Why Won’t Windows 10 Install From a USB? Causes and Fixes

If you recently installed a fresh copy of the new Windows 10 operating system, everything seemed to go swimmingly — until you wanted to boot up a second time and found that it would not boot from the same USB drive. This is a problem that may be easily solved but can also be very frustrating. The error you are seeing is a very generic one and is caused by a bug in Windows 10, which prevents it from recognizing or installing devices that have been reformatted to the NTFS file system.

Windows 10 has been out for a while now, and many users are still experiencing errors when trying to install the operating system on their new devices. Sometimes it is due to the device not meeting the Windows 10 requirements, while other times it is due to users not properly formatting their USB drives.

I want to tell you about my experience attempting to install Windows 10 from a USB drive on a modern computer. It’s a good story, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.. Read more about windows 10 won’t install from usb and let us know what you think.

Do you need help installing Windows 10 from a USB drive? If this is the case, it may be very irritating, particularly if you are unfamiliar with computers. Unfortunately, like with any other software installation, these issues are common, and many people, like you, are looking for a solution. 

Because of a damaged/corrupted USB, low disk memory on your PC, or hardware incompatibility, Windows 10 will not install from a USB. Unless your PC is incompatible with the OS, the best option is to install the OS via a different method (ex: a different type of external disk).

Some of the reasons why Windows 10 won’t install from a USB drive will be discussed in this post. We’ll also talk about how to correct them.

Note: Before attempting the solutions, I suggest following my article on how to install Windows 10 on a USB drive.

Why Won’t Windows 10 Install From a USB? Causes and Fixes

Why won’t Windows 10 install from a USB drive?

The installation of Windows 10 is susceptible to a variety of errors, bugs, and hardware failures. When installing using a USB stick, the USB will come pre-loaded with genuine Windows ISO files, which you may use to install the OS. 

A practical explanation may be seen in the video below:


You may easily install Windows OS into your PC using this USB stick. If the installation fails, it may be because of one of the following factors:

There was an issue with the Windows 10 bootable USB.

It’s possible that you can’t install Windows 10 from a USB stick because the USB stick isn’t functioning. On the other side, this may be due to a corrupted or improperly constructed USB device. 

If the USB stick isn’t bootable, you won’t be able to install Windows 10. Above all, make sure the USB is working properly.

Compatibility problems are often caused by defective or incorrect USB models. There are USB-C, conventional USB, USB 2.0, and a slew of additional options.

It will be virtually difficult to start Windows if you use the wrong USB device (or any other program). Check any adapters to make sure they’re the right kind, such as USB to USB C converters.

The machine does not allow you to boot from a USB drive.

Some machines may not allow booting and installing Windows 10 from a USB drive. If your computer falls within this group, you won’t be able to install a USB drive.

Although most contemporary PCs accept this technique, it’s important to double-check.

To do so, restart your computer and hit the F2, F10, F12, or Delete keys, depending on your computer model (you’ll notice the unique key you need to press at the bottom of the screen). Then press the BIOS button on the Windows starting screen that displays. 

You can see whether your machine supports booting from a USB drive from here. 

The format of a USB flash drive isn’t supported.

Another possibility is that your computer does not support the USB format system. If your computer supports UEFI, for example, you’ll need to make sure the USB is formatted in the FAT32 file system before installing the UEFI mode. 

In a UEFI mode PC, a USB with an NTFS file system cannot start and install Windows 10. 

An EFI/UEFI PC’s settings aren’t set up correctly.

The settings on the UEFI/EFI may interfere with booting and installation from a USB or CD if they are not setup properly. As a result, before you begin the installation, double-check that the settings are configured correctly to avoid interfering with the operation. 

Insufficient disk space

To install Windows 10, you’ll need a lot of RAM. You can’t install Windows 10 via a USB stick if your PC’s hard or solid-state disk isn’t large enough. 

To install the 32-bit version of the OS, you’ll need at least 16GB of free space — this is the version that’s popular with tablets and budget laptops.

At least 20GB of space is required for the 64-bit version. So, in addition to the 16GB, you may need an additional 10GB to properly transfer and maintain the file.

Issues with ISO Images

The issue may be related to problems that occurred during the creation of the ISO image on your bootable USB. This may happen if you utilize an unstable version of Microsoft Media Creation to generate your bootable USB, resulting in the stick being damaged or corrupted. 

A failing Windows 10 installation will result from this issue. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to fix a bootable USB that has already been corrupted. To put it another way, you’ll have to start again with the bootable USB. 

Hardware that is incompatible

Despite the fact that Windows 10 works on virtually any hardware, even Atom-based tablets, it has minimal installation requirements. 

The PC you’re attempting to install the OS on requires a CPU with a clock speed of at least 1 GHz (a RAM of 1GB for the 32-bit version and 2GB for the 64-bit version). The installation will not be successful if this is not done. 

The USB port is broken.


You can’t install Windows 10 from a USB stick if your PC’s USB port isn’t functioning. This is due to the fact that your computer will not recognize the device.

If the USB isn’t broken, it’s possible that the USB port isn’t receiving electricity. Some gadgets switch off unused USB controllers to conserve energy, so you’ll have to manually turn them back on.

Check your USB device drivers if this doesn’t work. It’s possible that the issue stems from the drivers. 

How to Install Windows 10 from a USB Drive

You’re in luck if you’re attempting to install Windows 10 via a USB drive; we’re going to go through how to solve USB-related download problems. The fastest and most efficient solutions are shown below.

Use an alternative way of installation.

Sometimes the only option is to install Windows 10 via a different method, such as a direct download or a CD. If the machine doesn’t allow USB booting, for example, no hardware modification will force the OS to install. 

Change the USB drive you’re using.

Attempt to use a different USB drive. If your computer recovers USB, it’s preferable to utilize the original Windows setup USB. This will immediately identify if the issue is with the USB or with your PC. 

Another alternative is to make a fresh bootable USB drive. This is particularly helpful if the original USB you generated was corrupted due to improper creation. 

On a different computer, test the USB.

Testing the installation on a separate computer is another excellent method to see whether the issue is with the USB stick or your PC. If the USB is working properly, the issue is with your computer’s setup. Later on this page, we’ll go through a few helpful solutions to this issue.

If it doesn’t function on the new PC, the USB stick is most likely corrupted or doesn’t have the proper filesystem. If the USB isn’t the right model, or if it’s infected with malware or has other technical issues, it may harm your computer.

Run the Troubleshooter for Windows Updates.

If all of the above fails and you’re stuck, try launching the Windows 10 troubleshooter. It can identify and attempt to resolve some of the most obvious issues. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll discover the issue, but it’s a good place to start.

You may do so by following these steps:

  1. Type Troubleshoot into your PC’s search box. 
  2. Select Troubleshoot Settings and then System Settings from the drop-down menu. 
  3. Click Get Up and Running in the new window that appears, then choose Windows Update from the drop-down menu. 
  4. Choose the Run the Troubleshooter option from the drop-down menu. The troubleshooter should now be able to scan for and attempt to resolve any issues.

There are a lot of updates for Windows 10. Because it is one of the most powerful operating systems available, you can expect to wait a few hours for it to complete. It may take longer if you install it from a USB drive.

Make sure the USB is bootable.

Windows 10 will not install if the USB has an error from the first formatting. As a result, it’s critical that you generate a bootable USB. Copying the Windows 10 ISO files to a USB drive without taking necessary precautions will not work. 

When making a USB to install Windows 10, the main method for transferring data for regular USB devices may not function. In certain instances, though, you may be able to purchase a bootable Windows 10 USB from a shop.

If you need to make a bootable USB, you’ll have to manually copy the Windows 10 files into the USB. 

Here’s a step-by-step method on making a bootable USB:


Make sure the PC is configured to boot from a USB drive and install Windows from there.

Make sure your computer or laptop is set up to boot from a USB drive and install Windows 10. Unfortunately, many PCs don’t have this option enabled by default, so you’ll have to change it yourself. 

To begin, turn on your computer. You’ll notice an opportunity to hit a unique key when the manufacturer’s logo appears (for example, Toshiba or Acer). This specific key is determined by the computer’s manufacture and model. 

Most likely, you’ll notice something at the bottom indicating which key to hit. The F8, F12, and Delete keys, for example, are all common choices.

F2 will probably take you to the BIOS setup menu, while F12 will take you straight to the boot selection screen, according to the legend in the top-right corner. Keep a careful eye on the precise key!

After hitting the special key, go to the menu that displays and choose CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, making sure the option is toggled on. 

Make sure the USB drive is formatted in FAT32.

It’s advisable to back up the file on another USB stick before reformatting or deleting the USB disk. Because a deleted USB drive cannot be undone, making a copy will protect you from losing Windows 10. After that, reformatting the USB is as straightforward as it gets.

The majority of USB drives on the market are formatted with NTFS. As a result, make sure the USB drive you’re using for the installation is formatted as FAT32.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. The first step is to determine the USB’s format. After that, verify the USB filesystem, attach your USB to your PC, and make sure it appears in My Computer.
  2. Right-click the icon and choose properties from the menu that appears. The file system will be shown in the first window that appears. 
  3. If the USB isn’t formatted in FAT32, you may reformat it by returning to the My Computer menu, right-clicking on the USB icon, and selecting the format option. Select the FAT32 format from the drop-down choices in the box that appears, then click proceed. 

Here’s a video that walks you through the whole process:


Check to see whether your computer has an EFI/UEFI bootloader.

The installation of Windows 10 and normal booting from recovery CDs and USBs may be hampered if your machine uses EFI/UEFI.

To enable booting from a USB or CD, manufacturers (including Dell, HP, Asus, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo, and others) need certain procedures. 

As a result, double-check that your computer is set up for this. Within the EFI setup/configuration function that appears after starting on your PC, you may either configure or enable Legacy Boot.

To begin, turn on your computer. You’ll notice an opportunity to hit a special key as soon as you see the manufacturer’s logo on the BIOS screen. The key is determined by the computer’s manufacture and model (Most computers will indicate the key to press below the screen). 

Select the UEFI setup and configuration option from the pop-up menu. You’ll see a variety of choices in the next box, which you may customize.

Now, depending on the brand of your computer and the EFI firmware, you may have difficulty locating what you’re searching for since it may go by several names.

Legacy Support, UEFI/Legacy Boot, Boot Option Filter, and so on are examples of options. 

Make extra room on your computer’s hard drive.

If you don’t have enough free space on your storage disk, no matter which technique you choose to install Windows 10, it won’t work. That implies you’ll have to make some room. 

The first step is to remove any applications that are using up too much RAM. 3D games and Adobe Creative Suite, for example, are renowned for using a lot of disk space.

If you still need these applications, make backups outside of the computer and reinstall them later.

Remove and back up files in the following sequence if this doesn’t free up enough space. Backing up your data using an external hard drive is a simple and fast process.

  • Videos are video files.
  • Files with audio.
  • Images.
  • Documents and other tiny files of various types. 

With each stage, double-check the space and end when you have enough room for the Windows 10 installation. Check the space % on the drive labeled Windows by pressing the Start button and typing This PC or My Computer. Make sure it has at least 20 GB of free space. 

WinDirStat is a useful application that lets you hunt out the largest space eaters by file. It is completely free and displays a graphical representation of all the files that have been mapped out.

Make sure the ISO image is properly transferred to the USB.

Windows 10 may sometimes be installed from an ISO image. However, you won’t be able to install Windows 10 from the USB if the image is damaged or improperly duplicated.

Unfortunately, once the ISO image on the USB stick has been duplicated, there is no way to fix it. As a result, the only option is to reformat the USB drive and reload the image. 

Bonus tip: Always have a bootable USB drive on hand.

It’s usually a good idea to have a backup plan. Of course, this is helpful if you don’t need to install a new version of Windows 10, but instead need a Windows recovery disk to restore the health of your existing Windows OS. 

Let’s look at how to make a Windows emergency CD using EaseUS Todo Backup, a dependable USB bootable program. 

To get started, download and run EaseUS Todo Backup. Once the app has started, go to the home screen and choose the ‘OS’ option. The system will identify your operating system automatically and show the information on the screen. 

The system will then recommend the best backup place (you may choose another choice if you don’t want to back up here). Then go to schedule and make a weekly, monthly, or any other schedule you like. Then choose Proceed to enable the system to back up the operating system. 

You may alternatively make a backup on a separate USB or CD if you don’t want to use this technique. 

Finally, some ideas

Because Windows 10 is one of the most widely used operating systems in the world, knowing how to upload and install it from a USB stick is important.

Using a Windows 10 USB with your chosen desktop or laptop configuration necessitates the proper USB, updates, and free storage space. Keep a backup USB stick in case your first one becomes corrupted.

A growing number of Windows 10 users are encountering a problem with the operating system – it refuses to install to a USB flash drive. As it turns out, this isn’t a bug, but a deliberate design decision that aims to prevent user data from being manipulated by malicious software. That said, there are plenty of ways around it, and we’ll show you how to fix the problem.. Read more about trying to install windows 10 from usb and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if my Windows 10 wont boot from USB?

If your computer is having trouble booting from the USB drive, try restarting your computer and then trying again.

Why does my Windows 10 installation keep failing?

This is a common issue with Windows 10 installations. The most likely cause of this issue is that the system files are corrupted or missing. You can fix this by reinstalling Windows 10 from scratch.

How do I repair Windows 10 with USB?

To repair Windows 10 with USB, you will need a USB flash drive that is at least 8GB in size. You will also need to download the Windows 10 installation files from Microsofts website. Once you have downloaded these files, insert your USB into your computer and open up the folder on the flash drive. From there, just follow the instructions on screen to install Windows 10 onto your computer.

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