How to Create a Windows 11 Recovery USB Drive

Quickly create a Windows 11 recovery drive to use at a time when you experience unexpected issues or failures on your PC.

It is always a good idea to have a recovery drive should your PC experience any hardware failure or major software issues. In such cases, the recovery drive will help you get your PC up and running again.

Do keep in mind that the recovery drive will not back up any personal files and third-party apps that you might have installed on your computer. It only backs up the apps that came preloaded on your computer.

To add to that, you would also want to regularly recreate the recovery drive since your Windows PC gets periodically updated for security patches and new builds of the operating system. We recommended recreating the recovery drive annually.

Note: You will need a USB drive that has at least 16 GB of space to create a recovery drive.

Create a Recovery Drive From the Control Panel

Creating a USB drive is one of the most simple processes in Windows. You do not even need to hoop through menus or type complex commands in the Command Prompt. You can simply head for it and start creating one right away.

First, head to the Start Menu and type Control to perform a search. Then, click on the ‘Control Panel’ tile to proceed.

Click on the ‘Recovery’ tile from the grid of options.

Next, click on the ‘Create a recovery drive’ option to continue. This will open another window on your screen.

Now, a UAC window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to continue.

After that, click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Back up system files to the recovery drive’ option and then click on the ‘Next’ button.

Note: Please insert the USB drive having a capacity of 32 GB or more before proceeding to the next step.

Now, Windows will list down all the available USB drives that can be used for recovery. Click on the drive you want to choose and then click on the ‘Next’ button.

After that, Windows will state the warning that all the files and folders on the drive will be permanently removed. Read the information carefully before proceeding. Once you are ready, click on the ‘Create’ button to initiate the process. It may take from several minutes to hours, depending on your system.

There you go. You have successfully created the Windows 11 USB recovery drive that you can use whenever you are experiencing major issues with your computer.


How to Use Windows 11 USB Recovery Drive

Using a Windows 11 recovery drive is as plain sailing as it gets. Even if you are not able to boot your PC, you just need to boot using the recovery drive you had created earlier.

Now, while booting your PC up, press the F12 or Del key on your keyboard to enter the boot menu. You can also refer to your manufacturer’s manual to learn the boot menu key for your computer.

After that, use the Arrow key to select the ‘USB Device’ from the BIOS and then use the Spacebar or Enter key to choose it and boot up from the drive.

Then, click on the ‘Recover from a drive’ tile to continue.

Next, you can either choose to ‘Just remove your files’ or you can also completely wipe the drive using the ‘Fully clean the drive’ option. If you use the ‘Fully clean the drive’ option, you will not be able to recover your data.

Now, Windows will list the current configuration and the impact of recovering using the recovery drive. Read the information carefully and click on the ‘Recover’ button to initiate the process.

After the recovery process is finished, it will restore the PC to its factory state. Moreover, you will also need to partition the drive once again. Hopefully, you had your personal files backed up which you can now use to transfer them to your PC.


That’s it, folks. It’s that easy to create and use a recovery USB drive. Now, go on and create one so you can stay prepared in case you ever need it.