Normally, when we install Windows 10 on a computer, we do it on the internal hard drive of our PC. The operating system, all the configurations and all the programs are stored there to guarantee the correct functioning of the equipment. However, there are times when carrying an operating system on a USB stick can be very useful, and unlike Linux, which allows it easily, with Windows this is much more complicated. Although, luckily, we have WinToUSB.
WinToUSB is one of the best programs to create a portable Windows 10 . This program allows us to prepare an installation of the Microsoft operating system on a USB stick or external hard drive and leave it fully functional and configured so that we can always carry it with us.
WinToUSB allows us to create a portable Windows 10 from an ISO image of the operating system (the same one we use to install Windows from scratch), as well as from virtual hard drives that we have on the PC. It even allows us to clone our local Windows 10 installation to the USB memory or hard disk and prepare it so that it can work in a portable way.
This program has 3 different operating modes :
- Windows To Go: it allows us to create our portable Windows 10 easily in a few steps.
- USB Creator – Create a Windows installation USB from an ISO image.
- Windows PE Bootable USB Creator – Create a Windows PE USB drive to boot the system and attempt to recover it.
WinToUSB allows us to create a portable Windows from 7 to 10. However, due to the limitations of Windows 7, the support with this operating system is only partial and can cause problems. A portable Windows 10 is fully functional, so it will not give us any kind of problem.
Free vs Pro What are the differences?
This program can be used completely free of charge, and has most of its functions enabled to use them.
The features and functions that WinToUSB Free offers us are:
- Create a portable Windows from an ISO, virtual hard drive or DVD.
- Clone our Windows installation to a USB and make it portable.
- Create a Windows installation USB.
The Professional version is paid, has a price of 29.95 euros, and offers us, in addition to all the above, the following additional features:
- Clone our Windows installation to a Thunderbolt drive and make it portable.
- Hot clone Windows, without having to restart the PC.
- Create a virtual hard disk from a portable installation of Windows 10.
- Clone a portable Windows from USB or Thunderbolt to a different USB or Thunderbolt drive.
- Compatible with Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise.
- Higher cloning speed.
- Other advanced features and functions.
And we can also find an Enterprise edition, for companies, which offers everything that the Professional edition offers us and, in addition, includes support for creating a portable Windows Server.
In a few steps you can have your own portable Windows
Although it seems to us that this task may be complicated and need to carry out configurations, the truth is that thanks to WinToUSB it is possible to do it with just a few clicks and in a few minutes. The program will take care of everything itself and we will not have to worry about anything.
The first thing that we will find when we open the program will be a window like the following one.
The first thing we will have to do to use this program is to look for an ISO image of Windows 10 that we have on our PC to load it into the program. By doing so, all the Windows editions included in that image will appear.
If we do not have the Windows 10 ISO, but we have an installation DVD or USB memory, we can still load it using the buttons on the left.
In the next step what we will have to do is select the USB memory, or the external hard drive, where we want to install our portable Windows. When selecting it from the list, the program will notify us that the data will be formatted and erased, and we will have to choose the type of partitions.
The program will create the necessary partitions to be able to create our Windows Portable. If we have several, we can choose the system partition and the boot partition that we want to use. We will also have to choose the installation mode we want to use and the size of the virtual hard disk.
If everything is correct, clicking on «Next» will start the creation of the USB memory with the Windows that we have chosen.
We must wait for the program to finish carrying out its tasks. When it does, we will have our USB memory with Windows 10 portable ready to use. Now we only have to restart the computer and configure the BIOS to be able to boot from this USB memory to see that it is fully functional.
We can download this program for free from the following link . The installation of the program is very simple and fast, and it does not try to install any type of unwanted software. It is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 10 in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. For its part, the Professional version is priced at $ 29.95.
If we are looking for a program that allows us to create a portable Windows 10, we present some alternatives to WinToUSB that we must take into account:
Rufus is one of the most popular and widely used programs for creating bootable USB sticks with different operating systems. Although this program will not allow us to create a portable Windows as WinToUSB does, we will be able to create practically any boot disk to be able to install any operating system on it.
We can download Rufus for free from their website .
Gandalf’s Windows 10 PE
Gandalf’s Windows 10 PE does not allow us to create our own portable Windows, but it is already portable by default. This is an advanced rescue disk designed to be burned directly to a USB stick and can be used to boot and recover any computer. It has a large number of different programs, which makes it one of the most complete Windows PE we can find.
If we want to build our own Windows 10, we can download it here.