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Download Rufus and Run Any Operating System from a USB Drive

How to Download Rufus and Create Bootable USB Drives

If you want to install or repair an operating system on your computer, you may need a bootable USB drive that contains the installation files. A bootable USB drive is a portable device that can start your computer and load the operating system from it. One of the easiest and fastest ways to create a bootable USB drive is to use Rufus, a free and open-source software that works on Windows.

What is Rufus and what can it do?

Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys, pendrives, memory sticks, etc. It can be especially useful for cases where:

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  • You need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI, etc.)

  • You need to work on a system that doesn't have an OS installed

  • You need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS

  • You want to run a low-level utility

Despite its small size, Rufus provides everything you need. It supports various file systems, partition schemes, and boot modes. It can also download some of the most popular Linux distributions for you.

How to download Rufus

Downloading Rufus is very simple and straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  • Go to the official website of Rufus at

  • Scroll down the page and click the first link under the "Download" header. It will be the latest version of the tool (version 4.1 as of June 2023).

  • Save the executable file (rufus-4.1.exe) to your computer. You can choose any location you want.

  • Double-click the file to run Rufus. You don't need to install it. If prompted, click Yes to allow Rufus to make changes to your system.

How to use Rufus

Using Rufus is also very easy and fast. Here are the steps:

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  • Insert a USB drive that you want to use as a bootable device. Make sure it has enough space for the image file you want to use. Also, make sure to back up any important data on it, as it will be erased during the process.

  • Select your USB drive from the "Device" menu in Rufus.

  • Choose the bootable image file that you want to use from your computer. You can use an ISO file (.iso), an image file (.img), a compressed file (.zip), or a disk image file (.vhd or .vhdx). You can also download some Linux distributions directly from Rufus by clicking the "SELECT" button and choosing "DOWNLOAD" from the menu.

  • Configure the options according to your needs. You can change the volume label, the file system, the partition scheme, the cluster size, and the boot selection mode. You can also check some advanced options such as "Quick format", "Create extended label and icon files", "Check device for bad blocks", etc.

  • Click "START" to begin the process. Rufus will warn you that all data on the USB drive will be destroyed. Click "OK" to confirm.

  • Wait for Rufus to format and copy the bootable image file to the USB drive. You can see the progress and the estimated time in the status bar.

  • When Rufus is done, it will show you a message saying "READY". You can now eject the USB drive safely and use it as a bootable device.


Rufus is a powerful and convenient tool that can help you create bootable USB drives in minutes. It supports various formats, systems, and options. It can also download some Linux distributions for you. It is free, open-source, and portable. You can use it on any Windows computer without installation.

Some tips and warnings when using Rufus are:

  • Make sure your USB drive is compatible with the system you want to boot from. Some older systems may not support USB 3.0 or UEFI boot mode.

  • Make sure your bootable image file is valid and not corrupted. You can verify the checksum of the file using Rufus or other tools.

  • Be careful when choosing the options and settings in Rufus. Some of them may affect the functionality or compatibility of your bootable USB drive.

We hope this article has helped you learn how to download Rufus and create bootable USB drives. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between ISO and IMG files?

ISO and IMG are both types of image files that contain the data of a disk or a partition. The main difference is that ISO files are usually used for optical disks (CDs, DVDs, etc.) while IMG files are usually used for hard disks or flash drives. However, Rufus can handle both types of files equally well.

How can I make a bootable USB drive for Mac OS?

Rufus only works on Windows and cannot create bootable USB drives for Mac OS. You will need to use a different tool, such as Disk Utility, UNetbootin, or Etcher.

Can I use Rufus to create a Windows To Go drive?

Yes, you can. Windows To Go is a feature that allows you to run Windows from a USB drive on any computer. Rufus can create a Windows To Go drive from a Windows 10 ISO file. You will need to enable the "Windows To Go" option in Rufus and select a compatible USB drive.

Can I use Rufus to clone my existing system to a USB drive?

No, you can't. Rufus only creates bootable USB drives from image files, not from existing systems. If you want to clone your system to a USB drive, you will need to use a different tool, such as Clonezilla, Macrium Reflect, or EaseUS Todo Backup.

Can I use Rufus to erase or format my USB drive?

Yes, you can. Rufus can erase or format your USB drive without creating a bootable device. You just need to select your USB drive in Rufus and click "START" without choosing an image file. You can also change the options and settings as you wish.

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