This guide is now obsolete and has been superseded by Download Windows 10 Version 1903 and Create a Bootable USB in Windows or Linux which instructs with the newer Build of Windows 10.
Rufus has been updated to Version 3.0, this guide uses Version 2.x and is obsolete. See here for the new guide.
You need a Windows 10 Installation .iso to download the latest version see Windows OEM Downloads and FAQs.
This guide will also work for a Linux Installation .iso, Parted Magic Installation .iso if the Bootable USB is to be created within the Windows Operating System.
If you are running Linux opposed to Windows see my Guide Creating a Windows 10 Bootable USB for a UEFI BIOS within Linux.
Open up Google Chrome and search for Rufus. Go to the Rufus website:
Scroll down to get to the Download Link:
Wait for the Download to finish:
Double click the Rufus Application:
Accept the User Account Control Prompt:
You can allow Rufus to search for Updates when Online (For the next time you launch it) if you wish:
Rufus should now be open.
The order that you use Rufus is important failure to perform the steps in the order listed may lead to an incorrectly created Bootable USB.
Loading the Installation .iso
I will use a Windows 10 Version 1703 English UK (English International) installation .iso in this example (instructions are identical for newer builds):
Select the load .iso button near the bottom right:
Select the folder of your installation .iso.
Rufus should load the .iso:
Once the .iso is loaded it will state Ready and the name of the .iso will be shown to the bottom left:
Inserting your USB Flash Drive
Note Rufus will remove all data on the USB Flash Drive when it makes Windows Installation Media.
Insert your 16 GB USB Flash Drive. This should display in Windows Explorer check the Drive Letter in this case F:
The USB Flash Drive will now show in Rufus. Ensure that this is the correct drive letter (in this case F:).
The Partition Scheme
Windows 10 Installation performs when the Partition Scheme is set to be the GPT Partition Scheme for UEFI and the File System is FAT32:
This partition scheme requires usage of a UEFI BIOS which has been standard on all computers built since 2012. For maximum security Secure Boot should also be enabled in the UEFI BIOS.
Systems build in late 2010 until 2012 may also have a UEFI BIOS while older computers will have a Legacy BIOS and be incapable of utilising a UEFI Boot.
Check for a UEFI Boot with SecureBoot within Windows
If you are uncertain and are logged into your computer running Windows 8 or later you can quickly check using system information.
For a system with a Windows 7 installation that you plan to clean install Windows 10 on you can check your SMBIOS version but won't get Secure Boot state because its unsupported in Windows 7. If supported in your systems hardware you'll need to Enable the UEFI Boot and Secure Boot before Clean Installation. You'll be able to determine more by accessing your computers UEFI Boot Menu (see below).
If you are making your Bootable USB on another computer because the computer you are installing Windows 10 on cannot boot you'll be able to determine more by accessing your computers UEFI Boot Menu (see below).
Press [Windows] and [ r ];
This will bring up the run command:
In the run box type in
Then press ok.
If the BIOS Mode is set to UEFI and the Secure Boot state is set to On you are ready to make your Bootable USB.
If the BIOS Mode is set to Legacy and the Secure Boot state is set to Off or unsupported then you may wish to check the BIOS version and SMBIOS version.
- If your SMBIOS is 2.4 or less your computer will likely be unable to Boot from a USB and will be incompatible with Windows 10.
- If your SMBIOS is 2.5 then it is time to consider buying a new computer as your system is over a decade old however you should be able to install Windows 10 by configuring the USB for Legacy Boot options.
- If your SMBIOS is 2.6 then you won't have the ability to Enable Secure Boot however the system might have a UEFI Boot and if it does this should be Enabled by use of the UEFI BIOS Setup. See my UEFI Guide for instructions. Do not Enable the setting until you have finished making your Bootable USB as your old installation will not boot once the settings are changed.
- If your SMBIOS is 2.7 or later then you should Enable a UEFI Boot with Secure Boot. See my UEFI Guide for instructions. Do not Enable the setting until you have finished making your Bootable USB as your old installation will not boot once the settings are changed.
Check for a UEFI Boot with SecureBoot by using the UEFI Boot Menu
Power down your Dell and as you power it up press [F12].
This will take you to the Boot Menu, to the top it should state the Boot Mode and Secure Boot status:
If the Boot Mode is set to UEFI and Secure Boot is set to On then you are good to create your Bootable USB using the GPT Partition Scheme for UEFI and FAT32 File Format.
If the Boot Mode is set to Legacy and/or Secure Boot is set to Off then you should re-enable these technologies. If the system came with Windows 7 preinstalled these are the the typical settings as Windows 7 does not support Secure Boot. For more details see my UEFI guide. Do not Enable the setting until you have finished making your Bootable USB as your old installation will not boot once the settings are changed.
If there is no mention of Secure Boot but you see you have the options for a UEFI Boot then you likely have an early UEFI BIOS. You should Update your UEFI BIOS to the latest version (which in some cases may not be updated to include Secure Boot) and configure your Boot menu to use UEFI by default. For more details see my UEFI guide. Do not Enable the setting until you have finished making your Bootable USB as your old installation will not boot once the settings are changed.
If there is no mention of UEFI or Legacy on this menu you likely have a computer older than the advent of UEFI with a Legacy only BIOS. You should consider getting newer hardware however if you wish to install Windows 10 on your older system create your Bootable USB using the MBR Partition Scheme for BIOS or UEFI-CSM and NTFS File Format.
Creating the Bootable USB
Once you have selected the correct Partition scheme and File system for your computer. Click start to make your Bootable USB:
Select ok to format your USB Flash Drive.
Now it is a case of just waiting for Rufus to make the Bootable USB:
When its finished the green bar will be full and it will say Ready:
You may now close Rufus and you have a Windows 10 Bootable USB. You can use the setup.exe on the Bootable USB to perform an inplace upgrade from an older build of Windows 10 or use it to perform a clean install. For more details see Clean Installing Windows 10 RS3/Version 1709/Creator’s Update with UEFI and Secure Boot.