How to Boot from USB Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Booting from a USB on Windows 11 is a straightforward process that allows you to start your computer using an external device, such as a flash drive or an external hard drive. This can be particularly useful if you’re trying to install a new operating system, troubleshoot issues, or recover data. By following a few simple steps, you can quickly set up your PC to boot from a USB device.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Boot from USB Windows 11

Before you start, make sure you have a bootable USB drive ready. This means it must have an operating system installer or a recovery tool installed on it. If you’re not sure how to do this, there are many guides available online to help you create a bootable USB drive.

Step 1: Insert the USB Drive

Insert your bootable USB drive into one of the USB ports on your computer.

You’ll want to make sure your computer is turned off before you insert the USB drive. If your computer is already on, you can restart it and quickly move on to the next step.

Step 2: Power on and Enter the Boot Menu

Power on your computer and immediately start pressing the boot menu key for your specific PC brand.

This key is usually one of the function keys (like F2, F12, or Esc), and it needs to be pressed repeatedly as soon as you power on the computer. If you’re not sure which key it is, a quick Google search with your PC brand and model should help you out.

Step 3: Select the USB Drive

Using the arrow keys, navigate to the boot tab or boot menu, select the USB drive from the list, and press Enter.

The USB drive may be listed under different names, such as ‘Removable Devices’ or the actual USB drive brand name. Make sure to select the correct one to boot from.

Step 4: Save and Exit

Save your settings (if necessary) and exit the BIOS/UEFI setup utility. Your computer should now restart and boot from the USB drive.

In most cases, you’ll need to press a key like F10 to save and exit. The exact key will be displayed on the bottom or side of the screen. Be sure to do this quickly, as the boot menu might not stay on your screen for long.

After you’ve completed these steps, your computer will restart and boot from the USB drive. From there, you can proceed with whatever task you needed the USB drive for, whether it’s installing Windows 11, running a recovery program, or something else entirely.

Tips: Booting from USB in Windows 11

  • Make sure your USB drive is bootable.
  • Check your PC’s user manual or online for the specific boot menu key.
  • Ensure that your BIOS/UEFI is set to boot from USB devices.
  • If you encounter issues, try using a different USB port.
  • Keep in mind that booting from USB might be disabled by default for security reasons, so you may need to enable it in the BIOS/UEFI settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my computer doesn’t boot from the USB drive?

Make sure that the USB drive is properly inserted and that it’s indeed bootable. If it still doesn’t work, check your BIOS/UEFI settings to ensure that USB boot is enabled.

How do I create a bootable USB drive?

You can use tools like Rufus or the Windows Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB drive with an operating system installer on it.

Can I boot from USB on any computer?

Most modern computers support booting from USB, but very old systems may not have this functionality.

Do I need to change the boot order permanently?

No, you don’t have to change the boot order permanently. You can just use the boot menu key for a one-time boot from the USB drive.

Will booting from USB erase my data?

Booting from USB will not erase your data unless you proceed to install an operating system or use a tool that explicitly formats the drive.


  1. Insert the bootable USB drive.
  2. Enter the boot menu by pressing the relevant key.
  3. Select the USB drive from the boot options.
  4. Save and exit the BIOS/UEFI setup.


Booting from USB on Windows 11 is a valuable skill that can come in handy in various situations. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast looking to install a fresh copy of Windows 11 or an everyday user trying to fix a stubborn error that prevents your PC from starting, knowing how to boot from USB is essential. It’s a relatively simple process, but it’s important to follow the steps carefully to avoid any complications.

Remember, having a bootable USB drive is crucial, so make sure you have one at hand before attempting to boot from USB. And don’t forget, the boot menu key can vary depending on the brand and model of your computer, so do your homework before diving in. Once you’ve booted from USB, you’ll have access to a range of tools and options that can help solve your PC’s issues or set up a clean installation.

Finally, always handle your data and device with care. While booting from USB won’t erase your data, the actions you take after booting may have consequences. So, take a deep breath, follow the steps, and you’ll be booting from USB on Windows 11 like a pro in no time.

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy