Newer versions of Windows include an option to reset the Windows. So, you may not need a bootable Windows USB drive that often. But if you want to wipe everything and do a complete reinstall, the bootable Windows flash drive comes in very handy. Today, there are multiple tools available to create a Windows bootable drive, including one from Microsoft. In this post, we will cover all the possible tools and methods to create a bootable USB drive for Windows 11 with ease. Let’s begin.
Table of Contents
1. Create Bootable Windows 11 USB Using Media Creation Tool
Microsoft offers a custom solution to download the official Windows 11 ISO file and then create a bootable USB drive. It is perfectly safe because Microsoft vouches for it and contains no adware at all. Make sure to use a USB drive with 8 GB or more capacity. Follow the below-mentioned steps to create a bootable USB drive using the Media Creation tool:
1. Visit the official download page of the Windows Media Creation tool and download it on your system.
2. Navigate to the Downloads folder and double-click on the download file to run it. User Account Control will launch. Click on the Yes button to continue.
3. Click on the Accept button to accept the EULA. Then, select the Language and edition of Windows 11.
4. On the Choose which media to Use page, select the USB flash drive option and click on Next. You will see the connected USB drive in the list of available devices. Click on Next.
5. The tool will now download the latest ISO file and create a bootable USB drive using it. This will take a while to complete. Once it does, click on the Finish button to close the tool.
2. Create Bootable Windows 11 USB Using Rufus
Rufus is an excellent tool to create a bootable Windows USB drive effortlessly. It is an open-source tool that is constantly updated and now includes an option to bypass TPM and Secure boot requirements in Windows 11. But before doing that, download the latest Windows 11 ISO file from the official website. Then, retrace the following steps:
1. Download Rufus from the official website or Microsoft Store and install it.
2. Launch Rufus on your system. Click on the Yes button when User Account Control pops up.
3. Rufus will auto-select the USB drive connected to your system. If you have two or more connected drives, click on the Device drop-down list and pick the appropriate drive.
4. Next, click on the Select button located below the Boot selection section. Navigate the system and select the downloaded Windows 11 ISO image file. Click on the Open button.
5. Keep the rest of the settings untouched and click on the Start button. Keep the first checkbox selected if you want to bypass Windows 11 requirements and use a local account after installation. Click on the OK button.
6. Rufus will alert you that it will wipe all the data on the drive. Click on the OK button.
7. Wait for Rufus to create a bootable drive. Close Rufus after you see a “Ready!” message.
3. Create a Bootable Windows 11 USB Using WinToUSB
WinToUSB is another fantastic utility to create a bootable Windows USB drive. It recently received an update to work with the Lite version of Windows 11 and can bypass TPM and Secure Boot requirements on Windows 11. It is a freemium tool, so you will encounter popups.
1. Download and install the latest version of WinToUSB on your system.
2. Launch the application. Click on the Windows Installation USB option.
3. Now, click on the Select installation source option. Browse and select the Windows 11 ISO file.
4. Click on the Select destination drive option and pick the target USB drive from the list. Keep the Partition scheme as MBR for BIOS and UEFI. This way, you can use it to install Windows 11 on both BIOS and UEFI systems.
5. Then, click on the Proceed button. You will see a warning about formatting the USB drive. Click on the Yes button to continue.
6. Lastly, click on the Finish button.
4. Create a Bootable Windows 11 USB Using CMD
If you don’t want to use a third-party app to create a bootable USB drive, you can create it using the Command Prompt. This method is a tad bit longer and involves no GUI elements whatsoever. So, try this only if you don’t fear the terminal. Here’s how to do it:
1. Go to the Windows 11 ISO file location and right-click on it. Select the Mount option from the context menu. Note down the Drive letter of the mounted ISO file.
2. Now, press the Windows key, type CMD, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with admin privileges.
3. Type the following command to launch the Diskpart utility:
4. Now, list all the disks connected to your system:
5. Select the USB disk using the following command:
Select disk 1
6. Wipe everything on the disk using the following command:
7. Now, create a partition on the USB drive:
Create partition primary
8. View all the available partitions on the USB drive:
9. Activating the newly created partition on the USB drive:
10. Formatting the drive to NTFS:
FORMAT FS=NTFS LABEL=“BootableUSB” QUICK OVERRIDE
11. Now, type the following command to view all the available volumes:
You will see the mounted ISO file as well as the USB Drive with the NTFS file system. Type exit to close Diskpart in CMD.
Now, the USB prep is complete. You only need to copy the contents of the ISO file to the USB drive. Type the following commands and execute them one by one.
1. Navigate to the mounted ISO file. In our case, it is the D drive.
2. Now, move to the boot folder using the cd command.
3. Copy the volume boot record to the USB drive. Here “X” is our USB drive letter. You can replace it with the letter assigned to your USB drive.
bootsect /nt60 X:
4. Lastly, type the following command to copy all the contents of the ISO file to the USB drive. Replace D with the drive letter assigned to the ISO file drive and X with the letter assigned to your USB drive.
xcopy D:*.* X:\ /E /F /H
5. Wait for the command to execute successfully. Now, close the command prompt window and eject the USB drive. You can use it to install Windows 11 on any system. But note that this USB drive will only work with BIOS systems. If you have a UEFI system, you will have to enable the support for legacy mode first.
Keep a Bootable Windows USB Drive Ready
These were the multiple tools to create a bootable Windows USB drive. Due to the bigger ISO file size, ensure that you use an 8 GB or more capacity USB drive. We find Rufus to be an excellent utility to create a bootable device because it is lightweight and doesn’t require an active internet connection like the Windows Media Creation tool.