How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 11

Windows 11 is already among us. Microsoft got off the ground and released the new operating system a little ahead of schedule, which means that the stable version of the platform can be downloaded and installed on compatible devices.

  • How to upgrade your computer to Windows 11
  • How to prepare the PC to receive Windows 11
  • Windows 11: See the requirements to install the system on your PC
  • Didn’t like it? Learn how to go back from Windows 11 to Windows 10

Although the installation can be done automatically or manually by Windows 10, or through a link on the Microsoft website, another alternative is to download Windows 11 on a bootable flash drive. With this, you can take the system wherever you want, without having to actually install the software on your PC or notebook.

Minimum requirements

As it is an unconventional method of using Windows, putting the system on a flash drive requires some requirements. The external storage media needs to have at least 8 GB of space and preferably it should not have any files saved, as the flash drive will be formatted. If you have any important content, back it up before proceeding.

Another requirement is to have an official license for Windows 11 or qualifying Windows 10 for it to be updated to the latest version, and for your PC’s CPU to be 64-bit. You must be connected to the internet to download Windows 11, and make sure the network is stable during the instructions below. Finally, you will need administrator permission to complete the entire procedure.

Now that you know the minimum requirements, let’s get to creating a bootable flash drive to run Windows 11.

How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 11

Step 1: go to the Download Windows 11 website. In the “Create Windows 11 installation media” section, click “Download Now”.

Step 2: when the download is complete, open the media creation tool. Remembering that, from here, you must have an administrator profile to perform this and other actions.

Step 3: read the installation terms. If you agree, click on “Accept”.

Step 4: select the language of Windows 11, which in this case must be the same as the previous operating system. You can still check the box “Use recommended options for this computer”, to fill in the fields automatically.

Then click “Next”.

Step 5: plug the pen drive into your device and check the “USB flash drive” option. Once again, we warn you that any items on the storage media will be deleted. If there is something important, stop the process and back up the files.

Click “Next”.

Step 6: select the USB flash drive connected to the device and click “Next”.

Step 7: Windows 11 will start downloading to the thumb drive. Do not remove or turn off the computer during the download. When the file finishes downloading and the media is created, click “Next”.

Step 8: Windows 11 installation files will be saved on your flash drive.

How to Start Windows 11 from a Bootable USB Flash Drive

With Windows 11 properly installed on the bootable flash drive, you can now install the system on any compatible PC or notebook. But there’s a trick behind it: the device needs to be configured to boot from the USB port and, consequently, run the system saved on the pen drive.

Step 1: at the exact moment you turn on your computer, press and hold the F2, F12, Del or Esc key for a few seconds to open the Windows boot options. Not all keys at the same time, but just one of them.

Key activation varies by PC or notebook manufacturer. So, the way is to try and see which one works or check the guide that came with your PC or the manufacturer’s website.

Step 2: in the window with the boot options, select the pen drive connected to the USB port. Usually, the name that appears is “USB HDD: Generic Flash Disk”.

Ready! When the computer restarts, you will see the Windows 11 installation page. From there, simply follow the system installation instructions to proceed.

See how easy it is to install Windows 11 on a bootable flash drive? The only concern in this whole process is to make sure that the external media has no saved files. Otherwise, it is quite simple to start the new system using a pen drive.

Source: Microsoft

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