How to Boot from USB Flash Drive in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP

May. 8, 2017 Posted by to Tutorials

In order to boot up a computer, we need to first install an operating system on a media device. It would be hard drive, SSD, CD, DVD or USB. When the computer boots up, it will load all the necessary files from the corresponding drive. With this in mind, sometimes if you were having any trouble with your PC or installing operating system then you will have to boot it from a disc. In most cases, USB flash drive is the preferrable option as it is easy to get one.


Provided that, if your computer fails to read the operating system from the default had drive then you will have to find another way to boot it from. This is where you need a Windows installation disk or a system rescue disk to boot from. Messing up the physical internal hard drive could be a lethal mistake if you are unsure what to do. So better use the following methods to know how to boot from a USB drive. Here's how to do this on a Windows PC. The process is quite significant and with the proper instruction you will learn how to boot an operating system from USB flash drives.

Method 1: How to Boot from USB Drive on Windows PC from Quick Boot Menu

Every Windows computer works differently, so try to keep up with this manual to understand you PC better and you will be able to search what you are looking for. Here's how to boot from a USB flash drive:


Step 1: Turn on your PC until you can see the startup pop up screen. Usually, it says "Press X to choose Boot Device". (Where X can be F12, F11, Esc or any other function key)


Step 2: Give it some time to start and it will prompt you to ask which booting device to choose. It will show a list of booting devices including your USB flash drive name on it. Simply, select your USB Flash drive and press enter to continue.


Step 3: After that, the computer will boot from the device you just selected. Please make sure you already burnt Windows ISO to the drive or the computer won't boot as normal.


boot menu


Well, this option only works on the newer Windows machines. If you couldn't find the boot menu during startup, it means your computer currently doesn't support this function. So you have to follow the steps in Method 2 instead.

Method 2: How to Boot from USB Drive on Windows PC via BIOS Settings

Alternatively, you can always set up a default booting device to boot from it. In this way, if the system finds operating system on that drive, the computer will automatically boot from it. This option is used to set hard drive as the first booting device. However you can change it manually in BIOS settings..


Step 1: Restart your PC and look for the option that says "Press X to enter set up", Where X usually means Del key. But in some computer brands this could be Esc, F8 or any other key. Please check the computer reference if those keys didn't work.


bios settings


Step 2: Wait for few secords until the BIOS screen is loaded. Be very careful because this is low-level settings of your computer. You mess up with any option and that could totally impact your whole computer.


Step 3: Find the option that says "Boot" or "Boot Priority" or "Boot Device". Press enter on that option and select USB flash drive and press enter again. In some computers you may need to use arrows to navigate through the options and in some computer you may need to press page up and page down to scroll through the options. See what works with your computer and continue.


first boot device


Step 4: Press F10 to save the changes. Alternatively, you can press exit and the system will ask to confirm the changes and then press "OK". Now, restart the computer and it should automatically boot from the USB drive that you inserted.



If you are maintaining your computer on your own then you will find this guide immensely useful and educating. Keep on practicing with your computer and try to set up new things to gain more knowledge about them. Soon enough, you will master these settings and will be familiar with your computer peripherals. In conclusion, this method can be used in any Windows operating system and hopefully you will be able to boot from your USB flash drive without any issue.



Web Analytics