Easily Create A Bootable Windows To Go USB Device for Windows 8.1 and 10

First introduced in Windows 8, Windows To Go is a feature that really kicks off Windows mobility capability by putting the entire operating system as well as your data onto a single USB storage device that you can take with you at any time and run it on any of Windows-ready computers, regardless of the running operating system.

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We’ve covered before the steps how to make a bootable Windows To Go USB drive. While the same instruction works for Windows 10, there is a much easier way that could save you hours.

Rufus, one of my favorite tools to make bootable USB drives, released a version lately that has Windows-to-Go built right in. And it’s extremely easy to use.

First of all, head over to Rufus website and download the latest release. Since it’s a portable tool, you can just download and run it on your Windows system right away. Make sure you have the USB device ready in one of the USB ports on your computer before launching the tool.

Then, select ISO images from Create a bootable disk using option, and select the image from the disc drive button right next to it.

If it’s a Windows 8.1 or 10 image, the option Windows to Go will become available. Select that option and click Start button to start the process.

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Depending on what computer you are using, it could take a while to get the USB drive ready with Windows to Go. Once done, you can start testing the drive right away without any further changes.

That’s about it, deadly straightforward.

A few notes

First of all, using a USB flash drive as your Windows to Go media isn’t a good idea. The performance really sucks. You will still be able to make one that’s ready for Windows to Go but it could take forever to boot up. A USB external HD is a more suitable media for jobs like this.

Secondly, if you do choose to use a USB external HD, you may find it’s not available in Device list in Rufus, even though it’s 100% plugged in to your computer. If that’s the case, click the little blue triangle next to Format Options, and check one option called List USB Hard Drives.

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Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 04/13/2015

Posted in: Windows 10 , Windows 8
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