You can use installation media (a USB flash drive or DVD) to install a new copy of Windows, perform a clean installation, or reinstall Windows. To create installation media, go to the software download website, where you'll find step-by-step instructions. On that website, you can select a version of Windows and create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD.
To go directly to one of the versions, select one of these links:. Windows 10 (Then select Download tool now.).
- Windows 11 (Then select Download tool now.). Important: Back up your files before you install or reinstall Windows on your PC. Learn how for Windows 10 and Windows 11 or for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
- To create the installation media, here's what you'll need:. A PC with a reliable internet connection. The download time will vary, depending on your internet connection.
- A USB flash drive, external hard drive, or DVD. A blank USB flash drive or external hard drive with at least 8 GB of space, or a blank DVD (and DVD burner). We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD because any content on it will be deleted.
- When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you're told the disc image file is too large, you'll need to use dual layer (DL) DVD media. Your 25-character product key (not required for digital licenses). For help finding it, go to Find your Windows product key. After you've created the installation media, you can reset or reinstall Windows.
- Click Next to download or create the install media. This will take a while depending on the speed of your Internet connection and Windows 8.1 edition that you’re downloading.
Once this is done, you can use the USB flash drive to perform a clean install of Windows 8.1 right away, or burn the ISO image to CD/USB with the freeware ISO2Disc.