How to install Windows 11 from USB in 2021 [Easiest Guide]
Microsoft has made it easier for you to experience Windows 11 through the Windows Insider program. You can easily upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 through the Dev Channel without having to manually configure everything. In fact, Windows Insider Beta users can now also receive Windows 11 updates seamlessly. But that said, if you are someone who likes to install Windows cleanly, then flashing Windows 11 from USB would be a good option. This means that you won’t have any temporary or leftover files which will result in a faster and smoother experience. So if you want to install Windows 11 from USB then follow the step by step guide below.
Install Windows 11 from a USB Flash Drive: A Complete Guide (2021)
First, we explained how to create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive and then how to reinstall Windows 11 on your PC. You can expand the table below and go to the appropriate section.
Create a Windows 11 bootable USB drive
We are going to use Rufus to create a Windows 11 bootable USB drive because it is easy to use. If you find Rufus unnecessarily complex, you can find other Rufus alternatives in our list. Other than that, I’m assuming you already have a copy of the Windows 11 ISO image. Now that all of that is said, let’s learn how to make a bootable USB drive for Windows 11.
1. First, plug the USB drive into your computer. Then launch Rufus and it will automatically choose the USB device. Now click on “To select“and choose the Windows 11 ISO image. I would recommend running Rufus on the same PC where you want to install Windows 11. This allows Rufus to automatically preselect the correct values based on your system configuration.
2. If you create the bootable USB drive on another computer, I suggest you check the partition scheme of the target machine first. Press the “Windows + X” keyboard shortcut and open Disk Management. Here, right click on “Disk 0” and open “Properties”. Then, go to “Volumes” and check the partition style, whether GPT or MBR. For example mine is GPT.
To note: Since upgrading to Windows 11 requires GPT partition style, you can learn how to convert MBR to GPT disk without data loss through our related article.
3. So on Rufus, I selected “GPT” under “Partition scheme“. You have to choose the partition scheme accordingly. Finally, keep everything as default and click” START “. Once the flashing process is complete, shut down Rufus and plug the Windows 11 USB stick into the target machine.
Clean install of Windows 11 from a bootable USB drive
1. To install Windows 11 from USB, you must restart your computer. When you start your PC, you will need to start pressing the start key continuously.
To note: On HP laptops, press the “Esc” key during startup to display the boot menu. For other laptops and desktops, you will need to search the Internet for the startup key. It should be one of these: F12, F9, F10, etc.
2. Then press “F9” (the key may be different for your laptop / desktop) to open “Device Boot Options”. Here, select the USB drive you created and press Enter.
3. You will now start in the configuration of the Windows 11 installer. Click on Next -> Install now.
4. On the next page, choose “I don’t have a product key“.
5. After that, you may be asked to select Windows 11 edition. If you are using a laptop with Windows enabled, the edition will be selected automatically based on your previous configuration.
6. Now click on “CustomIt allows you to install Windows 11 on a specific drive. That way you won’t have to erase the entire drive.
7. Once on the score page, identify drive “C” depending on the size of the drive and click “Next” to install Windows 11 on your PC. This will only erase your C drive, including desktop programs and files, My Documents, Downloads, all in C drive, and will not affect other partitions.
To note: If you get MBR related error, follow our guide and convert MBR to GPT disk without data loss.
8. Finally, Windows 11 will be installed from the USB stick to your PC.
9. After installation, your PC will restart automatically. During the start-up process, remove the USB stick, and you’ll be greeted with the all-new Windows 11 Integration Setup (OOBE).
10. During installation, if you are using Windows 11 Home, you cannot create an offline account. You will need an active internet connection to sign in to your Microsoft account. Yes, this is one of the absurd system requirements for Windows 11. However, if you are using other editions of Windows 11, you can go the offline route: Login Options -> Offline Account -> Limited Experience.
To note: Once signed in, home users can remove the Microsoft account from Windows 11 and use a local account instead.
11. There you go! You have successfully installed Windows 11 from your computer’s USB key. Now go ahead and try all the new Windows 11 features on your computer. It includes a new centered start menu, Microsoft Store redesigned with support for Android apps, widgets, new action center, voice input and much more.
Fresh install of Windows 11 from a bootable USB stick on your PC
This is how you can create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive and install the brand new Microsoft desktop operating system on your computer. The process is quite similar to how we install Windows 10 from a USB drive. Even if you are new to installing Windows, you can follow the step-by-step guide and get Windows 11 up and running in no time. Anyway, it all comes from us. If you want to turn off the new Widgets feature or turn off the Microsoft Teams Chat icon in the Windows 11 taskbar, follow our linked tutorial. And if you want to check out a full list of Windows 11 keyboard shortcuts, we’ve got you covered. Finally, if you have any questions, comment below and let us know.