Creating “Windows To Go” Drive Using In-built Feature in Windows 10

Third party tools like Rufus make it very easy to create bootable USB drives for many different operating systems. Rufus can also be used to create special “Windows To Go” bootable USB drives that can be used to boot into Windows just as you would boot into your computer using a Live Linux CD/DVD. We have already explained all the requirements and steps needed to create a “Windows To Go” USB drive using Rufus. But you do not need really Rufus to do so (albeit it makes it easier). You can use the in-built features in Windows 10 to create a “Windows To Go” USB drive. Here is how:

  1. Attach a Windows To Go compatible USB drive to your PC.
  2. Insert the Windows 10 Enterprise edition DVD in your computer’s DVD drive.
  3. Launch Windows Control Panel. For this, you can press the key combination Win+X and then select Control Panel from the menu that appears.
  4. In the Control Panel, select Small Icons for the View By drop-down list. This will show you all the available settings in form of small icons instead of displaying them by categories. From these small icons, select Windows To Go.Windows To Go
  5. In the Windows To Go creation wizard, you will be shown all the USB drives attached to your PC. Select the correct one and click on Next.Windows To Go
  6. Choose the sources folder from the Windows 10 DVD by clicking on Add search location. It will automatically locate the required install.wim file. Proceed by clicking on Next.Windows To Go
  7. You will be shown Bitlocker encryption options. Using Bitlocker to encrypt drive contents is optional so choose as you wish. But it makes Windows To Go drive a little slower in my experience.
  8. The final summary will be displayed. You can click on the Create button to proceed and let Windows make a “Windows To Go” USB drive for you. It might take 10 minutes or more.Windows To Go

Once this Windows To Go drive is ready, you can use this to boot into Windows on any compatible PC. The process is very simple –  you have to press F12 during the boot, select the Windows To Go USB drive from the list and wait for a few minutes.