How to Install Windows 10 from USB flash?

installing Windows 10 from USB

Many people tend to use flash memory to install Windows instead of disk. In this article from MAZHD we try to teach you how to prepare USB for this task and install Windows 10.

Many people prefer to use their USB port instead of a disk to install Windows 10, as the USB port will boot faster than the optical drive, and Windows will take a shorter time to install. Meanwhile, many devices lack an optical drive and their users have no choice but to use the USB port. Microsoft is also releasing Windows 10 on USB, unlike previous versions, in addition to the disk to install.

In this series of Windows 10 tutorials, we are going to introduce you to three different ways to boot a flash from Windows and then how to install Windows 10 from USB.


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Minimum Specifications Required to Install Windows 10

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit version and 2 GB for 64-bit version
  • 16 GB of free hard disk space for 32-bit version and 20 GB for 64-bit version
  • Graphics Card Supported by DitrectX 9 and Later with Windows Display Driver Support
  • Minimum resolution of 800 x 600 display

Suggested Specifications

  • 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • At least 100 GB of free hard disk space

Of course, your system may have the minimum hardware required to install Windows 10 through USB, but some hardware drivers may not be compatible with the latest version of Windows 10, or in some cases some of the peripherals, such as the printer, may not be compatible with Windows 10; Driver updates are fixed. At times, your existing Windows 10 update may also cause issues with your device’s incompatibility with the new version of Windows, which may in some cases be fixed by a clean install of Windows 10 with USB or Disk.

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Create a Backup

Before you start to install Windows 10 from USB, however, it is best to move your system files to another memory or transfer them to cloud services such as OneDrive. Follow the steps below to back up your computer data and save the backup file to the Onedrive.

  • Open the OneDrive from the taskbar.
  • Click on the More menu.
  • Click on the Settings.
  • Select the Backup tab.
  • Click on the Manage backup button.
  • Select the folder you want to backup from.
  • Click the Start backup button.

After completing these steps, all selected information will be transferred to your online account.

If you plan on backing up a large amount of data, you might want to transfer it to an external hard drive. Follow these steps to do this in a simple way.

  • First open File Explorer.
  • Type% HOMEPATH% in the address bar and hit the Enter button.
  • From the Home tab, Click on the Select All.

Select Copy from the Home tab.
Choose location option.
Specify the destination for file transfer.

  • At the end, click the Copy option.

After doing these steps, repeat the process to move other files.

Make Sure Your Device is Active

You also need to make sure your device is active before you start to install Windows 10 from USB. To make sure your device is powered on, you need to follow the steps below after selecting Settings.

  • Click Update & Security.
  • Click on the Activation option.
  • If your device is powered on, this will be notified to the users in the Activation section under the Windows section of this theme.

We recommend removing all unnecessary accessories attached to the device, such as external bluetooth, printers, webcams, external hard drives and other flashes, before connecting them to the computer, as they can cause problems.
The first step to install Windows 10 from a USB is to select Flash as the primary boot device. To do this, first restart the system and press the Delete or esc buttons or one of the F1, F2, F10, F11 and F12 buttons to access the BIOS or UEFI menu depending on your laptop or PC motherboard. After accessing the boot menu, if the computer has detected the flash, select it as the original boot device. To do so in the BIOS menu, first select the Boot tab and use the keyboard buttons to move the USB drive option to the first row of boot devices.


In the BIOS menu, most computers will need Removable Devices or USB options to boot Windows to USB, and on some computers this option will appear under the Hard Drive section.
As with computers that have UEFI boot menu, we also mention how to designate USB as the main boot device in this menu. To do this after connecting USB to PC, follow these steps.

  • Open Settings.
  • Click on Update & Security.
  • Click on the Recovery option.
  • Below the advanced startup section, click Restart now.
  • Then click on the Troubleshoot button.
  • Next click on the Advanced options.
  • Next click on the UEFI Firmware Settings option.
  • After that, click on the Restart option.
  • When you see the firmware environment, open the boot settings.
  • In the change boot order section, set the USB device as the original boot device just like the BIOS and bring it to the first row.

Method One: Using MediaCreationTool

To install Windows 10 you need to use a USB flash drive with 8 to 12 GB of free memory and connect to the internet. You can also get this tool from the Windows 10 download page; however, you must have a UEFI menu to install Windows 10 on your system with USB flash. In short, the difference between UEFI and BIOS is that systems with a UEFI menu will boot faster than a BIOS system, and they also support a mouse in their boot menu, which is more beautiful than the BIOS menu; however in some UEFI system the appearance is more like BIOS menu.

In addition, some systems support both the BIOS and UEFI menus so that users have no problem installing legacy operating systems, since they only support the BIOS menu. To access the UEFI menu, you must act exactly like the BIOS menu; however, most newer systems have this boot menu, and the BIOS boot menu is almost obsolete. Follow the steps below to boot using Microsoft Tools.

  • At first, open the Windows 10 Download page.
  • Below the Create Windows 10 installation media section, click the Download tool now button to download the file.
  • If you don’t know which one to download, you can see your current version of Windows by clicking on the Settings icon and logging into Control Panel, clicking System and Security and selecting System.
  • After downloading the tool, click on the MediaCreationToolxxxx.exe file to install the file. The following screen is displayed after executing the file.
  • Select Create installation media for another PC and click the Next button.

After displaying the image above you should select one of the following versions after selecting your language:


Remember that versions of the N-letter lack Windows Media Player. For more information on other differences between different versions of Windows 10, see the comparison article for different versions of Windows 10.
If you are upgrading to a newer version of Windows, you should choose the current one. The next step is to choose between 32-bit (X86) and 64-bit (X64) versions depending on your current version of Windows; of course both options are available, but if you do, the 64-bit version is usually choosen; this is because new computers usually use this version.


If this window has the Use the recommended options for this PC option, uncheck it if enabled.

After selecting these options and clicking on the Next button, you will have to wait a few minutes for the system to check for the space needed to install the copies of your choice. If your system hard drive does not have the amount of free space needed, you should repeat the steps above to fit the available space on your hard drive.

  • Next you need to select the first option and connect the flash to the system.

At this point, select your flash memory from the list and click the Next button. Remember that at this point all the flash information will be erased, so be sure to transfer your flash data to another place before you start.

The next step is to download Windows 10 and the download time depends on the speed of the Internet.

After completing these steps, the Microsoft utility will download the files you need and your USB which includes the Windows 10 installer, will become a bootable, ready-to-install flash drive.

Method Two: Using the Rufus Tool

Using the Rufus Tool is another way to use an ISO or ISO file to boot Windows 10 and install windows 10 from a USB. Follow these steps to use this method.

  • Open the Rufus Download page.
  • Below the Download section, click on the latest version of the tool to download the file.
  • Click on the Rufus-x.x.exe file to run the tool.
  • Under the Device section, select your flash (your flash should have at least 1 GB of free space).
  • Below the boot selection section, click the select button on the right side of the screen.
  • Select the ISO file you previously downloaded or created.
  • Select the open option to open the file.
  • Then from the image option drop-down menu, Windows installation option.
  • From the Partition scheme drop-down menu, select GPT.
  • From the Target system drop-down menu, select UEFI (non CSM).
  • Do not change the default settings below the “Show Advanced drive properties” section.
  • Below the “Volume lable” field, select a name for your drive, such as win10_1909_usb.
  • Also, do not change the default settings under the “System File” and “Cluster size” sections.
  • Click the “Show advanced format options” button.
  • Choose “Quick format” and “Create extended label and icon files”.
  • Then click on the “start” button.
  • Click the “OK” button.
  • Click the “Close” button.

After completing these steps, Rufus will boot your USB and you can install Windows 10 with the ISO file.

Create boot file to download ISO file

You can download the Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft’s servers using Rufus and make your USB flash bootable to install. Follow these steps to do this.

  • Open the Rufus Download page.
  • Below the Download section, click on the latest version of the tool to download the file.

Click on the Rufus-x.x.exe file to run the tool.
Under the Device section, select your flash. (Your flash should have at least 8 GB of free space).
Under the boot selection section, right-click on the select arrow and select Download.
Click on the Download button.

  • From the Version drop-down menu, select Windows 10.
  • Click on the Continue button.
  • To get the November 2019 update, select the 19H2 (Build 18363.418 – 2019.11) option.
  • Click on the Continue button.
  • From the Edition drop-down menu, select Windows 10 Home / Pro.
  • Click on the Continue button.
  • Select the language you want from the Lanquage drop-down menu.
  • Click on the Continue button.
  • From the Architecture drop-down menu, select 32 or 64-bit version (recommended version).
  • Click the Download button.
  • Select where to save the file.
  • Click on the Save button.


From the image option drop-down menu, select the Standard Windows installation option.
Then from the Partition scheme drop-down menu, select GPT.
Then from the Target system drop-down menu, select UEFI (non CSM).

Do not change the default settings below the Show Advanced drive properties section.
Below the Volume lable field, select a name for your drive, such as win10_1909_usb.
Also, do not change the default settings under the “System File” and “Cluster size” sections.
Click the Show advanced format options button.
Choose Quick format and Create extended label and icon files.
Then click on the start button.
Click the OK button.
Click the Close button.

Following these steps, Rufus will automatically display the text for downloading the ISO file from Microsoft’s servers; and using this ISO file, the Windows 10 boot file will be created on USB and ready to install on UEFI menu systems. In addition, you can use this method to install Windows 10 to update other versions of Windows to the latest version from USB.

Third method ( Manual creation )

You may not like the manual boot process or enjoy working with the control; you can either do the boot process manually. To do this, you first need to get the Windows 10 image file in ISO format.

You can create an image file in addition to the methods we have described, using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool you previously downloaded. To do this, follow the steps below to run this tool.

Select the Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO) option for another PC and click the Next button.
Select the ISO file option and click Next to create the file. You can burn the ISO file to DVD if needed so you can backup it. To do this, if your device is DVD-enabled, you just need to right-click on the file and select the Burn disc Image option.

After downloading or preparing the ISO file, open the command prompt window (Search for cmd and right-click on the command prompt and select Run as administrator).

After you open the window, type “diskpart” and hit the Enter button. You can also authorize the program by selecting the “search” option in the Start menu and entering “diskpart” and pressing the Enter button and finally clicking “Yes“.


Connect the USB flash to the computer and type in the “list disk” and hit the Enter button. After entering this expression, a column is displayed containing different volumes and you can find your USB flash by viewing the volumes.

As the first flash is your flash, enter the “select disk 1” and hit the Enter button. If your arrow volume appears in the next rows, change the number of the typed expression to the number in the row.


By typing the “clean” and tapping the Enter button, erase all the flash information (if you have important flash information, be sure to save it to another memory before doing so).

Now we want to get USB Flash ready to install Windows 10 from USB and make sure it’s bootable. So type “create partition primary” and hit the Enter button.

After clearing the information, type “select partition1“.

In the next step, type “Active“.


Finally type “format fs = fat32” to format your flash to Fat32 format. (If you choose the NTFS format for your flash, you will need to use a different command to boot and save the files that are compatible with boot management.) The process of formatting a flash may take several minutes depending on its volume and speed.

After the flash is formatted, type “Assign” to name it and access it in one of the English letters. After doing so, their flash will open automatically; if not, find it in My Computer or This PC (remember the letter you selected).

After that, there are two ways to do this: Either extract the ISO file (you can either open it in Windows Explorer or extract it directly into Flash using your favorite extract software) or by using mount software such as PowerISO mount it to allow access to its content like a regular drive. Also in Windows 8 or 10 you can mount the ISO file without using the software just by right-clicking and selecting the Mount option. Once the file is mounted, just go to “My Computer” or “This PC” homepage and enter the mounted drive. Continue with the command line after mounting the file.


Next close the diskpart window and after opening the new command line window, enter xcopy g: *. * / s / e / f h: letter g is the name of the mounted drive containing the ISO file and the letter h belongs to your flash memory. The process of Copying the install.wim file takes longer than other files and you don’t have to worry about it.

Eventually you finish just by typing the word Exit, and you can install Windows 10 with your USB flash.

Install Windows 10 as a clean install

After booting your USB flash with one of these three methods and transferring the files needed to install Windows 10, your USB flash is ready to install Windows 10. Follow the steps below to install Windows 10 from USB.

Connect the flash to the computer and restart it.
After restarting the computer, immediately press one of the keyboard keys to boot Windows from flash.
After displaying the Windows setup window, click Next.

Click the Install Now key.

If this is your first time installing Windows, enter the key and if you have already installed Windows, you can skip this step by clicking the “I don’t have a product key” option.

  • Click the Next button.
  • If you want to select the desired version, select the one you want. The selected version should be the same as the one you entered.

Click on the Next button.
Select the I accept the license terms option to continue.

Click on the Next button.
Select the “Custom: Install Windows only (Advanced)” option.

Select the drive on which the current Windows is installed and click on the Delete button.


If your drive consists of several partitions, you must select and erase each one separately to allow the entire drive to install Windows 10 on your system through USB. During the installation process of Windows 10, all necessary partitions are created automatically. Also, you do not need to erase the information of other drives.
Then click the Yes button.

Select the empty drive.

In the last step, click the Next button.

Creating account and other settings

After these steps are completed, Windows 10 installation will be completed and you can then create your account and adjust the settings to your liking. Follow these steps to do this.

Select your area.

  • Click the Yes button.
  • Specify the type of keyboard.
  • Click on the Yes button.
  • If you don’t want to specify the second keyboard, hit the Skip button.

Click on the Set up for personal use option.

  • Click on the Next button.
  • Enter the information required to create a Microsoft account.
  • Click on the Next button.
  • Enter your account password. If you are using Authenticator, click the Use the Microsoft Authenticator app instead.
  • Click on the Next button.
  • Click on the Create PIN button.

Next you can create a four-digit PIN code for the Windows Hello feature.


If you prefer to use common passwords, skip this step by pressing the Cancel button.

(Optional) If you want to enable Timeline to access your History on different devices, click on the Yes button otherwise select No.

You can enter your mobile number to make the connection between your computer and your Phone. If you want to skip this step, click the Do it later button at the bottom left of the screen.

(Optional) Click on Next to allow OneDrive to back up your desktop, documents and images. If you are using another cloud service or are not inclined to use cloud services, click the Only save files to this PC option at the bottom left of the screen.

If you do not want to install Office or do not intend to do so now, click the skip button.


If you have an Office License, the Office software will automatically be installed by selecting the I have a product key option.

  • (Optional) By selecting Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana” you can use Windows 10 Virtual Assistant without touching the computer.
  • At this point, by selecting the Accept button, let Microsoft collect your personal information to make Cortana more personalized; otherwise click on the decline button.
  • Make your privacy settings (scroll to the bottom of the screen to see all the settings).
  • Then click on the Accept button.

After these steps, the settings made in Windows will be applied and the desktop screen will appear.
After displaying the desktop, follow these steps to make sure Windows is fully up to date.

  • First Go to Settings.
  • Then go the update & security section.
  • Click on the Windows update button.
  • Click on the Check for updates button.

Following these steps, if there is a new update for Windows it will be downloaded and installed.

Usually all drivers are installed after Windows is installed, but to make sure all drivers are installed, look for Device Manager, if there is no yellow or red icon next to the icon, it means that all drives installation Have been successful.

11 quick ways to free up disk space on Windows 10.

This was the process of booting USB flash to install Windows 10 from it, if you have any question or suggestion let us know down below in the comment section.

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Source: Zoomit


Adib Zahedi is the CEO and Founder of mazhd.com. He has nearly a decade of experience in IT, including two years spent working on a Youtube Chennal. He is also an author and writes articles for mazhd.com. Has articles include tutorials and covers everything from Windows PCs to smartphone's software.

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