Although you can install Windows 11 in multiple ways, if you plan to start from scratch, you would usually use a bootable USB flash drive to proceed with the setup. However, since you cannot officially purchase physical installation media, you need to create one yourself. On Windows 11, you have at least two tools to download the installation files onto a USB flash drive and make it bootable.
You can use the official Media Creation Tool to download the files onto a removable storage. Or you can use Rufus, a third-party tool that makes it easy to create a flash drive to install the OS on a compatible or incompatible devices.
In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps of creating a USB flash drive with support for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool and Rufus.
Way 2: Use Rufus to Create a Windows 11 Bootable USB Drive
The Media Creation Tool is the easiest method to create a bootable media to upgrade or clean install Windows 11. To create an installation media with the Media Creation Tool, connect a USB flash drive of at least 8GB of space, and use these steps:. Open Windows 11 download page. Under the "Create Windows 11 Installation Media" section, click the Download now button to save the file on the device.
Source: Windows Central. Double-click the MediaCreationToolW11.exe file to launch the tool. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
(Optional) Clear the Use the recommended options for this PC option. Source: Windows Central. Select the correct language and edition of Windows 11.
Click the Next button. Select the USB flash drive option. Source: Windows Central. Click the Next button.
Select the USB flash drive. Source: Windows Central. Quick tip: If the device is not in the list, click the "Refresh drive list" option to make it available.
Click the Next button. Click the Finish button. Once you complete the steps, the tool will download the necessary files to create a bootable media, which you can then use to start a computer to install Windows 11.
Alternatively, you can also use Rufus, a free non-Microsoft tool that allows you to create an installation media to install Windows 11 on any supported hardware and software configuration.
The utility provides two methods to create the installation media, including using an existing ISO file or directly downloading the file from the Microsoft servers.
To create a USB media with an existing Windows 11 ISO file, connect a flash drive of at least 8GB of space, and use these steps:. Open Rufus download page.
Under the "Download" section, click the link to save the latest release on your device. Source: Windows Central. Double-click the Rufus-x.xx.exe file to launch the tool.
To Sum up
Under the "Device" section, select the USB flash drive. Under the "Boot selection" section, click the Select button on the right side.
Select the Windows 11 ISO file from the folder location. Click the Open button. Use the "Image option" drop-down menu and select the Standard Windows installation (TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, 8GB+ RAM) option. Source: Windows Central. (Optional) Select the Extended Windows installation (no TPM 2.0/no Secure Boot, 8GB+ RAM) option to create a USB flash drive for unsupported devices.
Use the "Partition scheme" drop-down menu and select the GPT option. Use the "Target system" drop-down menu and select the UEFI (non CSM) option. Under the "Show Advanced drive properties" section, do not change the default settings (unless you know what you are doing).
Under the "Volume label" field, confirm a name for the bootable media — for example, "win11_usb."
In the "File system" and "Cluster size" options do not change the default settings. Click the Show advanced format options button. Check the Quick format option. Check the Create extended label and icon files option. Click the Start button.
Click the OK button to confirm. Click the Close button. After you complete the steps, Rufus will create a USB flash drive to install Windows 11 on a compatible computer, unless you selected the option to create a bootable that skips the system requirements (not recommended).
To use Rufus to create a Windows 11 USB installer, connect a USB drive with enough space, and then use these steps:.
Open Rufus download page. Under the "Download" section, click the link to save the latest release on your device.
Source: Windows Central. Double-click the Rufus-x.xx.exe file to launch the tool. Click the Settings button (third button from the left) at the bottom of the page. Source: Windows Central. Under the "Settings" section, use the Check for updates drop-down menu and select the Daily option.