How to Install Windows 10 Using UEFI Bootable USB

Ultra-thin laptops are extremely light and portable, and most of them can handle any computing task you throw at them. But their compact size comes at the expense of a vital PC part—the DVD drive. That shouldn’t be a big problem for you except for when you need to install Windows 10 or any other OS on your device.

UEFI Boot USB stick with Windows 10 ISO

The good news is that all PCs, big or small, come with a USB port, giving you another way to upgrade or perform a clean Windows 10 installation on a device without an optical drive. You only have to load Windows and format your USB stick into a bootable drive to perform the installation on a PC that uses the basic input/out system (BIOS) to boot the OS and handle communication between the OS and devices.

However, for those of you with modern PC motherboards that use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) instead of BIOS, you need a different type of bootable USB drive to install Windows 10.

Installing Windows 10 Using a USB With UEFI Support

The following requirements are necessary to install Windows 10 using an UEFI-bootable USB:

  • Windows 10 ISO image
  • A properly formatted UEFI bootable USB stick
  • USB drive should have at least 8GB of storage
  • An internet connection

Creating Windows 10 UEFI Bootable Drive With the Media Creation Tool

Microsoft built the Media Creation Tool to help Windows users install the OS on devices without a working DVD drive. It’s one of the most straightforward methods, though there are others worth trying out. You can download the latest version of the resource from the Microsoft website.

Take these steps to make a UEFI bootable USB drive for Windows 10:

  1. Back up your USB drive data because you’ll lose it after the formatting process
  2. Plug your USB stick into your PC
  3. Visit the Microsoft Windows 10 Download page
  4. Scroll down to the “Create Windows 10 Installation Media” section of the page and click the Download tool now link to download the executable file on your laptopInstalling the Media Creation Tool
  5. Run the MediaCreationToolxxxx.exe by double clicking on it
  6. Accept Microsoft terms to proceed
  7. On the prompt that comes up, click the Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC optionMaking Bootable USB
  8. Click the Next command
  9. Select OS and hardware specifics for the installation. Your choices depend on factors such as whether you’re installing on a 32-bit or 64-bit machine. Under Architecture, choose the Both option to configure your UEFI bootable drive for either of the architectures. Also, select the language and version of Windows you’re installing. System settings
  10. Clear the Use the recommended options for this PC checkbox if it’s ticked off
  11. Click the Next command
  12. Click the USB flash drive option button Under “Choose which media to use” Choose USB Drive
  13. Click the Next command
  14. From the list of removable drives that comes up, select the USB drive you need formatted for UEFI installation. If the name of your preferred device doesn’t appear, click the Refresh drive list option.
  15. Click the Next command
  16. Click Finish

The above processes download and write the Windows 10 ISO file to your USB drive. You can use the installation media now to install Windows 10 on devices with either BIOS or UEFI motherboards.

How to Create Windows 10 UEFI bootable USB With Rufus

Rufus comes in handy when you need to quickly create a Windows 10 USB installation drive with an ISO. The tool is compatible with several PC platforms, including UEFI and Linux. It has multiple uses, such as, firmware flashing from an ISO or running low-level utilities.

Take these steps to create a UEFI bootable USB drive with a Windows 10 ISO:

  1. Plug an 8GB (or higher) flash drive into your PC
  2. Head on over to the Rufus download page
  3. Scroll to the “Download” part of the page and choose the latest version of Rufus. Downloading Rufus for ISO Writing
  4. Once the executable file (Rufus-x.x.exe) is on your PC, double click on it to initiate the installation media creation process
  5. Choose the target device under “Device”
  6. To specify the Windows 10 ISO file under “Boot selection,” click on the SELECT option to the right.
  7. Navigate to the folder containing the ISO and click Open to select it
  8. Under “Image option,” navigate the drop down menu and click the Standard Windows installation option
  9. Under “Partition Scheme,” choose GPT from the drop down list
  10. Select UEFI (non CSM) from the Target system drop down list. This selection directs Rufus to create bootable media for a UEFI PC. Rufus USB Drive properties
  11. Don’t interfere with the default configurations under “Show Advanced drive properties”
  12. Go to the Format Options section and specify a name for your UEFI bootable drive in the “Volume label” text box  
  13. Don’t change the default “File system” and “Cluster size” specifications
  14. Under “Show advanced format options,” tick off the Quick format and Create extended label and icon files checkboxes Rufus drive Formatting options
  15. Initiate the installation media creation process by clicking on the Start command
  16. Click on the OK button to proceed
  17. Select Close when the writing process is complete

Rufus usually takes about 10 or fewer minutes to write the Windows 10 ISO to your USB drive. It shouldn’t be a boring process since the Status bar lets you track progress every step of the way. When the ISO writing process is complete, the entire progress bar turns green and displays the word READY.

Congratulations! You now have a bootable USB drive with which you may install or upgrade Windows 10 on a UEFI computer.  

With the Rufus software or Microsoft Media Creation Tool, you can quickly format your USB drive into a UEFI bootable drive. You may then use it to install Windows 10 on a PC without a working optical drive. 

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