How to Create Windows 11/10 ISO Image from Existing Installation

You can learn how to create Windows ISO here. It helps you get a custom ISO image with Windows installation and all your personal data included.


By Delia Updated on March 18, 2024

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How to create an ISO image from my operating system

I have my windows installed as fresh install and the computer works fast and as it was when i bought it. i am wondering about the way that i can make an ISO file from my current installation so that if there is any problem i can use it to restore my computer.

Why Create an ISO Image from Your Operating System?

When the system crashes due to various problems, a system backup ensures you can quickly roll it back to the state where the backup was taken. And an ISO image created from current installation offers some more benefits:

  • An ISO image is bootable so you can use it to restore your PC when you have boot issues.
  • It is very convenient to deploy it to other devices.
  • It can be standalone from backup tools or cloud services.
  • You can view its content by mounting it as a virtual drive.
  • You can run the ISO image on a virtual machine.

You may wonder: how to create an ISO of my computer? Here I will show you 2 methods to create ISO file from current Windows 10/11 OS, and an easier alternative for system recovery.

create iso from os

Quick Guide:

👉 Easy Way to Create System Image and Bootable WinPE Disk - Free
👉 How to Create ISO Image from Existing Installation
👉 Bonus Tip: Best Way to Create System Image for Multiple PCs
👉 FAQs about Making ISO Image of Operating System

Easy Way to Create System Image and Bootable WinPE Disk - Free

The purpose of creating an ISO file of current Windows is usually making a bootable recovery drive, or deploying system to another computer. Although there are a Windows native tool to achieve this goal, it is troublesome and error-prone. Thus, you can try an easy workaround to achieve similar objectives, that is, to create a system image backup and a WinPE bootable media.

Both of the operations can be done with the free backup tool - AOMEI Backupper Standard.

 Compatibility It works in all editions of Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP and supports storage devices including internal or external disk, USB flash drive, NAS, cloud, etc.
Functionality It contains powerful backup & restore features for system/file/partition/disk, allowing you to create a system backup image through several clicks.
Bootable Media With it, you can create bootable media via USB or CD/DVD, and use it for the local computer and another computer running Windows.
Automation It can create and manage multiple automatic backup tasks with different schedules, such as daily, weekly, and monthly.
Universal Restore You can use the system image on another computer with the dissimilar hardware restore option in Professional edition.

With the system image, you can easily restore the computer to an earlier state without losing data - this works well even when you want to return Windows 11 to Windows 10. And if the problem was severe enough that you couldn't get into Windows, you can still boot from the bootable media to perform system recovery in WinPE.

Download the free backup software from the Download Center or the button below, then install and launch it.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to create ISO file of current Windows 10/11

1. If you want to create a system image from your current operating system and save it in an external device, connect it to your computer, and launch the main interface of AOMEI Backupper.

2. Select System Backup under Backup Tab. In daily use, you can also choose other options as needed.

System Backup

3. The program will automatically include required partitions for a full system restore. Just specify a destination location to store the backup image.

Select Destination

4. You can set up a Backup Schedule to automate the task, or perform incremental or differntial backup in Backup Scheme to backup only changed files each time. After that, click Start Backup to execute it.

Auto deletion: You can enable automatic backup cleanup in Backup Scheme to auto delete backup images older than x days (availble in Professional edition). It can help you save storage space.

start backup

The created system backup task will show in the Home page. You can either manage it directly, or go to Restore tab for system recovery.

🔎Further need: Deploy image file to multiple computers

If you want to deploy the system image of your current Windows to multiple computers over network, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician or Tech Plus edition, and use the AOMEI Image Deploy feature to do so.

Learn more: AOMEI Image Deploy

How to create a bootable media for Windows system

1. Go to the Tools tab and choose Create Bootable Media.

create bootable media

2. Select the bootable disc type, it's recommended to choose Windows PE. The created disc is compatible with both legacy/MBR and UEFI/GPT.

Windows PE

3. Then you can select bootable media as USB, CD/DVD, or export the ISO file directly. Click Next to start creating it.

select media

With the created bootable media and system image, you can easily restore Windows to an earlier normal state.

  • If your computer fails without any preparation, you could create the system image and bootable media on another working computer, and use them to perform Universal Restore on the faulty PC.
  • You can also create a recovery environment in AOMEI Backupper Professional. Once the recovery environment is created and enabled, the "AOMEI Backupper Recovery Environment" option will be added to the system boot menu page so that you can select to start the system from the recovery environment to restore Windows ISO image to new hard drive.

Add Boot Option

How to Create ISO Image from Existing Installation

To create a Windows 10/11 ISO file from your current operating system, you can use the built-in feature DISM to capture Windows image under recovery environment. Below I will take Windows 10 as an example.

Step 1. Prepare a Windows recovery media or installation disk

To use DISM, you need a Windows 10/11 recovery media or installation disk.

Connect the USB drive to your computer. Type "recovery drive" into the search box and select "Create a recovery drive".

In this utility, tick the option "Back up system files to the recovery drive." This will create a recovery drive that allows you to reinstall Windows. Then, follow the wizard to select the USB drive, and start creating Windows recovery drive.

Backup System Files

With that prepared, you can follow the steps below to capture Windows 10 recovery image as well as Windows 11 recovery image.

Step 2. Boot your PC from the recovery media or installation media

If you boot from the installation disc, you can press Shift + F10 at Windows Setup screen to bring out command prompt. If you boot from a recovery media, then select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt.

Step 3. Create ISO image from existing Windows 10 installation

Type the following command and press Enter.

dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:D:\windows10\install.wim /CaptureDir:C:\ /Name:windows10

Note: The drive letter may change under recovery mode, so the Windows installation drive may not be C: drive. In that case, you need to replace the drive letter "C" with where the Windows installed, and replace “D:\windows10” in ImageFile switch with the target location path where you want to save the custom image.

Capture Reset Image

This process might take a while and you cannot turn off the PC during the time. Please be patient until it finishes.

Note: If you want to use this image in another computer, then it's necessary to remove SID (System Identifier) by sysprep. This step should be done before capturing the image.

Step 4. Make the ISO image file bootable

The created image file can be used to reset Windows 10/11 PC. To make it a bootable ISO image, follow these steps, here will take Windows 10 as an example:

1. Open Windows 10 installation disc in File Explorer. Copy its contents and paste to a folder on your internal or external hard drive. For example, copy them to a folder named “iso-files” located on D: drive. You can also mount a Windows 10 ISO and copy its content.

2. Copy the custom image install.wim created before to the Source folder and replace the original one.

3. Download and install the latest Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10. You only need to select Deployment Tools to install.

Deployment Tools

4. Run the following command on an elevated command prompt.

oscdimg.exe -m -o -u2 -udfver102 -bootdata:2#p0,e,b[path of the iso-files]\boot\,e,b[path of the iso-files]\efi\microsoft\boot\efisys.bin [path of the iso-files][new location to save the iso image of the current windows]

The command is kind of complicated. To make it easy, you can also use a free tool such as Folder2ISO to create ISO file of Windows 10 out of the folder you created in step 1.

Bonus Tip: Best Way to Create System Image for Multiple PCs

If you are an enterprise user who has multiple computers that need to be protected, try the best enterprise backup software - AOMEI Cyber Backup. It offers you all-around enterprise data backup and recovery solution:

  • It enables you to create system/disk/partition backup for a bunch of Windows PCs from one central console.
  • You are allowed to save backup images on a local disk, external hard drive, network share or NAS device, etc.
  • You can set up backup schedule to backup changed data automatically.
  • It offers full/incremental/differential backup method to cater to your different needs.

Download this powerful enterprise backup software now to have a try!

Download FreewareEasiest Enterprise Backup Software
Secure Download

To create a system image for client computers, follow these steps:

1. Log in AOMEI Cyber Backup, and add the Windows device that you want to backup.

2. Click Backup Task on the left menu bar and select Backup Task Create New Task.

3. Choose System Backup as the Backup Type and finish the rest settings.

Select Backup Type

FAQs about Making ISO Image of Operating System

What is the ISO image of the operating system?


An ISO image of an operating system is a complete and exact replica of the contents of an optical disc, typically a CD or DVD, in a single file. The term "ISO" refers to the International Organization for Standardization, which defines the format for such images.
How much storage space is required to create an ISO image of an operating system?


The required space depends on the size of the operating system and the data on the system. Please remember to ensure you have sufficient free space on your storage drive.
Can I use an ISO image to install the operating system on a new computer?


Yes, you can create Windows 10/11 ISO image from existing installation, and use the ISO image to create a bootable USB or DVD and install the operating system on a new computer.
Is an ISO bootable from a flash drive?


Yes. An ISO file combines all the Windows installation files into one uncompressed file. If you choose to download the ISO file to create a bootable file from a USB drive, copy the Windows ISO file to your drive and then run the Windows USB/DVD download utility.
Can Rufus Create an ISO image?


No, Rufus is a tool designed to create bootable USB drives from ISO images, but it doesn't create ISO images. Its primary function is to take an existing ISO file and write it to a USB drive, making the drive bootable.

Final Words

In addition to creating ISO image from your operating system using DISM, you can also create custom system image and bootable drive via AOMEI Backupper. This tool is available to create ISO from Windows 11 22H2.22621 and other all Windows operating systems. With it, you can set up a scheduled backup to keep your system image up to date, and choose incremental or differential mode to save only changed files each time.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within company, you can choose AOMEI Backupper Technician. It allows you to deploy or restore system image file to multiple clients over network, perform portable USB backup without installing this software on different computers, etc.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.