This article instructs on creating a bootable USB flash drive to install or reinstall Windows 11 using the Media Creation Tool. This tool is useful for users desiring a clean install to avoid issues carried over from Windows 10. The guide covers step-by-step directions to use the tool, from downloading it to setting up the computer boot from the USB drive.
This post shows students and new users how to create a bootable USB flash drive to install or reinstall Windows 11 on a new computer. The vast majority of users will do an in-place upgrade to Windows 11. This means they will upgrade from a Windows 10 PC to Windows 11.
Some users will want to perform a clean install of Windows 11. Sometimes, upgrading a computer might bring other issues from Windows 10, and doing a clean install is one way to ensure you’re starting over.
Microsoft has released a tool (Media Creation Tool) to help you create a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive to install Windows 11. If you want to perform a reinstall or clean install of Windows 11 on a new or used PC, download the media creation tool to make a bootable USB or DVD.
To create a USB bootable drive for Windows 11, follow the steps below.
How to use Windows Media Creation Tool
When you’re ready to install Windows 11, use the steps below to create a bootable USB or CD/DVD to install from.
First, download the media-creating tool on an existing computer. You can use the link below to download it.
- After downloading, run the media creation tool. It would be best if you were an administrator to run this tool.
- If you agree to the license terms, select Accept.
- On the What do you want to do? page, select Create installation media for another PC, and then select Next.
- Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit) for Windows 11.
- Select which media you want to use:
- USB flash drive: Attach a blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space. Any content on the flash drive will be deleted.
- ISO file: Save an ISO file to your PC. This can be used to create a bootable DVD. After the file is downloaded, you can go to the location where the file is saved, or select Open DVD burner, and follow the instructions to burn the file to a DVD.
On the next screen, select the USB flash drive you want to boot Windows 11.
When you click Next, the tool should begin downloading Windows 11 onto the USB flash drive to boot from.
Wait until the download is complete.
Then take the USB flash drive to the computer you want to install Windows 11.
How to boot the computer from a USB flash drive
- Attach the USB flash drive or insert the DVD on the PC where you want to install Windows 11.
- Restart your PC.
- If your PC does not automatically boot to the USB or DVD media, you might have to open a boot menu or change the boot order in your PC’s BIOS or UEFI settings.
- To open a boot menu or change the boot order, you’ll typically need to press a key (such as F2, F12, Delete, or Esc) immediately after you turn on your PC. You may need to reference the computer manufacturer’s documents to see how to access the boot menu.
- If you do not see the USB or DVD media device listed within the boot options, then make sure your computer USB port is working or change the port.
- If changing the boot menu or order doesn’t work, and your PC immediately boots into the OS you want to replace, it is possible the PC had not fully shut down. To ensure the PC fully shuts down, select the power button on the sign-in screen or on the Start menu and select Shut down.
- Select your language, time, and keyboard preferences on the Install Windows page, and then select Next.
- Select Install Windows.
Once installation is complete, remove the USB drive and log on to Windows 11.
That should do it!
This post showed you how to create a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 11. Please use the comment form below if you find any errors above or have something to add.