How to install Windows 11 from a USB stick

Windows 11 can be installed in different ways. For example, there are people who upgraded directly from the previous version and kept their files and programs. Other prefer a clean install, which is only possible by creating a bootable USB stick. If you prefer the latter method, we recommend sticking with it. We explain how you can install Windows 11 from a memory stick and give you all the details about this process. We will also tell you what requirements you have to meet. Here we go!

Minimum requirements for installing Windows 11 from a USB stick

Microsoft requires computers to meet certain minimum requirements to install Windows 11. If you are familiar with your computer’s hardware, review your computer’s components using the following list:

  • processor. Clock frequency of 1 GHz or higher. CPU with two or more with 64-bit architecture. There is no version for 32-bit computers.
  • RAM. 4GB or more.
  • Storage. At least 64GB is required. More disk space may be required to download updates and enable certain features.
  • graphic card. Must support DirectX 12 or higher and have a WDDM 2.0 driver.
  • System-Firmware. UEFI with Secure Boot.
  • TPM. Secure Platform Module Version 2.0.
  • resolution. 720p resolution or higher. 9 inch monitor or larger with 8 bits per color channel.
  • internet connection. Necessary for Windows 11 Home Edition

In addition to these Minimum requirements for installing Windows 11 you also need a USB stick with at least 8 GB. Please note that the drive will be completely erased during the process. Therefore, avoid using a USB stick with important data on it.

How to create a bootable USB stick for Windows 11

Microsoft provides an official application that allows you to Create bootable USB sticks to install Windows 11 you can: the Media Creation Tool that you can download for free and safely from Malvida.

Once you have the executable in EXE format, double click on it. This software does not need to be installed. The first screen you see is the one with the Terms and Conditionsn. You must accept them to continue. Otherwise the program will be closed.

Accept the terms of the media creation tool.Accept the terms of the media creation tool.

Next select the version of Windows 11that you want to install and the installation language. Ideally, you check the box below to allow the tool to make this selection.

Use recommended configuration or select versionUse recommended configuration or select version

In the next step you click USB flash drive. Alternatively, you can also download an ISO image to your computer. However, the first option is the right one if you want to have a bootable USB stick.

Choose USB to burn Windows 11Choose USB to burn Windows 11

Highlight the drive you want to use. If you only have one device connected to your computer, it will appear as in the screenshot below:

Choose the drive you want to useChoose the drive you want to use

Finally Windows 11 will be downloaded. All necessary files are then copied to the USB stick.

Creating the bootable USB stick in progressCreating the bootable USB stick in progress

If you see the message Your USB flash drive is ready received, it means that everything worked as expected.

Confirmation message after completionConfirmation message after completion

Now it’s time to start installing Windows 11.

How to install Windows 11 from USB step by step

When you have created the bootable USB stick, the next step is to plug it in and ask your computer to boot from it. It is often necessary to press a combination of keys to prompt the BIOS to give priority to the memory stick over the internal storage drive. Visit your computer or motherboard manufacturer’s website for the steps you need to follow to boot your computer from USB.

In the screenshot below you can see the message that appears when the computer has recognized the USB port. It’s no secret: just tap any key to start the installation.

Press any key to start Windows 11Press any key to start Windows 11

The installation wizard is displayed. First, you can choose the language, region, and keyboard layout.

Choose Windows languageChoose Windows language

Click on the button Install nowto start.

Start installing the operating system on the computerStart installing the operating system on the computer

Windows will prompt you to enter your system key. This is only required on custom computers where you are installing the operating system for the first time. If your computer already had Windows 10 activated, click I don’t have a product key (iI don’t have a product key). Even if you don’t do this, you’ll still have the option to add a valid key later.

Enter activation keyEnter activation key

Select the appropriate Windows edition. Remember that your license must be compatible with this.

Choose the most suitable Windows 11 editionChoose the most suitable Windows 11 edition

To upgrade to Windows 11 from a previous version without losing your data and settings, turn on the option Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications (Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications). On the other hand, if you want a clean install, click Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) (Custom: Install Windows Only (Advanced)). The following steps refer to the last option.

Choose the custom installationChoose the custom installation

Delete all partitions on your computer and create as many as you need with the button New. Then select a valid partition on which you want to install Windows 11.

Delete partitions and create a new one to install Windows 11Delete partitions and create a new one to install Windows 11

And that was it. The system will be installed on your computer. Be patient as it may take some time.

Windows 11 installation process is runningWindows 11 installation process is running

Once the Windows 11 installation is complete, your computer will restart. You no longer have to connect your USB device to the computer because the system is on the storage drive. All you have to do is adjust your user settings.

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