If you need to install or reinstall Windows, You can easily create a bootable Windows USB drive (for free) to install Windows on any PC. It is also extremely handy if you own an original optical disc, but now use a computer that is not equipped with an optical drive
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to create a bootable USB Drive for Windows 7, 8 and 10. All the sources we will use are completely legal and free to use. However, you will still have to download large files (upto 3GB+), so you should be careful if you have a limited internet data plan.
Note: We are only going to show you how to create a bootable Windows USB Drive. This doesn’t mean you will get an activated fully functional Windows. You will still have to use/purchase a Windows product key to activate the Windows.
Create a Bootable Windows 7 USB Drive
Windows 7 is quite an “old” OS now (about 6 years), so Microsoft doesn’t focus much on it anymore. This means that you won’t be able to find media creating tools like Windows 8 or 10 to easily create a bootable Windows 7 USB drive. However, you can still get a Windows 7 ISO image to create a bootable USB drive out of it.
There are many ways to get a Windows 7 ISO Image, but the easiest way to get it is through Microsoft Windows recovery software. To download Windows 7 from here, you will need to provide a valid product before downloading. So if you don’t have a product key, you will have to opt for other methods. You can learn how to download Windows 7 ISO using alternative methods from our article how to get Windows 7 for free.
When you will have the ISO image, you will have to copy it to a USB using a dedicated tool. Fortunately, Microsoft offers a tool for creating bootable Windows 7 USB drive for free. Download the Windows USB/DVD download Tool and install it on your PC (or a friend’s PC).
Now, attach a USB drive to your PC and make sure there is no data on it (or at least important data). The data in the USB will be deleted in the process of creating a bootable USB drive. Furthermore, you will need a USB with at least 4GB space, so make sure your USB drive has enough storage capacity.
Run the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool and browse for the Windows 7 ISO file you just downloaded. On the next page, just select your USB drive and start the copying process to create a bootable Windows 7 USB drive.
Here is a video demonstration of the above steps:
Create a Bootable Windows 8 and 10 USB Drive
It is extremely simple to create a bootable USB drive for Windows 8 and 10 as compared to Windows 7. Microsoft offers a single tool to both download ISO and create a bootable USB drive with just few clicks.
To create a bootable USB drive for Windows 8, download media creation tool for it (no product key required). No need to install it, just launch the .exe file and the program will start.
On the first page, you will have to select the language, Edition and Architecture (32 or 64 bit). Once selected, click on “Next” and select the option “USB flash drive” on the next page.
Click on “Next” again and from the next page select USB drive and again click on “Next”. The downloading process will start, and when the ISO is downloaded, a bootable USB drive will be automatically created.
The process to create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive is exactly the same as Windows 8. However, you will have to download media creation tool for Window 10seperately.
Here is a video demonstration of creating a Windows 10 bootable USB Drive: