How To Create A Windows To Go USB Drive

Until Windows 8, the only way to use your Windows was to install it directly on your PC. But with Windows 8, Microsoft included a new feature called “Windows To Go”. Windows To Go feature allows you to use a full version of Windows on a USB flash drive. In brief, Windows To Go, you can easily carry the operating system on a USB flash drive and use it on any other computer, without having to install it on your hard drive and keeping all the files and settings. Currently, it is available for Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education, and Windows 10 Enterprise.

In this guide, we are going to show you how to create your own Windows To Go USB flash drive. With the method shown below, you can create a Windows To Go USB flash drive from any version of Windows, so that you can always carry your operating system with you. By using this method, you can even create a Windows To Go USB flash drive with the Windows 10.

To create your Windows To Go USB flash drive, you will have to ready two items with you. The first item is a USB flash drive with at least 16GB of capacity and the other item is an ISO file of your preferred Windows version. You also need software to make this work and we’ll tell you that in a bit.

To create the Windows To Go drive you will need the help of specialized software like Rufus or Etcher. It doesn’t matter which one you pick because you can't go wrong with either one. So what you have to do is, pick software that works best for you to download and install it on your computer. When compared to Rufus, Etcher has easy to use UI. But when it comes to performance, Rufus is miles ahead of Etcher. If you are going with Etcher, you can download Etcher directly from GitHub.

  1. First, connect the USB flash drive or the external drive where you will install Windows.
  2. Now Run Rufus. Once you launch Rufus, it will automatically detect your USB flash drive. Now all you have to do is, click on the “Browse” button to set the location of the Windows ISO file you have downloaded.
  3. Then you can click on the “Start” button to start the process. Rufus will take a few minutes to create your Windows To Go drive. We strongly advise you not to eject the USB drive while the process is happening as it damages your USB flash drive.

Finally, when the process finishes, you will only have to start your computer from the USB flash drive instead of from the internal hard drive. Normally, it boots directly from the USB flash drive. But for some reason, if it doesn’t boot from the USB flash drive, you may have to change your boot order via BIOS.

Windows To Go Rufus