Guide to Starting Up from USB

Last Updated: Mar 3, 2024 by

Are you tired of constantly having to use a CD or DVD to boot up your computer? Or maybe you want to install a new operating system without having to use a disc? Whatever the reason may be, booting from a USB drive is a convenient and efficient way to start up your computer. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of booting from a USB drive and provide some helpful tips to ensure a successful startup.

Why Boot from USB?

Before we dive into the steps, let’s first understand why booting from a USB drive is beneficial.

Faster Startup Time

Compared to traditional methods of booting from a CD or DVD, booting from a USB drive is much faster. This is because USB drives have faster read and write speeds, allowing your computer to access the necessary files and start up quicker.


USB drives are small and compact, making them easy to carry around. This means you can have your operating system or important files with you wherever you go, without the need for bulky discs.


USB drives can hold a large amount of data, making them a versatile option for booting up your computer. You can store multiple operating systems or files on one USB drive, giving you more options and flexibility.

How to Boot from USB

Now that you understand the benefits of booting from a USB drive, let’s go through the steps to get started.

Step 1: Prepare Your USB Drive

The first step is to prepare your USB drive for booting. This involves formatting the drive and making it bootable.

To format your USB drive, insert it into your computer and open the File Explorer. Right-click on the USB drive and select “Format”. Choose the file system as “FAT32” and click “Start” to begin the formatting process.

Next, you’ll need to make the USB drive bootable. There are various tools available online that can help you do this, such as Rufus or UNetbootin. These tools will guide you through the process of making your USB drive bootable.

Step 2: Change Boot Order in BIOS

Once your USB drive is prepared, you’ll need to change the boot order in your computer’s BIOS. This will ensure that your computer boots from the USB drive instead of the hard drive.

To access the BIOS, restart your computer and press the key indicated on the screen to enter the BIOS setup. This is usually the “F2” or “Delete” key, but it may vary depending on your computer’s manufacturer.

Once in the BIOS, navigate to the “Boot” tab and change the boot order to prioritize the USB drive. Save your changes and exit the BIOS.

Step 3: Insert USB Drive and Restart

Insert your USB drive into your computer and restart it. Your computer should now boot from the USB drive instead of the hard drive.

Step 4: Follow On-Screen Instructions

Once your computer has booted from the USB drive, you’ll see a boot menu with various options. Select the option that corresponds to your desired operating system or action, such as “Install” or “Try without installing”.

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Once finished, you can remove the USB drive and your computer will start up as usual.

Tips for Successful USB Booting

To ensure a successful startup from your USB drive, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

Use a High-Quality USB Drive

Not all USB drives are created equal. To avoid any issues, it’s best to use a high-quality USB drive from a reputable brand. This will ensure that your USB drive can handle the booting process and won’t fail midway.

Check Compatibility

Before attempting to boot from a USB drive, make sure that your computer is compatible with this method. Some older computers may not have the option to change the boot order in the BIOS, making it impossible to boot from a USB drive.

Use the Correct Bootable File

When making your USB drive bootable, make sure you’re using the correct bootable file for your desired operating system. Using the wrong file can result in errors and prevent your computer from booting.

Keep Your USB Drive Safe

Since your USB drive will contain important files and operating systems, it’s important to keep it safe and secure. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures or physical damage, and always keep it in a safe place when not in use.


Booting from a USB drive is a convenient and efficient way to start up your computer. With faster startup times, portability, and versatility, it’s a great alternative to traditional methods of booting. By following the steps outlined in this guide and keeping these tips in mind, you can successfully boot from a USB drive and enjoy a seamless startup experience.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.