[Solved] How to create a portable Windows 10 USB drive in 2021?

Updated on May 15 2021, by Admin to Portable Windows Creator

I'm a college student and I use Linux most of the time, but sometimes I have to use Windows, because there are some professional software that doesn't support Linux. I have Linux and Windows 10 installed on my laptop, over time, the free space on the disk becomes less and less. So I'm going to remove Windows 10 from my internal disk and then install it on an external hard disk. I know how to install Linux to an USB drive as live Linux with open source tools, but I don't know how to install Windows 10 to an external hard disk. When I tried to install Windows 10 to an external hard disk, I got the error "Windows cannot be installed to this disk.". Can someone tell me how to create a portable Windows 10 USB drive? Thanks.

What Is Portable Windows 10 (Windows To Go)?

Portable Windows 10 refers to installing a fully-functional Windows 10 to a USB drive, and then being able to start Windows 10 on the USB drive on any computer. If you know Windows To Go (WTG), then you will find that Windows To Go is what we usually call portable Windows. The main feature of Windows To Go is to allow Windows to roam on different computers, so we can carry our Windows working environment in our pockets and use it in different places, such as home, company or school. For more information about Windows To Go, please refer to: What is Windows To Go?

WinToUSB feature overview

Have you ever imagined that to create a portable Windows 10 on an USB drive and then run Windows from the USB drive? Microsoft releases a feature called Windows To Go which can help you to install Windows 10 on a Certified Windows To Go Drive as portable Windows 10. Unfortunately, this feature is currently only available in the Enterprise version of Windows 10, and most of us don't have the Enterprise edition of Windows 10, nor a Certified Windows To Go Drive. But don’t worry, now you can use WinToUSB to install any version of Windows 10 onto a Certified or Non-Certified Windows To Go USB drive as portable Windows 10. After you've created a portable Windows 10 USB drive, you can install applications and copy files to the portable Windows 10 USB drive. Now you get a fully functional Windows 10 system which can boot from the USB drive, then you can carry it to anywhere and use it on any computer.


Tutorial to create a portable Windows 10 USB drive with Hasleo WinToUSB.

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to the computer, then run Hasleo WinToUSB.

Step 2. Click the ISO Icon button, then click the Browse Icon button and select the Windows 10 installation ISO file from the open dialog box.

select windows 10 installation iso

Step 3. Hasleo WinToUSB scans for and lists installable operating systems in the Windows 10 installation ISO. Please select the edition of Windows you want to install, then click "Next".

select windows 10 edition

Step 4. Select the destination USB drive in the drop-down list. If the USB drive is not correctly recognized by Hasleo WinToUSB, you need to click the Refresh Icon button for the program to recognize the USB drive.

select USB drive

Step 5. A pop-up will appear asking you if you want to format it to continue, select the partition scheme you want to use and click "Yes" to format it. If you choose "Keep the existing partition scheme", you need to manually prepare the partitions on the USB drive before this step, and here is the user guide on how to manually prepare partitions for Windows To Go. Please note that the "Keep the existing partition scheme" option is valid only for an external disk.

select partition scheme for Windows To Go

Step 6. Select the system partition and boot partition from the partition list, the selected partitions will be marked as red, then click "Next".

Select target partition icon

Step 7. After clicking "Next", Hasleo WinToUSB begins installing Windows 10 to the USB drive.

installing Windows to USB drive

Step 8. The installation will take some time, please be patient.


Boot and Run Windows 10 from the portable Windows 10 USB drive.

Step 1. After the installation is complete, restart the computer, press the appropriate key to boot into BIOS. Different motherboards and computer manufacturers use different keys to enter the BIOS. Usually, when the computer starts, you will be prompted to enter the key to enter BIOS, but the prompts are usually displayed for a short time and you may not be able to see it clearly. Below we list the keys used by popular brands of motherboards and computers to get into BIOS.

keys to enter BIOS

Step 2. After successfully entering the BIOS, change BIOS to boot from the portable Windows 10 USB drive.

change BIOS to boot from USB

Step 3. Windows 10 normal installation starts up and you have to complete all the installation steps. After that, you can install programs, copy files, etc.

Windows normal installation



Follow these simple steps, you can easily create a portable Windows 10 USB drive on a Certified or Non-Certified USB drive with Hasleo WinToUSB, and then you can boot Windows 10 from the USB drive on any computer.