How to use Rufus to create bootable Windows 11 USB

Rufus is a free tool that allows you to easily create a bootable USB flash drive to update or clean install Windows 11. The tool works similarly to the Media Creation Tool, and you can host an existing ISO file or the option to download files directly from Microsoft’s servers.

Unlike the Microsoft solution, Rufus not only allows you to create a USB installation media, it also makes it faster, and you can even prepare a USB drive with an older version of Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.

This guide will show you how to use Rufus to download the ISO file and create bootable media to install Windows 11 from scratch.

Use Rufus to create bootable Windows 11 USB with ISO download

To use Rufus to download the Windows 11 ISO file and create bootable media, insert an 8GB USB flash drive, then follow these steps:

  1. Open minded Rufus website.

  2. In the Download section, click the link to download the latest version.

  3. Double-click the executable file to start the tool.

  4. Press the settings Button (third button from the left) at the bottom of the page.

    Activate Rufus ISO download

  5. In the Settings section, use the Check for Updates drop down menu and select the Daily Opportunity.

    Activate Rufus updates

  6. Press the Close Button.

  7. Press the Close Button again.

  8. Open minded Rufus again.

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

  10. In the Boot Choices section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image Opportunity.

  11. Press the Down arrow (on the right) and select the Download Opportunity.

    Rufus ISO download
    Rufus ISO download

  12. Press the Download Button.

  13. Choose Windows 11 Opportunity.

  14. Press the Keep going Button.

  15. In the “Sharing” section, select the option 21H2 (Build 22000.194 – 2021.10) Option to choose Windows 11.

  16. Press the Keep going Button.

  17. Choose Windows 11 Home / Pro Opportunity.

  18. Press the Keep going Button.

  19. Select the Windows 11 language.

  20. Press the Keep going Button.

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

  22. Press the Download Button.

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

  24. (Optional) If you connected a USB flash drive to create a USB stick, continue with the default settings after the download.

  25. Press the begin Button.

  26. Press the OK Button.

After you’ve completed the steps, you can use the bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 11 with a clean or in-place upgrade installation.

Use Rufus to create bootable Windows 11 USB with existing ISO

To create a bootable USB stick with Rufus using an existing ISO file, proceed as follows:

  1. Open minded Rufus’ website.

  2. In the Download section, click the link to download the latest version.

  3. Double click on that rufus.3.xx.exe File to start the tool.

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

  5. In the Boot Choices section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image Opportunity.

  6. Press the Choose Button.

    Rufus creates bootable USB

  7. Choose Windows 11 ISO file.

    Windows 11 ISO

  8. Press the Open minded Button.

  9. In the Image Option section, select the option Standard Windows installation Opportunity.

  10. In the “Partition Scheme” section, select the option GPT Opportunity.

  11. Select the option in the “Target system” section UEFI (not CSM) Opportunity.

  12. Enter a descriptive name for the bootable USB drive in the “Volume Label” section – for example: Win11_Install_USB.

    Rufus settings

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

  14. Check the Quick format Opportunity.

  15. Check the Create advanced label and symbol files Opportunity.

  16. Press the begin Button.

  17. Press the OK Button to confirm deletion of USB stick and creation of bootable drive.

After completing the steps, the tool will start creating a USB media with the Windows 11 installation media.