How to Create a Windows 10 Install USB

How to Create a Windows 10 Install USB

/ Shayne Sherman

A Windows 10 installation USB drive is an essential tool for computer support. It can be used to boot and repair a broken Windows installation or install a fresh version of Windows on a new computer. Follow our simple step by step guide to creating a bootable USB drive from official Microsoft sources easily.

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Windows 10
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Chose a USB thumb drive or portable hard drive to use for the image. It must be at least 8 gigabytes to store all the information. It’s better to use a fast USB 3.0 drive for the copy; the faster the drive, the less time it will take to make and to install. Note that the drive will be erased, so ensure that there’s nothing on it that you want to keep first.

Download the official Windows 10 Media Creation tool from Microsoft. Microsoft freely makes available everything you need to create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive. There’s no need to install software or get files from shady websites.

Go to

Under Create Windows 10 installation media select Download tool now.


Save File somewhere you can find it later. This is a small program that will download the rest of the files needed to create the USB drive. Note that this is being downloaded directly from Microsoft.

The exact file name might change, it’s updated for every major Windows version. This example is MediaCreationTool1809.exe because it was created for the Windows 10 October Update.

save Media Creation Tool

Double-click the file to open it.

open Media Creation Tool Icon

Select Yes on the User Account Control the pops up.

allows User Account Control

Accept the license terms.

accept license terms

Select Create installation media and then Next.

Select Create Installation Media

The default options are fine for most uses, so select Next. If you need a different language uncheck Use the recommended options for this PC and change the language drop down.

Windows 10 setup

Leave USB flash drive checked. It is also possible to create an ISO that you can burn to a DVD drive. Click Next.

click Next for USB flash drive

Select the USB drive you want to use. Be careful that you select the correct one as everything on it will be erased. Click Next after.

click Next for Drive F

Wait while the tool downloads the data from Microsoft. This is a large file and may take some time to download depending on your internet speed. It will automatically format and partition the USB drive to be able to boot off it.

Windows 10 downloading progress

After the process is complete click Finish. It will delete the temporary files it downloaded and close.

USB flash drive is finish

Congratulations the bootable Windows 10 USB is done. You can now boot into it to install a fresh copy of Windows 10.

bootable Windows 10 USB
Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.