How to install and run Windows 11 (Sun Valley) on an external hard drive as portable Windows 11?

June 21, 2021, Posted by Admin to Windows 11 To Go

When Windows 10 was first announced, Microsoft said that it would be the last version of Windows thanks to Windows as a Service and its commitment to constant updates. Recently, Windows 11 installation ISO has appeared on the Internet, whether it is a deliberate leak or an abnormal leak by Microsoft, this seems to mean the end of Microsoft's "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows" statement.

We downloaded the Windows 11 installation ISO for the first time and installed it to an external hard drive using Hasleo WinToUSB, we did this first to experience Windows 11, and the second was to test whether Hasleo WinToUSB supports installing Windows 11 on external hard drive and then run Windows from the USB drive. The result is positive, Windows 11 can be successfully installed to the external hard drive and then booted from the external hard drive. Below we will show you how to install Windows 11 to an external has drive as portable Windows 11 using Hasleo WinToUSB.


Tutorial to install and run Windows 11 (Sun Valley) on an external hard drive as portable Windows 11.

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to a computer with Hasleo WinToUSB installed, then run Hasleo WinToUSB.

Step 2. Click the ISO Icon button, then click the Browse Icon button and select the Windows 11 installation ISO file from the open dialog box. If you don’t have a Windows 11 installation ISO file, download Windows 11 installation ISO file first.

Step 3. Hasleo WinToUSB will lists all installable Windows 11 editions in the installation ISO, please select the edition of Windows you want to install, then click "Next".

select Windows 11 edition

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

select external hard 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 external hard 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 11 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

Step 7. After clicking "Next", WinToUSB begins installing Windows 11 to the external hard drive.

installing Windows 11 to external hard drive

Step 8. It takes some time to install. After installation restart the computer and change BIOS to boot from the external hard drive.

change BIOS to boot Windows 11 from USB

Step 9. Windows 11 normal installation starts up and you have to complete all the installation steps. After that, you can install programs, copy files, etc.

Windows 11 normal installation


As a professional portable Windows creation tool, you can not only install and run Windows 11 on an external hard drive with Hasleo WinToUSB, but also use it to help you install and run Windows 11 on a USB flash drive.