[2 Ways]How to Burn ISO File to USB on Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

This article focus on how to burn ISO file to USB flash drive so that you can get a portable bootable USB drive in Windows 11/10/8/7. Two methods are listed for your convenience.


By Emily / Updated on August 2, 2023

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User Case

“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!”

Bootable USB

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 To Go” 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.

Qualified Usb

Step 4. Click “Add search location” to search for the Windows installation ISO file and choose the mounted ISO file.

Add Search Location

Step 5. Here, you can set a BitLocker password to encrypt your Windows To Go workplace.

Enable BitLocker Drive Encryption

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.

Download Pro Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 2. In the main interface of the software, click “Tools”>“Windows To Go Creator” in the top panel.

win to go creator.png

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”.

Create Win To Go For Personal Computer

Step 4. Then choose "Create Windows ToGo with system disc/ISO" and select the ISO files stored on your computer, then click "Next."

create win to go with windows files.png

choose windows files.png

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.

make bootable media.png

FAQs about burn ISO file to USB

Q: Why would I want to burn an ISO file to a USB drive?

A: Burning an ISO file to a USB drive allows you to create a bootable USB device that can be used to install an operating system, run a live environment, or perform system recovery tasks. It's a convenient way to use the contents of an ISO file without needing a physical disc.

Q: What do I need to burn an ISO file to a USB drive?

A: To burn an ISO file to a USB drive, you'll need a USB flash drive with sufficient storage capacity to hold the ISO file, the ISO file itself, and a software tool capable of creating a bootable USB drive from an ISO image.

Q: Can I burn multiple ISO files to the same USB drive?

A: In most cases, you can only burn one ISO file to a USB drive at a time. The ISO file will overwrite any existing data on the USB drive during the burning process. If you need to have multiple bootable ISO files on the same USB drive, you can use a multiboot tool like YUMI or XBoot.

Q: Can I use a DVD instead of a USB drive to burn the ISO file?

A: Yes, you can burn an ISO file to a DVD using appropriate software for burning discs. However, keep in mind that DVDs have limited storage capacity compared to USB drives, so make sure the ISO file fits on the DVD. Additionally, not all computers support booting from DVDs, so using a USB drive is often more versatile.

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.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.