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

Updated on July 2, 2024 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. - Admin was published in June 2021.

Two years have passed, Windows 11 has become more and more popular, and Hasleo has been keeping an eye on the new version of Windows 11 and making sure users are able to install it to a USB drive as a portable Windows 11. 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 external hard drive to the computer, download, install and run Hasleo WinToUSB and then click the "Windows To Go USB".

Click Windows To Go creator

Step 2. Click "Select installation source", then click "Browse image file" and select the Windows 8 installation ISO file from the open dialog box as installation source, or choose a CD/DVD drive with a Windows 8 installation DVD inserted as the installation source.

Select installation source for Windows To Go

* Tips: If you don't have a Windows 11 installation ISO, please download Windows 11 installation ISO first.

Step 3. Hasleo WinToUSB scans for and lists installable operating systems, select the edition of Windows you want to install.

Select Windows edition

Step 4. Click "Select destination drive" and select the destination drive from the pop-up drive list. If the drive is not correctly recognized by Hasleo WinToUSB, you can click the refresh drive list button for the program to recognize the drive.

Select destination drive

Step 5. Choose the partition scheme and installation mode you want to use, and you can specify additional drivers or enable BitLocker to encrypt the Windows To Go external hard drive according to your needs, then click "Proceed".

Select partition scheme and installation mode

* Tips:

  1. For more detailed information about "Partition scheme", "Installation mode" and "Enable BitLocker", please refer to: How to create portable Windows 11/10/8/7 from an ISO, WIM, ESD, SWM or VHD(X) file?
  2. 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.

Step 6. After clicking "Proceed", a pop-up will appear asking you if you want to format it to continue, click "Yes" if you are sure.

The drive needs to be formatted prompt

Step 7. After clicking "Yes", WinToUSB begins installing Windows to the destination drive.

installing Windows to USB

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

change BIOS to boot 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 Windows 11 to an external has drive and run Windows 11 from it with the help of Hasleo WinToUSB, but also install and run Windows 11 on a USB flash drive or clone Windows 11 to a USB drive as portable Windows 11.