Last updated on February 15th, 2016
In this tutorial you can find step by step instructions on how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB installation media, from a Windows 10 ISO image file by using RUFUS utility. A bootable Windows 10 USB installation disk can be used to install or reinstall Windows 10 (from a USB) or to repair a damaged Windows 10 installation.
1. A Windows 10 ISO image file.
Notes: If you don't have a Windows 10 ISO file, then you can download a legally copy of Windows 10 in a ISO format by following the instructions found on this article: How to Download Windows 10 ISO.
3. An EMPTY USB Disk with at least 4GB storage space.
How to Create a Bootable Windows 10 USB Flash Drive using "Rufus" utility.
Step 1: Download RUFUS USB Boot Creator Utility*.
* Rufus is an excellent utility that helps create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc.
1. Go to the official Rufus download page and download the latest version of RUFUS USB Bootable Creator Utility on your computer.
Step 2. Create a bootable Windows 10 USB flash drive with RUFUS utility.
1. Remove all USB storage drives from your computer and plug an EMPTY* USB stick (minimum 4GB) to an empty USB port.
Attention: DO NOT leave your files on the USB stick, because all files will be erased during this operation.
2. Now double-click to run "rufus" application.
(When Rufus utility starts…)
3. Choose the empty USB stick that you plugged in your computer.
4. Check the "Create a bootable disk using" checkbox and select "ISO Image".
5. Click at the icon next to ISO image.
6. Select the Windows 10 ISO file from your computer (e.g. Windows.iso) and choose "Open".
7a. If your computer supports UEFI, then (see Screenshot 1):
- Under Partition scheme and target system type, select GPT partition scheme for UEFI. *
- Under File system select: FAT32.
- Under Cluster size, leave the 4096 bytes (default).
- Under New Volume Label, you can type any volume name for the USB disk.
- Press the Start button.
- UEFI supports only 64 bit Windows.
- In order to boot from a UEFI USB flash drive, you must apply these settings in BIOS:
- Set the Boot configuration to: UEFI
- Temporarily set the Secure Boot to: Disabled (until Windows installation is finished)
- Temporarily set the Fast Boot to: Disabled (until Windows installation is finished)
(Screenshot 1: For a UEFI system)
7b. If your computer doesn't support UEFI, then (see Screenshot 2):
- Under Partition scheme and target system type, select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI-CSM.
- Under File system select: NTFS.
- Under Cluster size, leave the: 4096 bytes (default).
- Under New Volume Label, you can enter any volume name for the USB disk.
- Press the Start button.
- Non UEFI (legacy) supports both 32 & 64 bit Windows.
- In order to boot from a non UEFI USB flash drive, you must apply these settings in BIOS:
- Set the Boot configuration to: Legacy.
(Screenshot 2: For non-UEFI system)
8. Read carefully the warning message and press "OK".
9. When Rufus operation is completed, close Rufus utility, unplug the USB stick and use it to troubleshoot Windows 10 or to perform a clean OS installation.
– In order to boot from the USB disk, you must set the USB as first boot device from your BIOS settings.To do that:
- Power On your computer and press "DEL" or "F1" or "F2" or "F10" to enter BIOS (CMOS) setup utility. *
* Note: The way to enter into BIOS Settings depends on the computer manufacturer. If your computer supports UEFI, press the the corresponding button according to your computer's manufacturer instructions. (e.g. In Sony Vaio laptops that support UEFI, you have to press the "ASSIST" key on your laptop, while your laptop is Powered-OFF).
- In BIOS menu, find the "Boot Order" setting.
(This setting is commonly found in the"Advanced BIOS Features" menu).
- At "Boot Order" setting, set the USB disk (e.g. USB-HDD) as the first boot device.
- Save and exit from BIOS settings.