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How To Create Windows 10 Installation Media.

Microsoft allows you to create your own Windows 10 installation media to recover your computer if it runs into trouble. You can download it either as a standard ISO file, for burning to a DVD disc or you can create a bootable USB drive.

For the bootable flash drive, you don’t even need any special software (such as Rufus), since Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool will handle everything for you.

Microsoft recommends having at least 8GB of free storage space, so if you’re thinking of burning the ISO to a DVD disc, you’ll probably need a dual-layer disc. Personally, I think using a USB flash drive is by far the more convenient of the two options, just be sure that the drive that you use doesn’t have any other files stored on it.

Download The Windows Media Creation Tool.

Plug in your USB flash drive or load a blank DVD disc into your burner drive. Once that’s done, you’ll need to download the Media Creation Tool.

For Windows 10, click https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

When the web page loads, scroll down to the “Create Windows 10 installation media” section and click the Download Tool Now button.

Windows 10 media creation tool webpage. "Download tool now" button is indicated.
Create Windows 10 installation media. Click the Download Tool Now button.

It only takes a few seconds for the Media Creation tool to download.

When it’s finished, launch it to begin creating your Windows 10 installation media.

Windows 10 Media Creation Tool download is shown in Edge browser.
You can launch the Media creation tool from within your browser or from wherever you downloaded it to.

Creating Windows 10 Installation Media.

After starting the Media Creation Tool you’ll see the “Getting a few things ready” screen. Nothing for you to do except wait until the tool is ready.

Then you’ll see the “Applicable notices and licence terms” page. Ts & Cs to you and me, you have to click the Accept button to continue.

On the “What do you want to do?” screen, select “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC”. Then click the Next button.

Windows setup screen. "Getting a few things ready".
Just wait while the tool sorts itself out.
The Accept button is marked.
Accept the Ts & Cs.
"Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC" is selected and the Next button is indicated.
Select “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC” and click the Next button.

Select Windows 10 Language, Architecture And Edition.

The next screen you’ll see is the “Select language, architecture and edition” screen.

For most of us on our home computers, you can probably just leave this at the default setting and click the Next button.

But if you did want or need to change either the language or the architecture, then you’ll need to deselect “Use the recommended options for this PC”. You can then use the drop down menus to make any changes that you want.

"Use the recommended options for this PC" is selected and highlighted. The Next button is also marked.
Generally, you can leave these settings as the defaults and just click the Next button.

Language, Architecture And Edition.

Language. Allows you to choose any of the languages that Windows 10 is available in.

Edition. In the old days, you had to select whether you wanted to download Windows 10 in Home, Pro or Enterprise editions, but now it’s consolidated into one file.

Architecture. Allows you to select either the 32-bit (x32) or 64-bit (x64) versions of Windows. If you’re not sure which one you need, then leave it 64bit (x64). Most home computers will be running the 64 bit version of Windows 10.

Choose Which Media To Use.

This is where you get to choose which Windows 10 installation media you want to create.

You can create a bootable USB flash drive or download the ISO file.

If you select a bootable flash drive, then you should have the drive plugged into your computer and ready to go.

If you select the ISO file option, then you can either burn it to a disc with the Media Creation Tool or simply save the file to your computer for use later on.

After making your choice, click the Next button.

USB flash drive is selected and the Next button is marked.
Select either a USB flash drive or ISO file and click the Next button.

How To Create A Windows 10 Bootable Flash Drive.

To create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 10, select the USB flash drive option and then click the Next button.

Then select which USB drive should be used. Note that it needs to have a capacity of at least 8GB, bigger is fine but no smaller. Also, be sure that you don’t have any other files on the drive because it will be formatted (wiped). Click the Next button to start the process.

The latest version of Windows 10 will be downloaded and your bootable flash drive created automatically.

How long this will take depends on the speed of your Internet connection and your computer. One thing I generally advise though is to make sure your PC doesn’t enter sleep mode. It’s particularly a problem with laptops, which will often be set to a very strict power-saving mode to preserve battery life.

USB flash drive is selected and the Next button is marked.
Select USB flash drive and click Next.
Flash drive selected and Next button marked.
Select which flash drive to use and click Next.
Download progress window.
Windows 10 is being downloaded.
Creating Windows 10 media progress screen.
Windows 10 bootable flash drive is being created.

Once the creation process has finished, you’ll have a Windows 10 installation flash drive.

How To Download The Windows 10 ISO file.

Instead of creating a USB flash drive, you can simply download the Windows 10 ISO file. Once you’ve got the ISO file downloaded, you can then create a Windows 10 installation disc by burning it to a DVD disc.

On the “Choose which media to use” screen, select ISO file and then click the Next button.

Choose a location to save the file to and then click the Save button.

ISO file is selected and the Next button is marked.
Select “ISO file” and click Next.
Desktop folder is selected and the Save button indicated.
Choose a folder to save the Windows 10 ISO file into and then click Save.
Download progress window.
Windows 10 is being downloaded.
Creating Windows 10 media progress screen.
Your Windows 10 ISO file is being created.

After The ISO File Has Been Created.

The Windows 10 ISO file is just a standard ISO file and so can be burned to a DVD disc using any burning software. If you want to simply keep the file for use later on, click the Finish button.

But if you want to burn it to a disc right now, click “Open DVD burner”. The “Windows Disc Image Burner” window will open. Click the Burn button.

"Open DVD burner" option and the Finish button are both marked.
If you want to burn the ISO file to a disc right now, click “Open DVD burner”, otherwise click the Finish button.
Burn button indicated.
To burn the disc, click the Burn button.

Note.

If you are going to burn the disc, remember that the image won’t fit on a standard blank DVD. It’s simply too large. You’ll need to use a dual layer disc or even a Bluray disc.

Summary.

The Microsoft Media Creation Tool does a pretty good job of simplifying the process of creating bootable installation media for Windows 10.

Now that you’ve got your Windows Installation media ready to How To Install Windows 10 Or 11 From A USB Drive.

For me, a bootable USB flash drive is probably the way to go for most users. Flash drives are cheap, quick and reliable. However, it is handy being able to grab hold of the actual ISO file. It’s this file that you’ll need if your going to create a custom install disc or for creating virtual Windows 10 machines.

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