Create installation media for Windows

You can use installation media (a USB flash drive or DVD) to install a new copy of Windows, perform a clean installation, or reinstall Windows 10.

To create installation media, go to the

software download website

, where you’ll find step-by-step instructions. On that website, you can select a version of Windows and create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD. To go directly to one of the versions, select one of these links:

  • Windows 7

  • Windows 8.1

  • Windows 10

     (Then select Download tool now.)

Important: Back up your files before you install or reinstall Windows on your PC. Learn how 

for Windows 10

or

for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

.

To create the installation media, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A PC with a reliable internet connection. The download time will vary, depending on your internet connection.

  • A USB flash drive or DVD. A blank USB flash drive with at least 8 GB of space, or a blank DVD (and DVD burner). We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD because any content on it will be deleted. When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you’re told the disc image file is too large, you’ll need to use dual layer (DL) DVD media.

  • A product key. Your 25-character product key (not required for digital licenses). For help finding it, go to 

    Find your Windows product key

    .

After you’ve created the installation media, you can reset or reinstall Windows. To learn more, go to

Recovery options in Windows 10

.

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