How to Boot from USB drive in Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to boot from a USB flash drive when using Windows 11. There are multiple ways one can boot from a USB flash drive in Windows, and all these methods work well. Some work better than others in some cases.

One common way to boot from a USB drive is to use your computer boot menu. Your PC boot menu is accessible during the computer starts up process. It provides a way to load and install new operating system or access other external devices like a USB drive.

There are specific keys on the keyboard to access a computer boot menu. The keys that are generally used to access a computer boot menu are Esc, F2, F10 or F12. If any of the keys listed are not able to access your computer boot menu, then you may need to reference your PC manufacturer’s manual to get that.

Another way to boot from a USB is via Windows Advanced Startup (WinRE). We’re going to list some of the ways one can boot from a USB drive below.

How to boot from a USB flash drive in Windows 11

As mentioned above, there are multiple ways one can boot from a USB flash drive in Windows, and all these methods work well. Some better than others in some cases.

Here’s how to boot from a USB flash drive in Windows 11.

Boot from USB via Windows Advanced Startup (WinRE)

To boot from a USB via WinRE, insert and connect the USB device to your computer. Next, boot to Windows Advanced Startup (WinRE).

In WinRE option menu, select Use a device as shown in the image below.

windows 11 boot from usb winre

Then select the USB device from the list.

windows 11 boot from a usb device

Your computer will reboot and boot from the select USB device.

Boot from a USB device via boot menu

If using WinRE above doesn’t work or isn’t applicable to you, you can use your computer’s boot menu to boot from a USB drive.

  • Connect the USB drive to your computer.
  • Start the computer up
  • Keep pressing the boot menu key (Esc, F2, F10 or F12) on your keyboard to access the boot menu.

The boot menu option key will vary per brand and model of motherboard. If the keys above can not bring up the boot menu, reference your PC’s manual.

Select the USB drive you want to boot from and press Enter.

boot from usb boot menu

Your computer will then boot from the drive.

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to boot from a USB flash drive in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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