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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install Windows 11 via USB

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Install Windows 11 via USB

7 minute read

How to Install Windows 11 Using a USB Drive


Upgrading to Windows 11 ensures you benefit from the latest features, improved security, and enhanced performance. Installing via USB is a convenient and efficient method. This guide will walk you through how to install Windows 11 via USB, making the process straightforward and easy to follow.

System Requirements for Windows 11

Minimum System Requirements

Before starting, ensure your PC meets the minimum system requirements.
Here is a table outlining the minimum system requirements for installing Windows 11:

Component Minimum Specification     
Processor 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
Storage   64 GB or larger storage device   
System Firmware UEFI, Secure Boot capable 
TPM   Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics Card DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x  
Display 9” with HD Resolution (720p)
Internet Connection Internet connection to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features

These specifications are necessary to ensure that Windows 11 runs smoothly and effectively on your computer.

Recommended System Requirements

For the best experience, it's recommended to have a multi-core processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of SSD storage, a higher resolution display, and a dedicated GPU. This ensures smoother performance and better handling of intensive tasks.

Preparing for Installation

Backup Your Data

Before making any major changes, back up your important files. Use external hard drives, cloud storage, or dedicated backup software to ensure your data is safe. This precaution is vital to prevent data loss during the installation process.

Download the Windows 11 ISO File

To install Windows 11, you'll need the ISO file.

Official Microsoft Source -

Download the ISO file from the official Microsoft website to ensure you're getting a legitimate copy.

Choosing the Right Edition

Ensure you download the correct edition of Windows 11 that matches your product key and system requirements. The Downloaded Windows 11 iso includes all versions of Windows 11 available.
 Follow the following blog post if you want to guarantee installing a certain version of Windows 11 -

Creating a Bootable USB Drive

Tools Needed

You'll need a USB drive with at least 8 GB of space and a tool like Rufus or the Windows Media Creation Tool to create the bootable drive.

Steps to Create a Bootable USB Drive

A full step by step guide on how to create your Windows 11 USB can be found here - How to Create a Bootable Windows USB Drive Easily

Using Rufus

Visit the Rufus website and download the latest version. Once downloaded, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to install Rufus on your PC. Insert your USB drive, open Rufus, and select the Windows 11 ISO file. Configure the settings to match your system: use GPT for UEFI systems and MBR for BIOS systems. Click "START" to begin the process.

Using Windows Media Creation Tool

Download the Windows Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website. Run the tool and select "Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC." Choose your preferred language, edition, and architecture. Insert your USB drive, select it in the tool, and click "Next" to start creating the bootable USB drive.

Installation Process

Booting from the USB Drive

Insert the bootable USB drive into your computer and restart it. Access the BIOS/UEFI settings (usually by pressing a key like F2, F12, or Delete during startup) and set the USB drive as the primary boot device. Save the changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI. Your computer should now boot from the USB drive. Alternatively access the boot menu when you first start your computer and select your USB from the list.

Start the Installation Process

When your computer boots from the USB drive, the Windows Setup screen will appear.

Step 1: Language, Time, and Keyboard Settings

Windows 11 initial setup screen

Select your preferred language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 2: Install Now

Windows 11 install now screen

Click on "Install now" to begin the installation process.

Step 3: Enter Windows 11 product key

Enter Windows 11 product key setup screen

Enter your Windows 11 product key. If you don't have one, or there is an error you can choose "I don't have a product key" and activate Windows later. Click "Next" to proceed.

Step 4: Select the Operating System

Enter Windows 11 edition setup screen

Choose the Windows 11 edition you want to install (e.g., Windows 11 Pro) and click "Next."

Step 5: Accept the License Terms

Read and accept the Microsoft Software License Terms by checking the box and clicking "Next."

Step 6: Choose the Installation Type
This guide assumes a clean installation. Select "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)."

Step 7: Select the Drive

Where to install Windows 11 screen

Select the drive where you want to install Windows 11. If it's a new drive, you may need to create a new partition. Click "Next" to start the installation.

Step 8: Installing Windows

Windows 11 installing screen

The installation process will begin. Your computer may restart several times during this process.

Complete the Setup

Once the installation is complete, follow the on-screen instructions to set up your preferences, create a user account, and configure settings.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Windows 11 on your computer. Enjoy the new features and improvements of Windows 11.


Installing Windows 11 via USB is a manageable process when approached with proper preparation and a clear understanding of each step. By ensuring your system meets the requirements, backing up your data, and carefully following the installation instructions, you can successfully upgrade to Windows 11. Post-installation, configuring your settings, updating drivers, and installing essential software will ensure your system runs smoothly and efficiently. Enjoy the new features and enhanced performance that Windows 11 has to offer.


Can I upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free?
Yes, if you have a valid Windows 10 license, you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free. Check Microsoft's website for more details and eligibility.

How long does the installation process take?
The installation process typically takes between 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your hardware specifications and internet speed.

What should I do if the installation fails?
If the installation fails, check if your system meets the requirements, try using a different USB drive, or recreate the installation media. You can also seek help from Microsoft's support forums.

Can I revert to Windows 10 after installing Windows 11?
Yes, you can revert to Windows 10 within 10 days of installing Windows 11 by going to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and selecting "Go back to Windows 10."

Is Windows 11 suitable for gaming?
Yes, Windows 11 is designed to enhance gaming performance with features like DirectStorage, Auto HDR, and better integration with Xbox services.

What should I do if I encounter a black screen during installation?
If you encounter a black screen during installation, try waiting a few minutes, checking your connections, restarting your computer, or using Safe Mode to troubleshoot the issue.

Can I install Windows 11 on a Mac using a USB drive?
Yes, you can install Windows 11 on a Mac using a USB drive by downloading the Windows 11 ISO, creating a bootable USB with Boot Camp Assistant, and following the installation instructions.

Can I dual boot Windows 11 with another operating system?
Yes, you can dual boot Windows 11 with another operating system by partitioning your hard drive, installing Windows 11 on one partition, installing the other OS on another partition, and configuring boot options.

What are the key features of Windows 11?
Key features of Windows 11 include a redesigned Start menu and taskbar, enhanced virtual desktops, Snap Layouts and Groups, Microsoft Teams integration, DirectStorage, widgets, and improved touch, pen, and voice support.

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