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How to download Windows 10 ISO onto USB drive with Rufus

Rufus lets you download the ISO file and create a bootable USB flash drive to install any version of Windows 10, including Windows 8.1. Here's how to use the feature.

Rufus download Windows 10 ISO and create bootable USB

Rufus is a free lightweight tool designed to create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 10 on your computer. In previous versions, you had to provide the Windows 10 ISO to create a bootable media, but now you can download the ISO file and prepare the bootable media within the experience, like the Microsoft Media Creation Tool.

However, unlike the Microsoft solution, Rufus not only creates a USB installation media, but it does it faster, and you can even prepare a USB drive with an older version of Windows 10 (including Windows 8.1). 

In this guide, you will learn the steps to use Rufus to download the ISO file and create a bootable media to install Windows 10 from scratch.

How to use Rufus to download ISO and create bootable Windows 10 USB

To use Rufus to download the Windows 10 ISO file and create a bootable media, connect a USB flash drive with 8GB of space, and then use these steps:

  1. Open Rufus website.

  2. Under the “Download” section, click the link to download for the latest version.

  3. Double-click the executable to launch the tool.

  4. Click the Settings button (third button from the left) a the bottom of the page.

    Rufus enable ISO download
    Rufus enable ISO download
  5. Under the “Settings” section, use the “Check for updates” drop-down menu and select the Daily option.

    Rufus enable updates
    Rufus enable updates
  6. Click the Close button.

  7. Click the Close button again.

  8. Open Rufus again.

  9. (Optional) Under the “Device” section, use the drop-down menu and select the USB drive to create the installation media.

  10. Under the “Boot selection” section, use the drop-down menu and select the Disk or ISO image option.

  11. Click the down-arrow button (on the right side) and select the Download option.

    Rufus ISO download
    Rufus ISO download
  12. Click the Download button.

  13. Select the Windows 10 option.

  14. Click the Continue button.

  15. Under the “Release” section, select the Windows 10 ISO you want download. For example, 20H1 (Build 19042.xxx – 2020.10) to download the version 20H2 ISO file.

    Rufus download Windows 10 ISO
    Rufus download Windows 10 ISO
  16. Click the Continue button.

  17. Select the Windows 10 Home/Pro option.

  18. Click the Continue button.

  19. Select the language of Windows 10.

  20. Click the Continue button.

  21. Select the operating system architecture. (Usually, you want to select x64.)

  22. Click the Download button.

  23. Select the location to save the Windows 10 ISO file automatically.

  24. (Optional) If you connected a USB flash drive to create a bootable media, continue with the default settings after the download.

  25. Click the Start button.

  26. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, you can use the bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 10 using a clean or in-place upgrade installation.