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

Booting from a USB drive can be a handy way to install Windows 11 or troubleshoot your PC. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps to get your computer to start up from a USB. By the end, you’ll be ready to dive into whatever task you need to accomplish.

How to Boot from USB Windows 11

Following these steps will enable your computer to boot from a USB drive, allowing you to install Windows 11 or perform other tasks like system repair.

Step 1: Insert Your USB Drive

Plug in the USB drive that contains the Windows 11 installation files.

Make sure your USB drive is properly formatted and has the necessary files. If your USB isn’t formatted correctly or lacks the necessary files, the boot process will fail.

Step 2: Restart Your Computer

Restart your computer to access the boot menu.

You can usually do this by clicking on the Start menu, selecting the power icon, and then clicking "Restart." Some computers might require you to hold down a specific key to access the boot menu upon restart.

Step 3: Access the Boot Menu

Press the appropriate key to enter the boot menu (often F2, F12, ESC, or DEL).

The key to access the boot menu varies by manufacturer. Look for a prompt on the screen during startup or check your computer’s manual for the correct key.

Step 4: Select USB Drive from Boot Menu

In the boot menu, use the arrow keys to select your USB drive and press Enter.

Your computer will now boot from the USB drive. If you don’t see your USB drive listed, you may need to enable USB booting in your BIOS settings.

Step 5: Follow Windows 11 Installation Instructions

Once booted from the USB, follow the on-screen instructions to install or repair Windows 11.

The process is straightforward, and on-screen prompts will guide you through each step. Make sure you have your Windows 11 product key handy if you’re installing the OS.

After successfully booting from the USB, your computer will either start the Windows 11 installation process or open up the repair tools available on the USB drive. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your desired task.

Tips for Booting from USB Windows 11

  1. Check Your BIOS Settings: Ensure that USB booting is enabled in your BIOS settings. This might be disabled by default on some systems.
  2. Use a Reliable USB Drive: A high-quality USB drive reduces the risk of file corruption or boot failures.
  3. Create a Bootable USB Correctly: Use tools like the Windows Media Creation Tool to correctly create a bootable USB drive.
  4. Keep Your USB Ports Clean: Dust and debris can interfere with the connection, causing issues during the boot process.
  5. Have a Backup Plan: Always back up your important files before attempting to install or repair your operating system to prevent data loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my USB drive isn’t recognized?

Make sure your USB drive is properly formatted and contains the correct files. Also, ensure that USB booting is enabled in your BIOS settings.

Can I boot from USB on any computer?

Most modern computers support USB booting, but older models might not. Check your computer’s manual or BIOS settings.

What should I do if the boot menu doesn’t show up?

Try different keys like F2, F12, ESC, or DEL during startup. If that doesn’t work, consult your computer’s manual.

Do I need a product key to install Windows 11?

Yes, you will need a valid Windows 11 product key to install the OS. Make sure you have it ready before starting the installation process.

Is it safe to boot from a USB drive?

Yes, as long as the USB drive is from a trusted source and contains legitimate files. Always use reliable tools to create bootable USB drives.


  1. Insert Your USB Drive
  2. Restart Your Computer
  3. Access the Boot Menu
  4. Select USB Drive from Boot Menu
  5. Follow Windows 11 Installation Instructions


Booting from a USB drive to install or repair Windows 11 is a straightforward process. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure a smooth and efficient boot process. Always remember to double-check your BIOS settings and use a reliable USB drive to avoid any hiccups.

Whether you’re installing Windows 11 for the first time, upgrading from an older version, or troubleshooting issues, booting from a USB is a great solution. For more detailed guides and troubleshooting tips, consider browsing official Microsoft resources or tech forums. Now that you know how to boot from USB Windows 11, you’re well-equipped to handle your installation or repair tasks with confidence.