOS. On this screen, press the right arrow key to select Start up navigation.
  1. Highlights Boot Option #1 and press enter.
  1. Select a bootable drive from the menu. Select your newly created bootable USB drive and press enter.
  1. Use right arrow key to access Guard tabs and bookmarks Safe boot options and press enter.
  1. Highlights Safe boot control and press enter.
  1. Choose Disable from the menu and press enter.
  1. Click Exit key, go to Rescued tab, select Save changes and exitand press enter.
  1. Option Right in the prompt.

Your computer will boot from the newly created Windows 10 bootable USB drive. You can now repair your computer or install a new version of Windows 10 with this drive.

Extra Tip: Create a Windows 10 Bootable USB Drive from Command Prompt

If you like the command line, there is a command to create bootable Windows 10 USB drive. This creates the same drive that the above methods do; However, the requirements remain the same.

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