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How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB Drive (to Install Windows)

Create Windows 10 Bootable USBIn this guide, we’ll show you how to create a Windows 10 bootable USB drive to help you install Windows without an optical drive.

Optical drives have really become limited in their use due to the fact that most software and games can now be directly downloaded from the internet. So, one of the easiest ways to save money on your new gaming computer is to simply cut out the ~$20 or so that an optical drive costs and just install Windows from a spare USB drive.

Of course, if you have a large budget for your PC, an extra $20 on an optical drive won’t be too big of a deal. But, if you are working with a really tight budget to build an affordable gaming PC, evert cent counts.

Fortunately, installing Windows 10 from a USB is incredibly simple. This post will walk you through the process step-by-step.

Preparation and Requirements

In order to install Windows from a USB flash drive, you will need the following:

  1. An internet connection
  2. Enough storage on the device you will download Windows onto
  3. A blank USB with at least 4GB of storage
  4. Your Windows 10 product key

It’s important to note that if you use a USB flash drive that has files on it and you don’t move or delete those files before hand, they will be deleted during the process of using the Windows 10 download tool.

Step 1 – Get the Windows 10 Download Tool

  1. Click the Download tool now button.
  2. Save the MediaCreationTool.exe file and run it.

Windows Download Tool

Step 2 – Go through Windows 10 setup prompts

  1. Accept the user terms.
  2. Since we are downloading Windows 10 onto a USB for our new computer build, hit the radio button for Create installation media for another PC.
  3. Hit Next.

Create Installation Media

4. From the Select language, architecture, and edition menu, uncheck Use the recommended options for this PC, because if you leave it checked, the Media Creation Tool will copy the language, edition, and architecture of the current PC… which if they won’t be the same as the new PC, will cause a problem.

5. Click Next.

Lanuage Architecture Edition

6. From the Choose which media to use menu, click the radio button for USB flash drive.

7. Click Next.

Choose which media to use

8. Connect your USB flash drive and click on Refresh drive list (if your flash drive isn’t already connected.)

9. Once the Media Creation Tool has identified your flash drive, click Next.

10. Windows 10 will now begin to download.

11. Once the download is finished, click on Finish.

Step 3 – Installing Windows 10 on New PC from USB Flash Drive

  1. Once your new computer build is ready for the Windows 10 install, insert your USB flash drive and reboot the system.
  2. During the startup process hit the Boot Menu option
  3. From there, choose to boot from USB
  4. Go through the Windows 10 prompts, enter in your Windows key, and sit back as Windows installs

As you can see, the process for installing Windows 10 from a USB flash drive is incredibly simple. And, as such, it can really help those of you on a tight budget allocate a little bit more money to other components.

Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building computers and writing about building computers for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

14 thoughts on “How to Create Windows 10 Bootable USB Drive (to Install Windows)”

  1. Can this work if I download Windows through a Mac system into my new PC? The only device I have currently is my MacBook Pro and my iPhone SE, really looking forward to more horsepower. So my MacBook Pro currently has 215gb available out of 250gb and will not download more apps. Is it possible to do so or is it a must for me to get a windows device with more storage? Thanks. Love your posts, my PC is also based around your suggestions!

    Reply
  2. So say I wanna build a PC and have a old laptop that had the free windows 10 upgrade however long ago. It originalyl was a laptop that came with windows 8 or something. I can do this without buying a copy of windows because that 100 dollar price is rediculous and makes me wanna just buy a prebuilt gaming pc.

    Reply
  3. Will I still be able to use Windows 10 on the computer that originally had it? Like if I had a laptop that had Windows 10 and I used that to get Windows 10 on a new desktop, would that laptop still have Windows 10 to continue to be used? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Caleb,

      Yep, if you use your laptop to purchase a Windows 10 key from Microsoft (or wherever you get it from), that won’t affect the Windows 10 license on your laptop. The new key will be a separate Windows license.

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

      All the Best,
      Brent

      Reply

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