How to Create Windows 11 Recovery USB Drive – 2 Ways Included

This article shows users two ways to create a Windows 11 recovery USB drive to recover or repair Windows in the event of a disaster. You can choose the one that suits you best according to your needs.


by Yuka Updated on November 2, 2022

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The Necessity of Creating a Recovery Drive on Windows 11

Windows 11 Recovery USB

Whether you're running a new Windows 11 PC or an older PC updated from Windows 10 to Windows 11, one day you'll need to recover from a catastrophic PC failure. Unfortunately, for most users, that means starting from scratch because they didn't create recovery media ahead of time. But it doesn't have to be.

While Windows 11 offers several ways to back up, restore, and reset your computer, you won't be able to use any of these tools if your computer doesn't start, gets stuck on a black screen, or gets stuck in a reboot loop.

Therefore, it's a good practice to create a Windows 11 USB recovery drive and keep it in a safe place to access your computer if you can't boot from the hard drive. The great thing about a Windows recovery drive is that it's not tied to a specific PC, and it can be used to boot almost any Windows 11 computer that experiences a problem and refuses to boot.

2 Effective Ways to Create Windows 11 Recovery USB Drive

If you previously created a Windows 10 USB recovery drive, the steps are similar to Windows 11. The USB flash drive required to create a Windows 11 recovery drive can vary in size from 1 GB to 32 GB, depending on whether you select the "Backup System Files to Recovery Drive" option.

Note📝: You can create a Windows 11 recovery drive by inserting any USB drive in working condition without having to use a new or preformatted USB drive. Windows will automatically format the USB drive and erase all data before creating the recovery drive. So make sure to transfer data from the USB drive to another location before this operation.

Here are two ways to create a USB recovery drive, choose the one that works best for you based on your needs.

#1. Create Windows 11 Recovery Drive with Built-In Tool

All Windows computers come with a Recovery Drive application preinstalled, which makes creating a USB recovery drive very easy.

Note📝: If you are using Microsoft's built-in tool to create the recovery drive, once the USB recovery drive is created, the USB cannot be used for any other purpose. You won't be able to store other files on it, no matter how much "empty" space is left on the drive.

  1. Insert the USB drive you prepared in advance. Make sure it can be detected by Windows 11.
  2. In Windows 11, click on the Start menu, then type Recovery Drive and select the app to open.

Recovery Drive Windows 11

  1. When the application opens, Windows will automatically begin scanning your computer for suitable drives. Select your USB flash drive and click Next to continue.

Select the USB Flash Drive

  1. A window will then prompt you that the drive will be formatted and everything on the drive will be deleted. When ready, click the Create button.

Create the Recovery Drive

  1. Depending on the speed of your computer, this process can take anywhere from tens of minutes to several hours. Once done, save the Windows 11 recovery disk to a safe place.

#2. Create Bootable Repair USB with Reliable Third-Party Tool

In addition to Microsoft's own tools, you can also use a free backup software to create bootable media to help you start your computer if it doesn't boot properly. AOMEI Backupper Standard works on all Windows PCs, including Windows 11/10/8/7 (32-bit and 64-bit).

Its biggest advantage over Microsoft's own tool is that the USB it uses to create bootable media can also be used to store other files. You can also take a look at its other advantages:

💿 You can use it to create bootable DVD/CD or USB that can be used to start a crashed computer of HP, Lenovol, Acer, ASUS, Dell, etc. And the created media is able to boot in both BIOS and UEFI mode.
🖥️ If your system crashes before you made a recovery drive, you can also create a Windows 11 recovery disk from another computer to boot the problematic one.
📄 It can provide all-round protection for your computer system and data. It has functions such as backup, restore, clone, sync, etc. It also supports more backup locations than Microsoft's own File History tool, such as local disk, external hard drive or network share, cloud, etc.

Follow the steps below to create Windows 11 recovery USB drive with AOMEI Backupper:

  1. Download this freeware on your computer and launch it.
Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
  1. To recover Windows via this tool, you can create a regular system backup in Backup tab. Then click Tools from the left panel and then select Create Bootable Media.

Create Bootable Media

  1. Select bootable disc type from Linux based or Windows PE based, and click Next to continue.

Windows Bootable Disc

Tip📌: Linux based bootable media only allows you to use basic functions of AOMEI Backupper, while Windows PE allows you to access full functions.

  1. Then select USB Boot Device to create Windows 11 bootable recovery media and then click Next to run this process.

Select USB Device


  • If you don't have any CD/DVD or USB drive, you can simply enable the AOMEI Recovery Environment to achieve the same effect as recovery disk.
  • If you didn't make any system backups before the Windows 11 computer failure, you can also create a system image on another working computer and restore it to the computer in question with Universal Restore.


This article provides you with 2 ways to create Windows 11 recovery USB drive. One is to use Microsoft's built-in tool - Recovery Drive, and the other is to use third-party software - AOMEI Backupper.

Both of these methods can successfully help you create bootable media, allowing you to successfully start your computer if something unexpected happens to your computer. The most obvious advantage of the second method is that the USB used to create the recovery drive can also store other files. AOMEI Backupper will also be your best option if you find that you cannot create a USB recovery drive with Recovery Drive.

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.