Rufus is a free tool to quickly create a bootable USB flash drive to upgrade or clean install Windows 11. The utility works similar to the Media Creation Tool, and you can provide an existing ISO file or download the files directly from the Microsoft servers.
1. How to Create a Windows 11 Bootable USB With Rufus
Unlike the Microsoft solution, Rufus not only allows you to create a USB installation media, but it does it faster, and you can even prepare a USB drive with an older version of Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.
Tip: Before you try to use the bootable drive, check if your PC can run Windows 11. If it can’t, you should read about how to install Windows 11 on an unsupported PC.
Also, starting with version 3.16, 3.17, and higher, there’s an “Extended” option to create a bootable USB that bypasses the security and memory requirements.
Create Windows 11 Bootable USB Installation Media with Media Creation Tool
In this guide, you will learn the steps to use Rufus to download the ISO file and create a bootable media to install Windows 11 from scratch. To use Rufus to download the Windows 11 ISO file and create a bootable media, connect a USB flash drive with 8GB of space, and then use these steps:.
Open Rufus website. Under the “Download” section, click the link to download the latest version. Double-click the executable to launch the tool. Click the Settings button (third button from the left) a the bottom of the page.
Under the “Settings” section, use the “Check for updates” drop-down menu and select the Daily option.
Click the Close button again. Open Rufus again. (Optional) Under the “Device” section, use the drop-down menu and select the USB flash drive to create the installation media.
Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image option.
Warning: Using the Windows Media Creation Tool will wipe everything on the USB drive you choose. Be absolutely sure there is nothing important on the drive before proceeding past this point.
Click the down-arrow button (on the right side) and select the Download option.
Click the Download button. Select the Windows 11 option. Click the Continue button. Under the “Release” section, select the 21H2 (Build 22000.194 – 2021.10) option to choose Windows 11.
Click the Continue button. Select the Windows 11 Home/Pro option. Click the Continue button. Select the language of Windows 11.
Click the Continue button. Select the operating system architecture.
(Windows 11 is only available in x64 architecture.). Click the Download button. Select the location to save the Windows 11 ISO file automatically. Under the “Image option” setting, select the Standard Windows 11 Installation (TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, 8GB+ RAM) option.
(Optional) Under the “Image option” setting, select the Extended Windows 11 Installation (no TPM 2.0, no Secure Boot, 8GB+ RAM) option to create a USB flash drive that bypasses the system requirements.