How to Boot from USB Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Boot from USB Windows 11

Booting from a USB drive on Windows 11 can be super handy, especially if you need to troubleshoot, install a fresh OS, or even run a live version of another operating system. Here’s a quick guide: plug in the USB drive, restart your computer, enter the BIOS/UEFI settings, change the boot order to prioritize the USB drive, and save your settings. Let’s dive into the details to make sure everything goes smoothly.

How to Boot from USB Windows 11

In this section, we will walk you through the steps to boot your Windows 11 computer from a USB drive. This will involve entering your computer’s BIOS/UEFI settings and changing the boot order so your machine prioritizes the USB drive.

Step 1: Create a Bootable USB Drive

First, create a bootable USB drive using tools like Rufus or the Windows Media Creation Tool.

To do this, download the necessary software, run it, and follow on-screen instructions to make your USB drive bootable. Make sure the USB drive is at least 8GB in size and formatted properly.

Step 2: Insert the USB Drive

Insert the bootable USB drive into a USB port on your computer.

Ensure the USB drive is properly connected and recognized by your system. Double-check it by going to ‘This PC’ and confirming the drive is listed.

Step 3: Restart Your Computer

Restart your computer to access the BIOS/UEFI settings.

You can do this by clicking on the Start menu, selecting the power icon, and clicking ‘Restart’. Don’t miss the chance to enter BIOS/UEFI during the reboot.

Step 4: Enter the BIOS/UEFI Settings

As your computer restarts, press the designated key (often F2, F10, DEL, or ESC) to enter BIOS/UEFI settings.

The specific key varies by manufacturer, so you might need to check your computer’s manual or the manufacturer’s website if you’re unsure.

Step 5: Change the Boot Order

Navigate to the Boot tab in BIOS/UEFI settings and move the USB drive to the top of the boot order list.

Use the arrow keys to select your USB drive and follow the on-screen instructions to change its priority. This tells your computer to look for a bootable USB drive first.

Step 6: Save and Exit

Save your changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI settings.

Usually, you can press F10 to save and exit, but be sure to confirm if prompted. Your computer will now restart and boot from the USB drive.

After completing these steps, your computer will boot from the USB drive. This will either launch the installation process, a live operating system, or whatever tools are available on the USB drive.

Tips for Booting from USB Windows 11

  • Use a Reliable USB Drive: Ensure your USB drive is in good condition and has at least 8GB of storage.
  • Create a Backup: Before making any changes, back up important data to avoid potential data loss.
  • Check BIOS/UEFI Key: Different manufacturers have different keys to enter BIOS/UEFI. Check your manual or manufacturer’s website.
  • Keep USB 3.0 in Mind: If available, use USB 3.0 for faster data transfer; it’s usually blue.
  • Update BIOS/UEFI: Ensure your BIOS/UEFI firmware is up-to-date to avoid compatibility issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bootable USB drive?

A bootable USB drive contains an operating system or recovery tool that can be used to start your computer.

Can I boot from a USB without entering the BIOS/UEFI?

Some computers allow selecting a boot device during startup by pressing a specific key, like F12, without entering BIOS/UEFI settings.

What happens if I remove the USB drive during boot?

Removing the USB drive during boot can cause the boot process to fail, potentially leading to system errors or crashes.

Why isn’t my USB drive showing up in the BIOS/UEFI?

Ensure the USB drive is properly connected and formatted correctly. Also, try different USB ports.

Can I use the same USB drive to boot multiple computers?

Yes, but you might need to reconfigure BIOS/UEFI settings on each computer.


  1. Create a bootable USB drive.
  2. Insert the USB drive.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Enter the BIOS/UEFI settings.
  5. Change the boot order.
  6. Save and exit.


Booting from a USB drive on Windows 11 isn’t rocket science, but it does require a little patience and some know-how. With your USB drive ready and these steps at hand, you’ll be primed to troubleshoot issues, install new software, or even explore other operating systems with ease.

Remember, the key to a smooth process is preparation. Make sure to create a reliable bootable USB drive, back up your data, and stay informed about your computer’s BIOS/UEFI settings. And if all goes well, you’ll be booting from that USB like a pro.

Booting from USB Windows 11 can open up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re tech-savvy or just starting out, following this guide can make the experience seamless and stress-free. If you find yourself needing further assistance, there are plenty of online resources and communities happy to help. Good luck, and happy booting!