How to Force Windows to Boot on a USB Drive on Reboot

By Michael Batton Kaput

A bootable USB drive can help users run or reinstall Windows without a disc.
i Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images

When your Windows installation is corrupt or you wish to install the operating system without a disc, a bootable USB drive is a useful tool. A bootable USB allows users to boot Windows directly from the device. But before that can happen, you'll need to tinker with your machine's BIOS settings.

Insert your USB bootable drive into your machine's USB port.

Turn your computer off. Turn it back on. Press the manufacturer-specified key to enter the BIOS menu while the computer boots up. This key is different for each model of computer, but is typically one of the numbered "F" keys.

Select the "Boot" tab from the top of the BIOS menu using the arrow keys. A list of boot devices will appear under the heading "Boot Device Priority."

Highlight the "1st Boot Device" option and press "Enter" to see a list of bootable devices.

Select your USB drive from the list and press "Enter." It may be listed by the brand name of the USB drive or simply as "Removable Device." Press "F10" when finished to exit and save your changes. Restart your machine. Windows will now be forced to boot directly from your USB drive.