Third-party tool

How to create bootable USB drive for Windows 11 with Rufus

Rufus lets you download the ISO file and create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 11 on supported and unsupported hardware.

Rufus create Windows 11 USB

Rufus is a free tool to quickly create a bootable USB flash drive to upgrade or clean install Windows 11. The utility works similarly to the Media Creation Tool, and you can provide an existing ISO file or download the files directly from the Microsoft servers.

Unlike the Microsoft solution, Rufus not only allows you to create a USB installation media, but it does it faster. You can prepare a USB drive for Windows 11 22H2, 21H2, and even older versions like Windows 10 and 8.1. Also, the latest version of the tool comes with an option to create a bootable USB that bypasses the security and memory requirements.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to use Rufus to download the ISO file and create a bootable media to install Windows 11 (versions 21H2, 22H2, and higher) from scratch.

Create Windows 11 bootable USB using Rufus with ISO download

To use Rufus to download the Windows 11 ISO file and create a bootable media, connect a USB flash drive with 8GB of space, and then use these steps:

  1. Open Rufus website.

  2. Under the “Download” section, click the link to download the latest version.

  3. Double-click the executable to launch the tool.

  4. Click the Settings button (third button from the left) at the page’s bottom.

    Rufus open settings

  5. Under the “Settings” section, use the “Check for updates” drop-down menu and select the Daily option.

    Rufus enable updates

  6. Click the Close button.

  7. Click the Close button again.

  8. Open Rufus again.

  9. (Optional) Under the “Device” section, use the drop-down menu and select the USB flash drive to create the installation media.

  10. Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image option.

  11. Click the down-arrow button (on the right side) and select the Download option.

    Rufus Windows 11 ISO download option

  12. Click the Download button.

  13. Select the Windows 11 option.

  14. Click the Continue button.

  15. Under the “Release” section, select the 21H2 or 22H2 option to choose Windows 11.

    Rufus Windows 11 ISO download

  16. Click the Continue button.

  17. Select the Windows 11 Home/Pro/Edu option.

  18. Click the Continue button.

  19. Select the language of Windows 11.

  20. Click the Continue button.

  21. Select the operating system architecture. (Windows 11 is only available in x64 architecture.)

  22. Click the Download button.

  23. Select the location to save the Windows 11 ISO file automatically.

  24. Under the “Image option” setting, select the “Standard Windows 11 Installation” option.

    Rufus Windows 11 bootable settings

  25. (Optional) Continue with the default settings after the download.

  26. (Optional) Under the “Volume label” setting, specify a name for the drive. For example, Windows 11 Setup.

  27. Click the Start button.

  28. Clear the “Remove requirement for 4GB+ RAM, Secure Boot and TPM 2.0” option.

    Rufus customization settings

  29. (Optional) Check the “Set a local account using the same name as this user’s” option if you want an installation with a local account instead of a Microsoft account (not recommended).

  30. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, you can use the bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 11 using a clean or in-place upgrade installation.

Create Windows 11 bootable USB using Rufus with existing ISO file

To create a bootable USB with Rufus using an existing ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Open Rufus website.

  2. Under the “Download” section, click the link to download the latest version.

  3. Double-click the rufus.3.xx.exe file to launch the tool.

  4. Under the “Device” section, use the drop-down menu and select the USB flash drive to create the Windows 11 bootable media.

  5. Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image option.

  6. Click the Select button.

    Rufus Windows 11 ISO download option

  7. Select the Windows 11 ISO file for version 22H2 or 21H2.

  8. Click the Open button.

  9. Under the “Image option” setting, select the “Standard Windows 11 Installation” option.

    Rufus Windows 11 bootable settings

  10. Under the “Partition scheme” section, select the GPT option.

  11. Under the “Target system” section, select the UEFI (non-CSM) option.

  12. Under the “Volume label” section, specify a descriptive name for the bootable USB drive. For example, Win11_Install_USB.

  13. Use the default settings for the File system and Cluster size options.

  14. Check the Quick format option.

  15. Check the “Create extended label and icon files” option.

  16. (Optional) Clear the “Remove requirement for 4GB+ RAM, Secure Boot and TPM 2.0” option.

  17. (Optional) Check the “Set a local account using the same name as this user’s” option if you want an installation with a local account instead of a Microsoft account (not recommended).

  18. Click the Start button.

  19. Click the OK button to confirm the USB’s deletion and the bootable drive’s creation.

After you complete the steps, the tool will begin creating a USB media with the Windows 11 installation media.

Create Windows 11 bootable USB for unsupported hardware using Rufus

Alternatively, Rufus has an option that allows you to create a bootable USB that bypasses the TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, and memory requirements to install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

To create a Windows 11 22H2 or 21H2 bootable USB for unsupported hardware, use these steps:

  1. Open Rufus website.

  2. Under the “Download” section, click the link to download the latest version.

  3. Double-click the rufus.3.xx.exe file to launch the tool.

  4. Under the “Device” section, use the drop-down menu and select the flash drive to create the Windows 11 bootable USB media.

  5. Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image option.

  6. Click the Select button.

  7. Select the Windows 11 ISO file for version 22H2 or 21H2.

    Windows 11 ISO

  8. Click the Open button.

  9. Under the “Image option” section, select the “Standard Windows 11 Installation” option.

    Rufus Windows 11 bootable settings

  10. Under the “Partition scheme” section, select the GPT option.

  11. Under the “Target system” section, select the UEFI (non-CSM) option.

  12. Under the “Volume label” section, specify a descriptive name for the Windows 11 bootable USB flash drive – For example, Windows 11 Setup.

  13. Use the default settings for the File system and Cluster size options.

  14. Check the Quick format option.

  15. Check the “Create extended label and icon files” option.

  16. Click the Start button.

  17. Check the “Remove requirement for 4GB+ RAM, Secure Boot and TPM 2.0” option to bypass the Windows 11 hardware requirements.

    Windows 11 bypass hardware requirements

  18. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, Rufus will create a bootable USB media that will bypass the security and memory requirements to upgrade or install a fresh copy of Windows 11 on virtually any supported or unsupported hardware. (See also this video tutorial on the Pureinfotech YouTube channel to complete this task.)