If you’re looking to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 11, you might have heard of Rufus. Rufus is a small and popular utility that allows you to create bootable USB drives with various operating systems, including Windows 7, 8, 10, and 11, as well as Linux and other operating systems. Unlike Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool (MCT) app, which only supports Windows 10 and 11, Rufus provides several quality-of-life improvements, especially for those wanting to install Windows 11.
One of the benefits of using Rufus instead of MCT is that it can bypass TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot requirements to create and install media compatible with older and officially unsupported hardware. Additionally, Rufus offers the option to skip the Microsoft account requirement and automatically disable data harvesting options during the initial Windows 11 setup.
To create a Windows 11 bootable USB using Rufus, you’ll first need to download Rufus from the app’s official website. Rufus is free and available in installable and portable variants. Once you’ve downloaded Rufus, double-click on the installer file and install the application.
Next, connect your USB drive (8GB is the minimum requirement) and launch Rufus. From the boot selection dropdown, select Disk or ISO image (if you already have an ISO image). If you need to change the app’s language, click the button with a globe icon. If you don’t have an ISO image, click on the Select dropdown menu and choose Download. Select the Windows version that you wish to download, followed by the release version, edition, and language. Once everything is set, click Download, specify where Rufus should save the ISO, and wait for the app to complete its job.
Once the download completes, plug in your USB drive and launch Rufus. Click on Boot Selection and locate the downloaded ISO file. Keep the Image option standard Windows installation partition scheme set to GPT, and the Target system UEFI. You can change the volume label if you want to, but it’s not necessary. Click on Start, and Rufus will offer you the option to customize the installation with the following options:
1. Remove requirement for 4GB+ RAM: tick this option if you want to install Windows 11 on a computer with unsupported hardware.
2. Disable data collection: Windows 11 will not ask you to send diagnostic data, enable location, advertisement ID, and other things some users consider privacy-invading.
3. Set a local account: select this option to skip the Microsoft account requirement. Windows 11 will not ask you to sign in with a Microsoft account during the initial setup.
4. Set regional options using the same values as this user: Rufus will copy the current regional settings to the new installation.
Click OK and wait for Rufus to create the Windows 11 installation USB. You can check the progress in the Status section.
Rufus extends Windows 11 capabilities and makes it easier to create a bootable USB drive. With the option to bypass TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot requirements and the ability to skip the Microsoft account requirement and disable data harvesting options, Rufus provides several quality-of-life improvements for those wanting to install Windows 11.