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How to install Windows 11 from USB

Although installing Windows 11 via a USB drive is a relatively easy operation, it is important to be well-prepared and carefully follow each step. With the right precautions and proper guidance, you will be enjoying the new operating system from Microsoft in no time.

Table of Contents

What you need to know before installing Windows 11 from USB

To install Windows 11 from USB, the reader must be aware that:

  • You must have a USB stick with at least 8GB of space for the standard installation, but 16GB is recommended to avoid space problems.
  • You must check your PC’s compatibility with Windows 11 before proceeding, using the compatibility checker tool provided by Microsoft.
  • It is important to make a backup of your data before starting the installation, to prevent loss of important information.

How to Install Windows 11 from USB

As technologies have evolved, many computers are no longer equipped with CD/DVD players. However, installing an operating system is made simple by USB drives. If you’re wondering how to do it, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide to installing Windows 11 via USB we will show you all the methods to perform the procedure in the best possible way, even without meeting some requirements. In order for an Operating System to be secure, updates must be applicable. To activate Windows 11 with a product key, follow these simple steps.

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Requirements to Install Windows 11

Windows 11, the latest Operating System from Microsoft, has a number of system requirements that must be met to ensure an optimal user experience. Here are the details on the requirements needed to install and run Windows 11 on your device.

Basic Requirements

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit chipset or System on a Chip (SoC).
  • RAM: 4GB or more.
  • Disk Space: 64GB or more.
  • Firmware system: UEFI, compatible with Secure Boot.
  • TPM version: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
  • Graphics Card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with WDDM 2.0 driver.
  • Display: diagonal greater than 9 inches – HD resolution (720p) or higher – monitor with a pixel density of at least 8 bits per color channel.
  • Internet connection: Windows 11 requires an internet connection during the initial device setup phase. A Microsoft account is also required to complete setup.

How to Install Windows 11 on USB Using Media Creation Tool

Installing Windows 11 on a USB stick is a great way to do a clean install, upgrade to Windows 11, or run diagnostics on a computer that may be experiencing problems. Media Creation Tool, brought to you by Microsoft, is a free, easy-to-use tool that lets you do just that. To use it, make sure you have a USB stick with at least 16GB of free space. Please note that all data on the flash drive will be erased in the process. The Windows 11 ISO image will be downloaded by Media Creation Tool, so a stable Internet connection is necessary.

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Here’s how to use the Media Creation Tool step by step:

  • Visit the Microsoft official site to download the latest version of Media Creation Tool.
  • Click the “Download Tool Now” button and wait for the download to complete.
  • Locate the downloaded file (usually found in the “Downloads” folder) and double-click it to launch the application.
  • If prompted, grant administrator permissions.
  • After accepting the terms of the license agreement, you will be asked if you want to upgrade your current PC or create installation media for another PC. Select “Create installation media (USB, DVD or ISO file) for another PC“.
  • Select the language, edition and architecture of Windows 11 you want to install. If you’re creating installation media for the current PC, you can simply tick the “Use recommended options for this PC” box.
  • Click on “Next“.
  • When asked “Choose which media to use”, select “USB flash drive“.
  • Make sure the USB stick is plugged into your computer and select it from the list.
  • Click on “Next“.
  • At this point, the Media Creation Tool will download the necessary files and prepare the USB stick.
  • Once done, you will see a message stating that the USB stick is ready to use.
  • Once the process is complete, click “Finish” to close the Media Creation Tool.

You now have a bootable USB stick ready to install Windows 11 on any compatible device. When you want to install Windows 11, boot the target device from the USB stick and follow the on-screen instructions. Always make sure to back up your data before installing or upgrading your Operating System. Do you want the Operating System installed in a different way? Read our guides on how to download Windows 11 and how to install Windows 11 for free.

How to Install Windows 11 on USB Using Rufus

Installing Windows 11 on a USB stick is a useful operation both for testing the system on different devices without having to install it, as well as for having a recovery system at hand in case of need. Rufus is an essential tool in this context. Before starting, you will need to download the Windows 11 ISO from the Microsoft site, get a USB stick of at least 16 GB and the latest version of Rufus available on the official site. Now that you have everything you need, we are ready to begin:

  • Connect the USB stick to your PC.
  • Make sure you close all running applications.
  • Download and launch Rufus from the official site.
  • If prompted, provide administrator permissions.
  • In the “Device” field, make sure your USB stick is selected.
  • Under “Partition Scheme“, choose “GPT“.
  • For “Target System“, select “UEFI (non-CSM)”.
  • Under “File System“, opt for “FAT32“.
  • In “Label New Volume“, enter a name, for example “Windows11Install“.
  • In the “Boot Image” section, select “Disk or ISO” and then click the button next to it to load your Windows 11 ISO file.
  • Before clicking on the “Start” button, make sure that all configurations are correct, as the USB stick will be formatted.
  • Click on “Start“. RUFUS will start the process of writing Windows 11 files to the stick. This may take some time, depending on the speed of your stick and PC.
  • As soon as RUFUS shows “Ready” at the bottom, the process is complete.
  • You can now close RUFUS and take out the USB stick.
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The USB stick is now ready and can be used to install Windows 11 on compatible devices. Always remember to boot them in UEFI mode. Before proceeding with the installation on any device, it is always advisable to check the BIOS/UEFI settings, making sure that Secure Boot mode and TPM are enabled to ensure optimal compatibility with Windows 11.

Install Windows 11 on USB Stick with Windows To Go

The Windows To Go functionality is a great feature that allows you to run Windows, in this case Windows 11, directly from a USB stick.
The feature was introduced with Windows 8, and allows users to create a portable version of the Operating System. Here is a detailed guide on how to install Windows 11 on a USB stick using Windows To Go:

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Prerequisites:

  • Windows 11 ISO Image: Before you start, make sure you have a Windows 11 ISO image. You can download it from the official Microsoft site or through other official channels.
  • Certified USB stick: For Windows To Go, a verified USB stick with at least 32 GB of free space is required. These devices are optimized for the performance and durability needed to run Windows.
  • Access to a Windows 11 Computer: To use Windows To Go, you’ll need to own a computer already running Windows 11, preferably with administrator rights.

Installation procedure:

  • Connect the certified USB stick to your computer. Make sure it’s recognized correctly.
  • Go to the Start menu, type “Windows To Go” and launch the corresponding application.
  • Once Windows To Go opens, click “Next” and you will be asked to locate the Windows 11 ISO image. Browse to the location of the image and select it.
  • The tool will automatically recognize the connected USB stick. Select it from the list and click “Next“.
  • You can secure your USB stick with BitLocker. If you decide to do this, you’ll need to enter a password every time you want to boot Windows 11 from the USB stick. Select your preference and click “Next“.
  • Click on “Create” to begin the installation process. This process may take some time, as Windows To Go will prepare the USB stick and install Windows 11 on it.
  • Once the process is complete, a message will be shown stating that the Windows To Go USB stick is ready to use. Click on “Finish” to close the application.

Boot Windows 11 from USB Stick with Windows To Go:

To start Windows 11 from the Windows To Go stick, you need to:

  • Restart your computer.
  • During the boot process, access the boot menu (you may need to press a key such as F2, F8, F12 or ESC).
  • Select the USB stick as the boot device.
  • If BitLocker protection is enabled, enter the password.

The first time you start Windows 11 from Windows To Go, it may take an additional few minutes for initial setup.

How to Install Windows 11 from USB on a System with BIOS

Instead of the conventional BIOS, modern computers employ the UEFI interface. BIOS is still used by many older computers and some specific devices. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to install Windows 11 on a system that has a BIOS.

windows 11 installation media

Preparation of the Bootable USB Flash Drive

  • Using Suitable Software:
    • Download and install RUFUS.
    • Start RUFUS and select your USB stick.
    • In the “Partition scheme” section, choose “MBR” and as target system “BIOS or UEFI-CSM“.
    • Load the Windows 11 ISO image using the “Select” option.
    • Click “Start” to create the bootable USB stick.

Install from BIOS

  • BIOS access:
    • Restart your computer.
    • During the boot process, repeatedly press the appropriate key (usually F2, F10, F12 or DEL) to enter the BIOS.
  • Configuring Boot Options:
    • In the BIOS, navigate to the “Boot” or “Startup” section.
    • Make sure “USB Drive” or “USB Device” is set as the first boot option.
    • Save changes and exit BIOS.
  • Startup and Installation:
    • With the USB stick inserted, the computer should boot from it.
    • Follow the onscreen instructions to proceed with installing Windows 11.
    • During the installation, you may get some warnings about the Windows 11 system requirements. If you have already prepared your USB to bypass these requirements (such as TPM or Secure Boot), you can proceed with the installation.

How to Install Windows 11 from USB Without Requirements

Windows 11 introduced a number of new hardware requirements that weren’t present in previous versions of Windows. In this guide, we will show you how to bypass these system checks and install Windows 11 from USB even on unsupported hardware.You must be aware, before moving forward, that ignoring the prerequisites could lead to Windows 11 compatibility problems or inferior performance. Proceed at your own risk. Remember to make a full backup of your data before starting. Just follow these instructions to get around the requirements:

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  • Use a tool like RUFUS to transfer the Windows 11 ISO image to the USB stick, making it bootable.
  • Once the stick is ready, browse through its folder structure and go to Sources.
  • Look for a file called install.wim or install.esd. If you find install.esd, rename it to install.wim.
  • Use a tool like 7-Zip to open install.wim. Inside, browse to 1\Windows\Panther\.
  • Find the appraiserres.dll file and rename it (for example, to appraiserres-backup.dll), thus preventing Windows from checking hardware compatibility during installation.
  • Restart your computer and boot from the USB stick.
  • Follow the standard Windows installation procedure, as you would for any other version.
  • When you get to the screen asking for the type of installation, select “Custom“.
  • Select the partition where you want to install Windows 11 and proceed with the installation.
  • Once installation is complete, you should be able to set up Windows 11 as usual, by creating or logging in with a Microsoft account and setting up your initial preferences.

As you read further, you will get instructions on how to install Windows 11 without a few specific prerequisites.

How to Install Windows 11 from USB Without Meeting CPU Requirements

The system requirements for Windows 11 have been thoroughly set out by Microsoft, with an emphasis on specific CPU specs. Many users with older or unofficially supported CPUs may want to try the new OS. Here’s how to set up Windows 11 without having a compatible CPU. It’s important to keep in mind that installing Windows 11 on an incompatible CPU may result in poor performance and potential compatibility issues.

install windows 11 from usb

Prepare the USB stick using one of the procedures found in this article.

  • Bypass CPU Control:
    • On the USB stick, access the Sources folder.
    • Locate the appraiserres.dll file and rename it (e.g. appraiserres.old). This file is responsible for checking hardware during installation.
    • Download a modified version of appraiserres.dll with CPU checking turned off. You can find modified versions on dedicated community forums.
    • Copy the modified version of the appraiserres.dll file to the sources folder of your USB stick.
  • Startup and Installation:
    • Insert the USB stick into the computer where you want to install Windows 11 and restart.
    • During the reboot, select the option to boot from the USB stick (usually by pressing a key like F12 or ESC).
    • Once booted from the USB, go through the installation process as usual, ignoring the CPU compatibility warnings.
  • Post-Installation Configuration:
    • Once the installation is complete, be sure to check for and install all available updates, especially those related to drivers, to ensure maximum compatibility and performance.
    • It’s also a good idea to disable automatic Windows updates, as future updates may reintroduce compatibility checks or cause other issues with unsupported CPUs.

How to Install Windows 11 from USB Without Secure Boot Requirements

Secure Boot is a security feature offered by many modern UEFI motherboards, which prevents unsigned software or software that has a signature that is not recognized by the system from booting. Secure Boot was one of the key criteria for Windows 11 when it was first released, however not all systems can handle it, and some users might need to turn it off for particular reasons and requirements. Here’s how to install Windows 11 from USB without Secure Boot. If you decide to bypass Secure Boot, you could expose your system to potential threats, since the tool was designed to protect your system against rootkits and other threats that start before your operating system.

After preparing the USB stick with the Windows 11 ISO, you will need to follow these steps step by step:

Changing UEFI/BIOS Settings:

  • Turn on the computer and, during the boot phase, press the specific key (usually it is F2, F10, DEL or ESC, varies according to the motherboard) to access the UEFI/BIOS settings.
  • Browse through the options until you find startup or security settings.
  • Look for an option called “Secure Boot” and disable it.
  • While in the BIOS, also make sure the boot mode is set to “UEFI” and not “Legacy” or “CSM”.
  • Save changes and exit BIOS.

Windows 11 installation:

  • With the USB stick inserted, restart your system.
  • During the reboot, select the option to boot from the USB stick.
  • Follow the onscreen instructions to install Windows 11, ignoring any Secure Boot warnings.

Post-Installation:

  • Once Windows 11 has been installed, we recommend that you install a good antivirus software and keep your system up to date, as disabling Secure Boot could expose your system to more vulnerabilities.

How to Install Windows 11 from USB Without TPM

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a piece of hardware used for cryptographic operations. One of the requirements of Windows 11 is the presence of TPM 2.0. Not all computers have it, especially older ones. This guide will show you how to install Windows 11 without meeting the TPM requirement.

Prepare Bootable USB Device and Edit Setup Files:

  • Prepare Bootable USB Device and Edit Setup Files:
    • Plug the USB stick into your computer.
    • Browse to the Sources directory.
    • Look for the file named install.wim or install.esd. The presence of either one depends on the source of the ISO.
    • Use a tool like “DISM to mount the install.wim or install.esd file.
    • Once mounted, find the appraiser.dll file and rename it (e.g. appraiser.bak). This file is responsible for checking hardware requirements.
    • After that, unmount the image and copy it back to the USB stick.
  • Windows 11 installation:
    • Plug the USB stick into the computer you want to install Windows 11 on.
    • Restart your computer and boot from the USB (usually by pressing F12, F10 or ESC, but depends on your motherboard).
    • Begin the installation process by following the onscreen instructions. Because you modified the requirements control file, you shouldn’t get TPM related messages.
  • Configurations After Installation:
    • Once the installation is complete, proceed with the initial setup of Windows 11. Some features that depend on the TPM may not be available or work differently.

The TPM is used to ensure the security and proper functioning of many Windows features. If you decide to bypass this requirement, be mindful of the security of your data and consider adding additional safeguards.

Conclusions on Installing Windows 11 from USB

Installing Windows 11 via USB stick is a clear and relatively simple process, thanks to the tools available such as Rufus and Media Creation Tool. The flexibility offered by these methods allows users to have a portable Operating System at their disposal, out of the box, or to install Windows 11 on different devices without the need for a CD/DVD.

Installing Windows 11 from USB FAQ

We recommend using a USB stick with at least 16GB of space. Also, it is preferable to use good quality flash drives to ensure speed and reliability during the installation process.
You can check TPM compatibility by running “tpm.msc” from the Windows search box. For Secure Boot, you need to check your device’s BIOS or UEFI settings.
RUFUS is a free tool that allows you to create bootable USB drives. It is particularly effective and versatile, making the installation drive creation process quick and error-free.
Make sure you have downloaded the correct version of Windows 11 and that the USB stick is working properly. If the problem persists, you can contact the Mr Key Shop technical support.
If you are doing a clean install, yes, you will need to reinstall all your programs and applications. If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Windows, most of your programs and settings should remain unaffected.
Bypassing the official requirements can lead to system instability and potential security issues. It is always advisable to follow the official guidelines from Microsoft.
Yes, once you have an installation USB stick, you can use it to install Windows 11 on multiple devices, as long as they meet the system requirements.

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