How to Install Windows 11 on Pendrive and Run It Directly

Want to install Windows 11 in pendrive but don’t know how? Read this article to get a stepwise guide.


By Lily Updated on June 15, 2023

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Why install Windows 11 in pendrive?

Windows 11 is the latest Microsoft Windows operating system released in June 2021. You may want to install Windows 11 on a USB pendrive for the following reasons:

  • Portable Windows: By installing Windows 11 on a pendrive, you can carry your operating system with you wherever you go. This allows you to have your personalized system settings, applications, and files available on any computer you plug the pendrive into.
  • Testing or Demo Purposes: Installing Windows 11 on a pendrive allows you to test the new operating system without making any changes to your computer's existing setup. This is particularly useful if you want to try out Windows 11's features, compatibility with your hardware, or demonstrate the new OS to others.
  • Troubleshooting and Recovery: Having a bootable Windows 11 pendrive can serve as a troubleshooting tool in case your computer encounters issues. You can use it to access advanced recovery options, repair the operating system, or recover data from a non-functional computer.

How to install Windows 11 on pendrive via Rufus

Rufus, a popular free app that creates bootable USB drives, can help you make a portable install of Windows 11 that runs off of a flash drive you carry in your pocket. The latest version of Rufus not only allows you to create a Windows to Go version of Windows 11, but one that can avoid the TPM and CPU requirements of the new OS. So, there is no problem to boot off of this Windows to Go disk if you have a computer that doesn’t have TPM 2.0 or a compatible CPU.

Follow the steps below to create a portable Windows 11 installation:

1. Download the latest version of Rufus and install it on your machine.

2. Insert a blank 64GB or larger USB stick then open Rufus. You may choose a faster USB drive as this will become your main drive.

3. Select the USB device that you want to install Windows 11 to.

4. Ensure that Boot Selection shows “Disk or ISO image” and click on DOWNLOAD.

Disk or ISO image

5. Select Windows 11 > the latest release > the edition > your preferred language in order. 

6. Select the architecture and click Download. You can save the ISO image to your Downloads folder. You can also download the image using a browser if you wish.

Windows 11 ISO Image

7. After downloading, click on the Image option drop down and select Windows To Go. This will install Windows 11 directly to the USB drive. 

Windows To Go

8. Double check that the correct drive has been selected and click on START to begin the installation. The write process can take some time, depending on the USB drive being used.

Create Portable Windows 11

9. Restart your computer and press whichever key will trigger a USB boot.

10. Select your Windows 11 boot drive and boot.

11. Follow the standard Windows 11 post install script to set up your computer. Your USB drive now contains a full Windows 11 installation, ready for use.

How to run Windows 11 on a USB drive

After the Windows 11 bootable pendrive is created, you can use it on different computers. Each time the portable Windows 11 drive is inserted into a new device, you will be asked to verify who you are. However, if you are booting the USB disk on the same PC over and over again, you won’t.

Follow the instructions below to use portable Windows 11 on a new device:

1. Insert the Windows 11 USB into a new device and boot.

2. Click on Setup my PIN on the login screen to start the verification process.

3. Enter the account details used when setting up Windows 11.

4. Click on Email < Email Address > to send a verification email to your account.


5. On another device open your verification email and type the code into the Windows 11 prompt.

6. When asked to reset your PIN, click Continue

7. Create a new PIN and click OK to continue the login process.

Easier way to create bootable pendrive for Windows 11

If you need a bootable pendrive that can be used for Windows 11 system recovery, you can try another bootable USB creator - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It is free, simple and reliable.

✦ It enables you to create Windows PE boot disc or Linux boot disc.
✦ You can use USB flash drive, CD or DVD as bootable media. You can also export AOMEI ISO file as necessary.
✦ It supports all editions of Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

Download AOMEI Backupper now and learn how to create Windows 11 bootable USB using it as follows:

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

Step 1. Connect a USB drive to your computer. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Then, click Tools and select Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2. In the next window, choose bootable disc type and click Next. It is recommended to choose Windows PE so that you can access full functions of AOMEI Backupper.

Windows PE Bootable Disc

Step 3. Select USB Boot Device and click Next. You will receive a prompt to format your USB drive. If you have already backed up important files, click Yes to start creating bootable media.

USB Boot Device

Note: After creating a bootable USB with AOMEI Backupper, it is a necessary measure to make a system image or disk image of your PC. As a result, you can easily restore your computer to a previous working state in case of system crash or hard drive failure.


Now you know how to install Windows 11 on pendrive using Rufus and directly run Windows 11 on a USB drive. If you need a Windows 11 recovery USB, you can create one easily with AOMEI Backupper. Actually, AOMEI Backupper is not only a bootable USB creator but also a professional cloning program that enables you to clone dynamic disk to basic. Just give it a shot!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.