How to put Windows 10 on USB: Would you like to install Windows 10 on a PC that does not have a CD / DVD player and, consequently, have you taken the suggestion of putting the operating system on a USB stick and proceeding through the latter? Good idea! It’s just a shame that, having never done it, you don’t have the faintest idea how to proceed.
How do you say? Things are exactly this way and would you then like to understand if I can help you? Of course yes, we would miss more! If you allow me a few minutes of your attention, in fact, I can show you, in a simple but still detailed way, how to put Windows 10 on USB . I tell you right away that, contrary to what you may think, it is not difficult. You just have to have a little patience and you’re done.
Then? Can I know what are you still doing there impaled? Position yourself comfortably, take some free time just for yourself and start focusing on reading this tutorial entirely focused on the topic. I am sure that, in the end, you can say that you are happy and satisfied with what you have learned, as well as, of course, that you have finally succeeded in your intent. How about we bet?
Before getting to the heart of the tutorial, going to explain in detail how to put Windows 10 on USB , there is some preliminary information that it is my duty to provide you, in order to clear up more ideas on what to do.
To begin with, keep in mind that to succeed in the business you have to worry about a USB stick suitable for the purpose. Don’t worry, no special pendrive is needed, you just have to make sure that it has a capacity of at least 8 GB . If you do not yet have one, you can consult my buying guide dedicated to this type of product , to receive useful information on brands, types, capacity etc.
Also keep in mind the fact that, since the pendrive you are going to use will be formatted, if this is not empty and you want to avoid losing the files on it, I invite you to make a backup beforehand , using one of the tools I have indicated to you in my article on backup programs .
Another thing to be aware of is that to create a pendrive with Windows 10 you will need to download the ISO image of the operating system. Since the file in question is particularly “heavy”, in order to complete the operation without having to wait too long it is necessary to have a fast and stable Internet connection .
Make sure, also, that the connection used is not on consumption , in order to avoid running out of the quantity of GB available and, in the worst case scenario, to avoid going into unexpected expenses.
Install Windows 10 on USB
Without the above clarifications, let’s get to the heart of the matter and let’s find out, therefore, how to put Windows 10 on USB. To do this, just use the appropriate tools, such as those listed below.
Microsoft Media Creation Tool
The Microsoft Media Creation Tool is, as the name suggests, a software made available by the same Redmond company that allows you to create Windows 10 installation media, using any version of Windows. It is very simple to use, it’s free and requires no installation.
To be able to use them, go to the Microsoft website dedicated to the tool and click on the Download tool now button . When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and, in the window you see appear on the desktop, click the Yes button .
Next, click on the Accept button , then select the Create installation media option (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC and click on the Next button again .
At this point, click again on the Next button and, if you intend to use the pendrive on another PC with characteristics other than the one you are using, remove the check in the Use the recommended options for this PC box ; then define the language , edition and architecture settings of the Windows version using the appropriate drop-down menus.
Then, connect the pendrive you want to use to one of the USB ports of the computer, then choose the option USB flash drive in the Choose the media to use screen , click once more on the Next button , select the pendrive from the list that is shown to you and press the Next button again .
Finally, wait for Windows 10 to download from the Internet, for the key to be formatted and set as a boot drive, then press the Finish button .
Another tool you can decide to rely on to put Windows 10 on USB is UNetbootin . It is a free software, running on Windows (does not require installation), macOS and Linux, which allows you to select ISO files at will and to create a bootable pendrive or directly download the ISO images of Linux operating systems.
To download it to your computer, go to the program’s website and click on the Download button (Windows) (if you are using Windows) or on the Download button (macOS) (if you are using macOS) which you can find in the upper part of the page displayed .
When the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the .exe file obtained and click the Yes button in the window that you see appear on the desktop.
If, on the other hand, you are using macOS , open the obtained .dmg package , drag the program icon to the Applications folder of the Mac, right click on it and select the Open item twice in a row, so as to open the application by going however, to circumvent the limitations wanted by Apple towards non-certified developers (an operation that must be carried out only at the first start), then type the password of your user account and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
Now that, regardless of the operating system used, display the main window of UNetbootin, select the Disc Image option , make sure that the ISO item is selected in the adjacent drop-down menu (otherwise provide it yourself), press the button (…) and select the Windows 10 ISO image.
Then, connect the pendrive you intend to use to one of the USB ports of your computer, make sure that the USB drive option is selected in the Type drop-down menu at the bottom (otherwise provide it yourself), select the drive related to your pendrive from the menu Units adjacent and press the button OK to start copying the data on the drive.
I would like to point out that, if you do not already have the Windows 10 ISO image, you can obtain it by proceeding as follows: if you are using Windows , use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool (the tool I told you about in the previous step ) by selecting the option ISO file on the Choose the media to use screen , clicking on Next and waiting for the download to complete.
Instead, if you are using macOS , you can download it by visiting the special Web page on the Microsoft website , selecting the OS edition of your interest from the appropriate drop-down menu and indicating the product language , pressing each time on the button Confirm , and then choose whether to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version .
Apple Boot Camp
If you are using macOS , you can also consider contacting Apple Boot Camp . In case you have never heard of it, it is an application included in all the latest versions of macOS, which guides the user in the installation of Windows on Mac in dual-boot (thus allowing you to choose at each Mac boot which operating system to use).
It downloads all the drivers necessary for the operation of the Microsoft operating system from the Internet, copies the ISO image of Windows to a USB stick (if necessary) and creates the useful partition to finalize the installation on the disk.
It is, therefore, a tool so useful for creating a pendrive with Windows 10, but which finds its utility only in case you want to install the latest OS of the Redmond company as a separate partition on the hard disk down used for MacOS. For all the details of the case, you can consult my guide specifically dedicated to how to install Windows on Mac .
Install Windows 10 on the computer
After being able to put Windows 10 on USB, would you like to know how to use the pendrive to install the operating system on your computer or on another PC? I’ll explain right away how to proceed.
First, if you want to act on the current computer, also leave the key connected and restart the system, while if you need to work on a different location, disconnect the pendrive from the current computer, insert it into one of the USB ports of the PC of your interest and turn on the latter (or restart it, if already running).
Afterwards, boot the USB drive with Windows 10, wait for the screen to start the installation of the operating system to be visible and select language , time format and currency and keyboard layout , using the appropriate drop-down menus that come to you show yourself. Next, click on the Next button and then on the Install button .
At this point, choose whether to immediately enter the Windows product key or to proceed subsequently; specify the OS edition you want to install (if required), click on the Next button , accept the conditions of use by selecting the appropriate box and press the Next button again .
Finally, indicate if you want to perform an update of the copy of Windows already present on the computer or if you want to perform a customized installation , formatting the hard disk or installing the OS on a partition. Then follow the instructions provided to start the procedure and wait for the installation of Windows 10 to be completed.
Once all the above steps have been completed, the PC will restart and, after following the simple initial configuration procedure that will be proposed to you, you can start using Windows 10. For more details about the steps to follow to carry out the installation OS, you can stick to my tutorial on how to install Windows 10 .
Run Windows 10 from USB
If you use the Pro , Enterprise or Education version of Windows 10, you can possibly consider taking advantage of the “standard” feature called Windows To Go , thanks to which you can put Windows 10 on USB and boot the latter, without having to perform install the operating system first.
Taking into account the fact that some functions are not supported, such as downloading updates and hibernating, this is a solution to be considered only if you do not intend to use Windows 10 with a stable plant, for example when it is necessary to use a certain software on a computer whose current operating system does not support it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you must have a pendrive of at least 16 GB and, above all, that this is certified by Microsoft for the purpose in question (to view the list of certified pendrives, you can consult this special Web page ), to take advantage of all the features of Windows To Go without encountering any problems.
That said, in order to use Windows To Go, connect the pendrive you intend to use to one of the USB ports on the computer, type “windows to go” in the search field in the Start menu and select the relevant link .
Once the tool window appears on the screen, select your USB stick from the list, click on the Next button and follow the wizard that is proposed to you. For more details, you can refer to the official guide made available by Microsoft on its website.
If, on the other hand, you are wondering if it is possible to install Windows 10 on an external hard disk or SSD and use it on a stable basis from yes, know that this operation is technically feasible but not recommended, as it involves errors and problems of various kinds and is not very easy to implement.