How to create a bootable USB using Rufus on Windows

Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pen drives, memory sticks, etc. It can be used for creating USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI). In this guide, I will show you how to create a bootable USB using Rufus on Windows. Please see How to create Windows 11 Bootable USB drive with the Media Creation Tool, how to format a USB on macOS, and how to Create a Windows 10 or 11 bootable USB with UEFI support

Note: Some UEFI systems don’t boot to an NTFS USB drive. These UEFI systems will only boot to FAT32 USB thumb drives. Bearing this in mind, I will create my bootable drives using FAT32 when installing UEFI Systems.

You may also be interested in these guides: How create a Bootable USB Drive Using dd Command on Linux, and File System Overview: How to decide on the right File System to use for your USB.

Create a bootable USB using Rufus

The utility used here is Rufus and there are several other utilities for creating a bootable USB drive from an ISO image.

Note: FAT32 must be used if you need to use UEFI. Your USB disk won’t be able to boot otherwise. However, FAT32 will only allow you to utilize custom Windows install images up to a size of 4 GB.

Therefore, NTFS or exFAT must be used in this situation. This can be done from the GUI, command line or by using Diskpart.

Next, download and make it bootable using Rufus. The version 3.5 does not work at this time, so I opted for version 3.3

Lunch the executable (Rufus) and perform the following steps below.

  • Select the File System of your choice
  • Enter the name of the Volume Label as shown below etc
  • Device” section, use the drop-down menu and select the USB drive that you want to erase and use to create the installation media.
  • Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image option.
  • On the right side, click the down arrow button, and select the Download option.
  • Click on START

To learn the difference between Fat32 and NTFS on what to format your USB with.

I hope you found this blog post helpful on how to create a bootable USB using Rufus on Windows. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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