How do I Boot my Computer, Laptop or PC from USB?

There are several ways to boot your PC from a USB flash drive. Some ways work better than others. When you want to boot the PC from USB, you are trying to load an installation, file, or operating system from USB even before Windows itself is loaded.

Booting from USB allows people to fix problems on the computer, load an app or file, or install a new operating system. For example, in most laptops, a specific boot menu helps choose a device during boot, such as a USB drive or a partition.

Starting this boot menu (“boot device menu”) allows you to choose the desired device to boot from. This is the first method of booting from USB. The second method is to have Windows boot to the Advanced Startup options.

The Advanced Startup Options is a partition containing Windows tools to troubleshoot Windows. These tools also provide a feature to boot to a USB drive. So in this way, you can also boot the USB device.

How do I boot my computer from USB?

As indicated in the introductory text. The boot menu is the first way to boot your computer from USB. The boot menu is started by repeatedly pressing a function key before Windows starts, just after the BIOS window.

Startup from a USB drive using a function key

Each manufacturer or model of a computer has a different key to activate this boot menu. However, the most common models use one of the following function keys to activate the boot menu. This is one of the following keys, the ESC, F2, F10, or the F12 key.

Shut down your computer completely. Then start the computer by pressing the physical power button and then repeatedly press one of the above function keys to open the “boot menu”. You should repeat the above process for each key. If the function key does not work, try the next one until you have had them all.

You will see the “USB device” in the boot menu manager. Select the USB device and press ENTER to boot from the USB.

Boot menu manager

Startup to a USB drive via the Advanced Startup Options

If you have a bootable USB and want to boot it from Windows, you can do so by using the Advanced boot options.

To start the Advanced Startup Options, click on the Start button. In the search window type: advanced startup options

No access to Windows? Read four other ways to boot to the Advanced Startup Options.

Then click on the result to open these options.

Advanced Startup options

Click the “Restart Now” button next to “Advanced Startup Options.” The PC will now reboot to these options. You can then choose the USB device and boot from it in these options.

Make sure your USB drive is connected to the PC.

Advanced Startup restart

Click on “Use a device.” Using a USB drive, network connection, or Windows recovery DVD.

Use a device in Advanced Startup Options

Then click on the USB drive to boot from it. The USB drive will appear in the list with a custom name or “EFI USB Device”.

The EFI System Partition (Extensible Firmware Interface) or ESP is a partition on a storage device used by computers with the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI).

Boot from USB thumb drive using Advanced Startup

I hope that you were able to boot the computer to a USB drive with this information. Thanks for reading!

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