“Hello, guys. I have recently downloaded Windows 10 ISO image files and I want to burn them onto a USB flash drive which I would like to use to boot a PC. However, I don’t know how to burn ISO file to USB drive. Any help would be appreciated!”
Reasons for burning ISO files to USB flash drives
ISO is a file format that is always used on CD, DVD or Blu-ray Disc. It helps to archive operating system. Different users choose to burn ISO image file to a USB flash drive for different reasons:
►Get a tiny bootable Windows USB drive and carry it to any place and boot any computer.
►Install Windows operating system more easily and convenient from the bootable USB drive than from original Windows installation CD.
►Save your computer when it suffers from severe system boot issues.
How to burn ISO file to USB on Windows 11/10/8/7?
Burn ISO files onto a USB flash drive? Just copy the ISO file and paste it onto the USB! See, how easy is it! Sadly, it is different from copying music, videos or pictures to your flash drive. That way is just copying the exact file, not the data stored in that ISO image file. So you cannot boot computer with that copied files. The data can only be read after it is burned onto a USB drive or Disc.
Therefore, you need to adopt some special ways to burn, not copy, the ISO files to USB flash drive. Here we list two great ways for your reference.
Way 1. Copy ISO to USB via Windows native tool
First, you might wonder whether the Windows itself offers a tool to help users burn ISO file to USB drive. Luckily, “Windows To Go” is such a feature in Windows 10 Education/Enterprise/Pro and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise. If you are running those operating systems, you can use the free tool to mount ISO to USB flash drive.
Before proceeding: ▸The USB drive must be certified by Microsoft and larger than 32GB. ▸The destination USB will be wiped out during the operation, so back up files you don’t want to lose in advance.
Step 1. Download Windows ISO files from Microsoft official website and connect a certified USB drive to your computer.
Step 2. Open Control Panel on your computer, and search “Windows ToGo” in that window. Click “Windows To Go” option to proceed.
Step 3. In this window, it will automatically search for all inserted USB drives. Choose the USB drive you plan to burn ISO files onto and then “Next” to continue. It should be a qualified USB, otherwise, the "Next" button will be disabled.
Step 4. Click “Add search location” to search for the Windows installation ISO file and choose the mounted ISO file.
Step 5. Here, you can set a BitLocker password to encrypt your Windows To Go workplace.
Then it will start to burn the Windows ISO image files to the selected USB drive. Seems very simple and easy, but this native tool can only recognize and allow you to choose USB drives that are certified by Microsoft as compatible. Or you will get stuck in Step 3. It’s the main reason that most users don’t like to use this built-in feature.
Way 2. Burn ISO to USB with third-party software
If you don’t have a certified USB drive, or you are mainly running Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 Home/ Pro/Education or Windows 10 Home, you can choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to burn ISO files to USB flash drive.
Compared with built-in Windows To Go, it is more compatible and able to burn all editions of Windows 11/10/8/7 ISO image files to USB drives. Moreover, non-certified USB drives can also be used. As for the capacity size, 13GB is enough. Here is how to burn ISO file to USB in Windows 10.
Attention: If available, you can use a USB 3.0 drive and a computer with a USB 3.0 port, which can boot up the process.
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Plug an empty USB drive in your Windows 10 computer via USB port. You can download the free Demo version.
Step 2. In the main interface of the software, click “Tools”>“Windows To Go Creator” in the top panel.
Step 3. In this window, two different ways to create Windows To Go are offered (create Windows ToGo for PC or Mac). In our case, choose the first way and click “Next”.
Step 4. Then choose "Create Windows ToGo with system disc/ISO" and select the ISO files stored on your computer, then click "Next."
Step 5. Usually, the software will detect all inserted USB drives on your computer automatically. If not, refresh it. Then choose the USB you will use. Finally click “Proceed”.
Note: Besides burning ISO image files to USB as a portable Windows device, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional can also create a bootable USB drive. With it, you can enter a WinPE environment and use this software to repair Windows boot failure problems by rebuilding MBR, checking and fixing possible bad sectors. Also you can delete or format the boot partition which cannot be done within Windows.
Wrap things up
Now, you must know how to burn ISO file to USB drive no matter which edition of Windows you are using. If you think downloading Windows ISO files and burning them to USB for a portable Windows USB is too complicated, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to create Windows To Go USB with current system.