Are you having trouble booting from a USB drive on Windows? Try these fixes

August 12, 2020 by Logan Oppen


Sometimes, your computer may display a message saying that it is booting from a USB drive in Windows. There can be several reasons for this problem.

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  1. Press the on / off button on your computer.
  2. Press ESC, F1, F2, F8 or F10 during the first main screen.
  3. When you enter BIOS setup, the setup utility page appears.
  4. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select the BOOT tab.
  5. Move the USB so that it is the first in the boot sequence.



If you have a newer computer model (usually Windows 8 or Windows 10) with UEFI / EFI, be sure to read the UEFI / EFI setup before booting from a USB drive.

How To Boot From USB Key


How do I boot from a memory stick in Windows 10?

Follow these steps to boot from a USB drive in Windows 10.
  1. Connect your bootable USB drive to your computer.
  2. Open the Advanced Boot Options window.
  3. Click on "Use device".
  4. Click on the USB drive you want to boot from.

Method 2. If you are not prompted for this type of message, you will need to press a specific key combination to select a device to boot:

Method 3 - If none of the above methods work, check that the BIOS / UEFI settings are correct and you can move the USB item to the top of the list in the boot device selection menu.

This method makes your computer always boot from the USB flash drive and then from the hard drive. If a USB storage device is not available, the computer will boot from the hard drive.

Depending on your computer model and BIOS version, you can enter in the first drive option to open the menu and select the USB flash drive item instead.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Depending on your PC manufacturer, you need to press different keys or key combinations to access the Start menu or BIOS / UEFI menu.

MThe Start Menu is the Windows menu where you can select the device you want to boot from: hard drive, USB, CD-ROM, etc.

If the Start menu is not available, you can force the computer to boot from external and removable media (such as USB flash drive, CD, or DVD) by configuring BIOS / UEFI settings.

Legacy Mode must be enabled on newer UEFI / EFI computers (or Secure Boot must be disabled). If you have a UEFI / EFI computer, go to the UEFI / EFI setup.

USB storage will not boot if the USB storage is not bootable. Skip to How to Boot from USB to see the steps.

Access The Start Menu

BIOS / UEFI Access

UEFI / EFI Configuration

Windows 8 and Windows 10 computers usually have a new UEFI / EFI that requires configuration before booting from a USB drive.

You must disable the secure boot option. Depending on the computer model, the names of the alternatives may be as follows:

How do I get my PC to boot from USB?

Startup Priority Options
  1. When the computer starts up, press F12 several times after the manufacturer identification screen. The device selection menu is displayed.
  2. Use the up and down arrows to select CD or USB storage.
  3. Press ENTER to boot from the selected device.

For more information on enabling legacy mode, see our Enabling Legacy Mode guide or the Disabling Securedownloads ".


The Hard Drive Is Visible, But Not The USB

February 2021 Update:

We now suggest using this software program for your issue. Also, Reimage repairs typical computer system errors, defends you from file loss, malicious software, computer system failures and optimizes your Pc for maximum performance. You can fix your Pc challenges swiftly and prevent others from happening by using this software:

  • Step 1 : Download and install Computer Repair & Optimizer Tool (Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista - Microsoft Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click on “Begin Scan” to uncover Pc registry problems that may be causing Pc difficulties.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all errors.


If the hard disk option appears in the Start menu but is not present on the USB drive, follow these tips and restart your computer to try again:

booting from a usb stick in windows



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