How to Install Windows 10 From a USB Flash Drive (UEFI)

Whether you want to install Windows 10 offline or you want to make a Windows 10 USB installation media to use for installations across multiple devices. There are two common ways to do this, the first way is to directly use the media creation tool from Microsoft, in which case all you would need is a USB flash drive, (8 GB or larger is recommended) and a good Internet connection. We recommend a super-fast USB with good read-write speed, that way you can expect the whole process to go much faster. This also ensures a fast and efficient Windows installation process.

The second way is to use a third-party application to create your Windows 10 bootable USB. In that case, you will need a Windows 10 ISO file, which you can download for free, a USB stick, and a third-party application. There are several third-party applications out there but Rufus is the most preferred application, is quite easy to use, it has great reviews and luckily it’s free.

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METHOD 1: Using Microsoft Media Creation Tool

The Microsoft media creation tool is a portable tool provided by Microsoft for either upgrading your Windows to the latest version, creating an installation media on a USB stick or DVD to use for installing Windows on another computer, or creating an ISO file for similar reasons.

This tool is, of course free, and can be downloaded directly from Microsoft website. The tool itself is about 20MB in size, however, Windows installation files could be anywhere between 4GB to 8GB in size, (This could change with updates), so downloading from a metered connection could attract substantial download cost.

More so the speed of the connection plays a major role on how long the entire process takes. In addition, the specification of the PC also contributes heavily to the duration of this process, you can find the system requirements for running Windows 10 here.

When you run the media creation tool, the default option is to upgrade this PC now, but you want to select “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file)  for another PC”.

Before that, insert your USB flash stick. Ensure there are no needed files on your USB flash stick because the media creation tool will automatically delete the files on your USB during the creation process. With that done, select the “Create installation media for another PC” and click on next.

On the page that follows, you’re to select the language, architecture and edition of Windows 10 you wish to have, by default I have English US as the language, Windows 10 Edition, and the 64-bit architecture as the recommended options.

You want to change these configurations to match your PC specifications. So first uncheck “use recommended options for this PC” only then will you be able to change these default settings.

For the language, I will leave mine as English US, you can select your preferred language. Edition, of course, is Windows 10, then on the architecture, there are 3 options, 32 bit, 64 bit, and Both.

If you already know the architecture of the PC you will be installing your Windows 10 on then you can select it here, but if you don’t or if you have multiple PCs you wish to install Windows 10 on with both 32 and 64 bit, then your best bet is to select the Both option, that way you won’t need to create multiple installation media.

However, this will require more space on the USB, somewhere around 8 gigabyte, so if you want to run with this option, then is better to use a 16 gig USB to avoid any errors, however if you want to go with only the 32 bit or 64 bit option, then 8GB USB stick should be enough.

Also if you can get a USB 3.0 it could save you a bit of time during the disk creation and also when you use it to install windows on your other computers compared to USB 2.0.

On this page, it gives you the option of either using a USB flash drive or creating an ISO file that will later be burned to a DVD, so I will leave it as USB flash drive and hit next.

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Then select the USB flash drive you want to use, you can easily go back to your computer folder to confirm the volume label of your USB drive to ensure you select the right drive, then hit next to start the download and media creation process for Windows 10.

This stage will take a while depending on the speed of your internet connection, the processing power of your PC, and also the speed of your USB stick, some USB sticks are faster than others especially when you compare the 2.0 to 3.0, 2.0 will also work fine just that it might take a bit more time during this disk creation process and also when you use it to install Windows on some other PC.

In any case, this process will take a while, 15 to 20 minutes on average, yours could take more or less time depending on the factors I just mentioned, moreover you can keep working on your laptop during this process.

After successfully completing the media creation process, you should have this page saying your USB flash drive is ready.

You can also go to your computer folder to verify that your USB now has the installation files and is configured as bootable, it should look something like this. With that you’re ready to install Windows 10 offline using the USB flash drive.

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METHOD 2: Using A Third-Party Application (Rufus)

The second method is to use a third-party application to create your Windows 10 bootable USB. Here I will be using Rufus. Before downloading and running Rufus, you need to have your Windows 10 ISO file saved somewhere on your computer, if you are yet to download the Windows 10 iso file, you can follow the procedure here to do that.

Afterward, go ahead and download  Rufus.

Upon running you should have an interface like this.

Here first select the USB device you want to use in case you have multiple USB devices attached. Then on the boot selection field, use the drop-down to select disk or iso image. Then click on this select button to the right and locate the iso file you have saved,  and then select a partition scheme for the disk where you intend to install Windows.

The two options here are MBR and GPT, GPT is the newer scheme meant to replace MBR with some improved features you can read more about these two schemes here.

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If you intend to use this USB to install Windows on a formatted laptop or PC with no disk partitions then you should use the GPT option, during the installation it will automatically convert your disk to GPT.

However, if you want to use the USB to upgrade from a previous version of windows, then you may want to check the partition format of the disk. For Windows 10 simply go to your search and type disk partition, then click on create and format disk partition.

Right-click on disk 0 where you intend to install your windows and select properties.

Here click on volumes and then you should see the partition style of your disk here is GPT.

So with GPT selected, click on start.

It then informs you that all data on the USB stick will be deleted during the process, ensure you’ve backed up all the files on your USB stick, then hit ok and wait for the process to complete.

When completed, it should say ready, and then you can close Rufus, and eject your USB drive.

With that, you have a Windows 10 bootable USB drive ready to install windows on other computers.

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Please share your comments, questions, and feedback in the comment section below.

 The following videos demonstrates the solutions in this tutorial.

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