How to Run Windows from a USB Drive [Windows 10, 8, 8.1 or 7]

For all those Windows lover who wants to take their operating system wherever they want, portable Windows is a blessing. Now you can take copy of your Windows with you in a portable flash drive. Windows 10 and 8 offers this facility which is technically known as “windows to go”. You can install Windows on any certified flash drive and take it with you in your pocket.

Usually this option is for the users of Enterprise version of Windows but by using tool known as “WinToUSB” you can copy any version of Windows in a flash drive. This operation is most recommended with Windows 10, 8.1, 8 because Windows 7 may suffer with some drivers compatibility issues when it is used on any other device. Following are mentioned steps to perform that.

Run Windows from USB Drive

You will need following things in order to run Windows from a USB drive:

  • You must have Windows Installation Disc or ISO image for Windows 10 or 8. See how to get Windows 10, Windows 8, 8.1 or 7 official ISO files.
  • External hard drive or USB drive. External hard drive is given preference over USB drive because it works relatively faster but if you are using USB drive, try using USB 3.0 instead of 2.0.
  • An app or software known as WinToUSB which will make this installation possible.
  • Once you have all above mentioned things, you can begin with installation.
  1. First of all, download WinToUSB software on your computer and install it.
    After that, you will have to create your portable drive. To do that, you will simply need to run the download WinToUSB software and follow the steps.
  2. Select your Installer Media:
    First step of WinToUSB is to choose the ISO disc by choosing it location from your operating system. Also select the operating system which you need to install and then click next.
    install Windows on USB drive
  3. Choose your Hard drive:
    Always make sure that your drive is formatted as NTFS before performing this operation. In next step, you will be asked to select the destination disk which will either be an external hard disk or USB drive. Once that is selected, you will also have to choose and mention the partition for the system and boot. Usually the first partition is for system and second is for boot.
    select partition to install windows
  4. Begin the Installation:
    The installation will begin as soon you press Next button. The time for installation may vary for each one of you depending on the speed and performance of your hard drive.
  5. Boot from your Portable Drive:
    Once the installation is complete, you will have to boot from your portable drive. This is a quick and easy process and you can do it without any assistance. All you need to do is plug in your portable drive and restart the computer. Now in boot system, you need to choose external hard drive as the first boot drive and next time when the system is turned on, you will be using your windows without any trouble.
    run windows from usb drive

If you are plugging your portable drive with a new computer for the first time, it may take some time installing all new drivers but after that, it will be just like using your Windows from your own computer at your home. You may have to adjust few settings while using your Windows on new computer but this is only for the very first time.

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