How to Install Windows 10 From USB

Microsoft Windows is by far the most popular Operating System for desktops and laptops, and a lot of that popularity is due to its flexibility. You can install Windows 10 in various ways, but a USB drive is popular as many laptops no longer have DVD drives. Also, using a USB drive saves you from the effects of wear and tear that affects a DVD.

Steps To Install Windows From USB

Windows 10 Operating System installation consists of three steps. The steps explained below can be used to install all versions of Windows from Windows XP onwards. There might be slight alterations, but the procedure is essentially the same.

The three broad steps are:

  • Download the Operating System Disk Image file.
  • Make the USB device you want to use bootable.
  • The installation of the Operating System.

A. Downloading The Windows 10 Image File

To install Windows 10 on your PC from USB, you first have to download the Windows 10 image file that contains the boot files:

  1. First, you need to download the Windows Media Creation Tool, which you can find here.
  2. Open the executable file you have just downloaded and Accept the license agreement.
  3. On the next screen, select the option that says Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and click Next.
  4. Untick the Use recommended options for this PC checkbox so you can modify the options to your preferences. It’s essential to take note of the computer’s processor architecture on which you want to install Windows 10 because installing a 32-bit version on a 64-bit processor and vice versa will cause issues.
    Select Both if you aren’t sure what the architecture is or plan to install Windows 10 on multiple computers using that USB. Note that selecting Both will result in a larger file to download.
Select the language, architecture, and edition of Windows download
Select the language, architecture, and edition
  1. On the next screen, select the ISO file option; this lets you download the Windows 10 Disc Image (.iso) file so you can burn it to any USB device you want later.
Download Windows 10 ISO file
Download Windows 10 ISO file
  1. Select Next and give it a name and download location and click Save.
  2. You will successfully download the image file to your computer.

B. Making The Device Bootable

A boot device is any storage device containing files necessary for your computer to start. Every properly functioning computer consists of hardware and software, and for the various hardware in your computer to work cohesively, a category of software called system software is needed.

The most common and important types of system software are operating systems and drivers. All important system software need to be stored and configured correctly on a storage device, making the device bootable. To make it bootable, you need to properly load the downloaded Windows 10 Disk Image file on your USB device.

It’s important to note that you have a USB device with at least 8 GB of storage space as Windows 10 installation media. If you have an 8 GB USB device, let’s jump right into the process below:

  1. First, download a software called Rufus from here.
  2. Launch Rufus and connect your USB device.
  3. Select your device on the first dropdown.
Select your device from the dropdown on Rufus
  1. Next, change the File system option to NTFS.
  1. Next to the option that says Create a bootable disk using, select the ISO image option and click the little box on the far-right. In the window that appears, select the ISO file you downloaded earlier.
  1. Accept the warning that appears about erasing data.
  2. After completing the process, your device becomes bootable.

Windows 10 is the most popular Windows desktop operating system, accounting for more than 80 percent of the market share as of December 2021.


C. Installing Windows 10 On The PC

Now that you have a bootable USB device with Windows 10 on it, you now need to install the operating system on any computer you want by following these steps:

  1. Plug in the bootable USB device.
  2. Turn on your computer if it is off or restart it if it is on; on the BIOS load screen, press the indicated key for Boot Options or Setup. It is F2 for Setup and F8 or F12 for Boot Options on most computers.
  3. If you selected Boot Options, select your bootable USB device on the displayed list of devices.
  4. If you selected Setup, look for the Boot menu and select the Boot Device Order option and place your USB device on top of that list. BIOS setup menus vary a lot, so if it’s your first time using it, ensure you patiently read the instructions they show you.
  5. If you followed the previous step correctly, you’d need to press any key to boot your device from USB; this should lead you to the Windows 10 installation setup.
  6. First, select the language, time and currency format, and keyboard and input method.
  7. Click the Install Now options.
  8. The following window will ask you to input a license key; you can put one now if you have it or select Skip to do it later.
  9. Accept the license agreement and click Next.
  10. Next, you should choose if you want to install Windows 10 while retaining your previous files, settings, and applications. If you want to wipe all files and have a fresh start, select the option that says Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
  11. Select the disk on which you want to install Windows 10 and select Next.
  12. The installation process will begin; this process will take a while depending on your system speed, and it’ll cause your computer to restart a few times.
Windows installation process
Windows installation process
  1. After it’s all done, you will have successfully installed Windows 10 on your PC, and you can continue with custom setups as you please.

Knowing The System Requirements

Before you install Windows 10 on your PC, your computer must meet the following requirements, or it won’t work correctly:

  • Processor — 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM — 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space — 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card — compatible with DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display — 800 x 600 minimum resolution

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