How to Create a Windows To Go USB (Guide)

Personalization is everything in today’s world, especially when it comes to technology. Don’t you hate having to use a computer that doesn’t belong to you? Everything is a bit too different and you can’t change it so you have to devote extra hours to adapt to that system environment. Wouldn’t you like it if you had the ability to carry not only your personal data, but even your personal settings in your pocket? Luckily for you, you can. Today we will be discussing with you how to create your own Windows To Go USB Drive, which is basically a bootable Windows that resides inside your USB stick.


  • A system running Windows 8/8.1/10.
  • An ISO image file of the version of Windows you want to install.
  • A USB Drive of at least 16 GB (preferably a Windows To Go certified USB).

note Note that while Windows To Go will be fully functional, read/write speeds will depend on the USB stick you are using. While a USB 3.0 flash drive is fast, it still has its limitations. If you just want to try it, you can use a USB 3.0 flash drive, but for use as a daily drive, I highly recommend getting a Windows To Go certified USB drive like the one below. This or This.

Create a Windows To Go USB Using Rufus

1. Download the latest version of Rufus from: here, free. Since it is a portable software, there is no need to install it. After installed, Connect USB Drive to your PC.

note: Be sure to back up all data on the flash drive as the entire drive will be formatted later.

2. Start Rufus software on your PC. You will be presented with the main window. Be sure select your USB Drive from the drop down menu.

3. The next step is to choose the partition scheme for your device. If you want to start the device old modechoose “MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computer” choice. Or, if you want to boot it UEFI modechoose “GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer”.

Rufus - Pod Type

4. “ISO Image” option from the drop-down menu next to “Create a bootable disk using” choice. Then click on “disk icon” and browse to the Windows ISO image file that you will use to create the Windows To Go Bootable USB.

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5. Next, make sure “Windows to Go” option has been selected. After you finish everything, tap on it. “Start” Start the process by pressing the button.

6. Depending on your system, the Windows image used and the USB stick used, the entire process It can last anywhere between 2-4 hours. When finished, the green counter at the bottom will complete and ‘READY’ message below. That’s it, your Windows To Go USB is now ready. Now you can restart your PC and boot to USB Stick to experience.

Rufus - Done

Create Windows To Go USB Using GImageX

To create a Windows To Go USB with the help of GImageX, we first need to make the USB Disk bootable. To do this we will use disk partition, a native Windows tool. To do this, follow these steps:

1. To start a Command Prompt / PowerShell window with Administrative Privileges. Next, make sure your USB Stick is plugged in and the data is backed up. Go on executing the following commands Inside the Command Prompt / PowerShell window.

  • disk partition
  • list disc
  • select disk x // where x represents the number of your USB as shown in the list above
  • clean
  • create piece pri
  • select part 1
  • active
  • format FS=NTFS fast
  • assign letter=W // You can replace ‘W’ with any other drive letter you want to use, but make sure it’s not being used by another drive
  • exit


Next up, right-click on your Windows ISO file and “Mountain” to mount the image file to access the files.

3. Now, Download GImageX from here, it’s free and open. Under “To apply” In the GImageX section, click on “Search” button next to “Source” and go to resources folder in your mounted ISO file and “setup.wim” file.

GImageX Browse

4. Next up, make sure to check out: USB driver inside “Aim” episode. When done, click continue “To apply” option at the bottom right.

Apply GImageX

5. Note that this method will take even longer than Rufus, about 5-6 hours to complete depending on the disk and other hardware used. When complete, the green bar 100% mark. Simply click “Close”restart your computer and boot to your Windows To Go USB.

GImageX Done

note: I created a Windows To Go USB with a Windows 10 ISO image on a PC running Windows 10 Creators Update, but the method should work for all Windows versions.

SEE ALSO: How to Hide Drivers in Windows 10 (Guide)

Take Windows Wherever You Go

The power to move your data along with the settings in your chosen working environment is truly amazing. We have shared both the automatic and relatively manual method of creating a Windows To Go USB for your use. So give it a try and share your experiences and questions with us in the comments section below.

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