How to boot the computer from a USB?

When encountering problems with a Windows PC, there are several options available for resolving them. One approach is to use a Linux Live distribution, which can be booted from a USB drive to attempt to repair any issues with Windows. However, this may not be the most suitable choice for users without knowledge of Linux.

Another option is to utilize a portable version of Windows that allows us to boot from a separate drive and address problems with our hard drive. Alternatively, the recommended approach is to create a bootable Windows drive using either Windows 10 or Windows 11. This method ensures that we have the necessary resources readily available in case the issues affecting our computer cannot be easily resolved. Additionally, we can create a backup of our important data from the command line before formatting the computer and performing a clean installation of either Windows 10 or Windows 11.


Once we have created the bootable drive, we need to start the computer from a USB. Most modern computer BIOS/UEFI settings are configured to prioritize the computer’s internal storage drive by default. In the event of an issue, the computer will halt its activity and wait for the problem to be resolved without attempting to boot from other drives containing alternative operating systems.

Change the boot order of drives on a computer

To boot a computer from a USB device, regardless of the operating system, the first step is to configure the BIOS or UEFI settings. This involves ensuring that the USB device is set as the first boot drive in the BIOS configuration. When the computer is set to prioritize the USB device, it will automatically search for a bootable drive in all available ports without needing us to specify a specific drive.

However, accessing the BIOS or UEFI can vary depending on the manufacturer. Some may prompt us to press the Delete key, while others may use keys like F12, F1, F2, F8, or Esc. This action is typically performed when the manufacturer’s logo appears during the boot process. If we pay close attention, we can usually identify the key to access the BIOS or UEFI. Alternatively, we can search online using the specific model of our motherboard.

UEFI BIOS Boot Order

Once inside the BIOS or UEFI, we navigate to the Boot Options, Boot, or Boot Units section. Here, we can see the default boot device, usually the internal storage drive. By clicking on this option, all available boot devices will be displayed, including the connected USB drive. We simply select the name of the USB drive from the list. If the computer has successfully recognized the USB device, its name will be visible, making it easy to identify.