How to Use Rufus USB Tool: A Step-by-Step Guide

Rufus USB Tool is an essential software for creating bootable USB drives, widely used among computer enthusiasts and technicians alike. Whether you need to install a new operating system, recover data, or run diagnostic tools, Rufus provides a straightforward and efficient solution. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the features and functionality of Rufus, explaining how to use it to create bootable USB drives with ease.

Download And Install Rufus USB Tool

Download and installation are the first essential steps to using Rufus USB Tool properly. To begin, visit the official website of Rufus and click on the “Download” button. Once the download is complete, locate the downloaded file and double-click it to start the installation process. Choose a destination folder for installation, read and accept the terms and conditions, and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

After the installation is complete, launch Rufus USB Tool by double-clicking the desktop icon or searching for it in the start menu. It is recommended to use the latest version of Rufus for optimal performance and compatibility with your system.

Rufus is a lightweight and user-friendly application available for Windows operating systems. It is widely recognized for its ability to create bootable USB drives from ISO images or bootable files. With Rufus USB Tool, you can conveniently install or upgrade operating systems, run diagnostic tools, or perform various system-related activities using a USB drive.

Formatting And Partitioning The USB Drive

When using Rufus USB Tool, the first step is to format and partition the USB drive properly. This ensures that the drive is ready to be used as a bootable device.

To begin, insert the USB drive into your computer’s USB port. Open the Rufus software and it will automatically detect the connected USB drive.

Next, under the “Device” section, select the USB drive you want to use from the drop-down menu. Ensure that you have selected the correct drive as formatting will erase all the data on it.

Now, move to the “Partition Scheme” section and choose the appropriate option based on your requirements. If you are creating a bootable USB for a BIOS-based computer, select “MBR (Master Boot Record)”. For a UEFI-based computer, choose “GPT (GUID Partition Table)”.

After selecting the partition scheme, choose the “File System” and “Cluster Size” under the “File System” section. Generally, the default settings work fine, but you can customize them if needed.

Finally, click on the “Start” button to begin the formatting and partitioning process. Wait for the tool to complete the task, and you now have a formatted and partitioned USB drive ready for creating a bootable device.

Selecting The ISO Image Or Bootable File

When using the Rufus USB Tool, one of the crucial steps is selecting the ISO image or bootable file. This determines the operating system or software that will be installed on the USB drive.

To select the ISO image or bootable file, click on the small disk icon next to the “Create a bootable disk using” option. A file explorer window will open, allowing you to navigate to the location where the file is stored.

Make sure to choose the correct ISO image or bootable file that corresponds to the desired operating system or software version. Be mindful of the compatibility requirements between the ISO file and the target system to avoid any installation or compatibility issues.

It’s important to note that Rufus supports multiple file formats, including ISO, IMG, and even compressed files like ZIP or GZ. This versatility allows users to create bootable USB drives from a variety of sources.

Once the ISO image or bootable file is selected, you can proceed to the next steps in the Rufus USB Tool process to customize additional settings and start the creation process.

4. Choosing the Correct Partition Scheme and Target System:

When using the Rufus USB tool, it is crucial to choose the correct partition scheme and target system to ensure compatibility and smooth operation.

To start, insert the USB drive that you wish to make bootable into your computer. Launch Rufus and select the device from the drop-down menu under ‘Device’.

Next, under ‘Partition scheme’, choose either MBR (Master Boot Record) or GPT (GUID Partition Table) depending on your requirements. MBR is the traditional scheme and is compatible with most computers. GPT, on the other hand, is the newer scheme and works well with computers using UEFI firmware.

After selecting the partition scheme, proceed to choose the ‘Target system’ under ‘File system’. If you plan to create a bootable USB for a BIOS-based computer, select ‘MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI’. For UEFI-based computers, choose ‘UEFI (non CSM)’.

By correctly choosing the partition scheme and target system, you ensure that the bootable USB drive can effectively run on the desired computer system. Take the time to double-check these settings before proceeding to the next steps.

Setting The File System And Cluster Size

When using Rufus USB Tool, it is important to set the appropriate file system and cluster size for your USB drive. The file system determines how files are stored and organized on the drive, while the cluster size determines the allocation unit size, affecting efficiency and performance.

To set the file system and cluster size, follow these steps:

1. Open Rufus USB Tool and select your USB drive from the Device dropdown menu.
2. Under the “File system” section, choose the desired file system for your USB drive. Options include FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, and UDF. Consider the limitations and compatibility of each file system with your intended use.
3. Next, click on the “Cluster size” dropdown menu. Here, you can select the cluster size depending on your requirements. Generally, a smaller cluster size is recommended for smaller files, while a larger cluster size is suitable for larger files.
4. Once you have chosen the desired file system and cluster size, proceed with the other settings and options according to your needs.
5. Finally, click on the “Start” button to initiate the creation process.

By properly setting the file system and cluster size, you can ensure optimal performance and compatibility for your USB drive.

Enabling Additional Rufus USB Tool Options

In this step, we will explore the additional options provided by Rufus USB Tool, which can further enhance your USB creation process. Rufus offers several advanced settings that allow you to customize your bootable USB drive according to your specific requirements.

One of the crucial options is the “Bad Blocks” feature which scans the USB drive for any damaged sectors and prevents data loss during the creation process. Enabling this option is highly recommended to ensure the integrity of your bootable drive.

Rufus also provides the option to create a label for your USB drive, making it easier to identify. You can specify a custom name that will be displayed when you connect the USB drive to a computer.

If you want to create multiple partitions on your USB drive, Rufus allows you to do so. You can define the size and format of each partition according to your needs. This can be useful for organizing different files or installing different operating systems on the same USB drive.

Additionally, Rufus offers various other options like creating extended labels, adding fixes for old BIOSes, and enabling UEFI boot mode. These options cater to advanced users who require more control over their bootable USB drives.

By understanding and utilizing these additional options, you can further optimize your bootable USB creation process using Rufus USB Tool.

Initiating The Creation Process And Wait For Completion

After completing all the necessary settings and adjustments in Rufus USB Tool, it is time to initiate the creation process. To do this, simply click on the “Start” button located at the bottom right corner of the application.

Once you click on the “Start” button, Rufus will immediately begin the process of creating a bootable USB drive. You will be able to monitor the progress of the creation through the progress bar displayed on the screen.

It is essential to note that the time taken to complete the creation process will vary depending on factors such as the size of the ISO image or bootable file, the speed of your USB drive, and the specifications of your computer.

While the creation process is ongoing, it is important to refrain from disconnecting the USB drive or interrupting the process in any way. Doing so may result in an incomplete or corrupted bootable USB drive.

Once the creation process is complete, Rufus will display a “READY” message, indicating that your bootable USB drive has been successfully created. At this point, you can disconnect the USB drive from your computer and proceed to use it for your desired purpose.

Verifying The Bootable USB Drive And Troubleshooting Common Issues

After creating the bootable USB drive using Rufus USB Tool, it is crucial to verify its functionality before using it. Verifying the bootable USB drive ensures that it will work properly when needed. To verify the drive, simply restart your computer and access the boot menu. Select the USB drive as the boot device and check if the system successfully boots from it. If the system starts up without any issues, then the USB drive is functioning correctly.

However, if you encounter any problems during the booting process, it is important to troubleshoot the issue. Some common issues can include incorrect BIOS settings, an incompatible ISO image or bootable file, or a corrupted USB drive. To troubleshoot these issues, you can try changing the boot order in the BIOS settings, using a different ISO image or bootable file, or recreating the bootable USB drive with Rufus USB Tool.

By properly verifying the bootable USB drive and troubleshooting any issues that may arise, you can ensure a smooth and successful experience when using Rufus USB Tool for creating bootable drives.


FAQ 1: Can Rufus USB Tool be used on all operating systems?

Answer: Yes, Rufus is a versatile tool that can be used on various operating systems including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

FAQ 2: Is Rufus USB Tool free to use?

Answer: Absolutely! Rufus USB Tool is an open-source software that is available for free to all users. You can download it from the official website without any cost.

FAQ 3: Can Rufus USB Tool create bootable USB drives for different purposes?

Answer: Yes, Rufus is specifically designed to create bootable USB drives from ISO files, allowing you to install or run operating systems, such as Windows or Linux, directly from the USB drive. Additionally, it supports creating bootable drives for creating BIOS updates, running low-level utilities, and more.


In conclusion, Rufus USB Tool is a valuable and user-friendly solution for creating bootable USB drives. This step-by-step guide has provided a comprehensive overview of how to use Rufus successfully, from downloading the tool to creating a bootable USB drive. By following these instructions, users can easily and efficiently perform a variety of tasks, such as installing operating systems or running diagnostic tools, all from a convenient and portable USB drive. With its powerful features and straightforward interface, Rufus USB Tool is an essential tool for any computer user.

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