How to Create a Bootable Windows 11 USB Drive

USB Flash Drive

Worried about running into major OS problems? Want to create a USB drive for Windows 11, but do not know how? Well, worry no more!

Creating a bootable USB drive is always a good idea should you ever run into problems with your operating system and want to start afresh. Bootable USBs are also helpful due to their extreme portability and compatibility, almost every computer on the planet has USB slots.

Usually, whenever people hear about creating a bootable USB, their instant thought is to get help from a tech-savvy friend they know. However, with so many widely available software, you can create a bootable USB on your own without any hiccups.

Now, if you are looking to create a Windows 11 USB drive, you have landed on the right page. So, let’s skip the chit-chat and get down to business.

Pre-requisites

  • Windows 11 ISO File
  • Minimum 8GB USB Flashdrive
  • A Windows Computer

Create a Windows 11 USB Drive

There are many bootable disk creation tools available on the internet, including Microsoft’s Windows USB/DVD Download Tool. However, for this guide, we are going to use a freeware called ‘Rufus’ to create a bootable USB.

There are two reasons to use Rufus against Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, first, Rufus is much faster and is much updated than its competition. Second, because of regular updates, Rufus provides many advanced capabilities to have better control of your bootable USB creation.

Now first, go to the rufus.ie website and download the latest version of Rufus from the download section on the website.

Next, double click the downloaded file to run Rufus.

Note: Rufus is an executable file, and needs no installation on your computer.

Now, plug in your USB device. If you have only one external drive connected, Rufus will automatically select it. Otherwise, you can choose your desired drive by clicking on the drop-down menu under the ‘Device’ section.

Note: It is always a good practice to have a USB device of significantly larger capacity than that the size of an ISO image file you have.

Similarly, click on the dropdown menu under ‘Boot selection’ to select your boot selection method for your drive. Then click on the ‘SELECT’ button to locate and choose the Windows 11 ISO file from your hard disk.

Rufus provides you an option to either go with the ‘Standard Windows Installation’ option which will enable your device to install Windows on other disks, or you can go with the ‘Windows To Go’ option that enables you to run Windows directly from the device.

Select the Image option of your preference from the drop-down menu present under ‘Image option’ field. We are selecting the ‘Standard Windows Installation’ option here.

For further configuration, you would need to know the BIOS Mode of your target machine. To do so, press Windows+R and type ‘msinfo32’, then click ‘OK’ on the machine you wish to install Windows 11.

Now, locate and check the BIOS Mode field, it would be either ‘Legacy’ or ‘UEFI’.

Now back to Rufus, select ‘MBR’ if your BIOS Mode is ‘Legacy’. If your BIOS Mode is ‘UEFI’ select the ‘GPT’ option under the ‘Partition Scheme’ field.

There are also advanced options to configure drive properties in Rufus, you can access them by clicking on the ‘Show advanced drive properties’. However, if you are not familiar with them, it would be best to leave them as it is.

Show advance drive properties to Create a Windows 11 USB Drive

Next, Rufus will automatically populate the name for volume, you can either keep it or type in an appropriate name for your bootable USB using the text field under the ‘Volume label’ field.

set volume label for windows 11 usb drive

After that, choose the file system for your drive using the drop-down menu under the ‘File System’ option. Only with a GPT partition scheme, you will be able to choose the FAT32 file system, otherwise, NTFS would be your only option.

select file systems for creating a Windows 11 USB Drive

Then, click on the ‘Show advanced format options’.

show advanced format options to Create a Windows 11 USB Drive

Now, check the ‘Quick Format’ option to use a faster format method for your drive. Also, check the ‘Create extended label and icon files’ to set a device icon. Similarly, check the ‘Check device for bad blocks’ to ensure there are no bad memory blocks on your USB drive.

check advanced options to format the USB drive for windows 11

Next, from the dropdown beside the ‘advanced format options’ field, you can select the test patterns for checking bad blocks on your USB drive. The default value is set to 1, if you are not familiar with test patterns feel free to leave it at the default value.

Now, click on the ‘Start’ button from the bottom of the Rufus pane to start and create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive.

click start to Create a Windows 11 USB Drive

Next, read the alert and click ‘OK’ to start the process.

tap ok to Create a Windows 11 USB Drive

Now sit back and let the Rufus do it work to create your Windows 11 USB drive for you.


Well, folks now you won’t have to depend on your tech-savvy friends to create a bootable USB drive!