How to Boot Surface Pro from USB

To boot a Surface pro from a USB, the first step is to create a bootable USB drive. Once that is done, simply connect the USB to your device and follow a few steps. You can boot from a USB drive when the Surface Pro is either off or on.

Most of us don’t really think about booting up our Surface Pros. We just turn on the Power button, and wait for the device to turn on so we can use it to play games, write notes, or work.

However, there are some situations (such as to change firmware, update Windows, or alter Startup settings) where you may need to boot your Surface Pro from a USB as opposed to the traditional manner.

While this might seem like a complex thing to do, that isn’t actually the case and it can be done simply with the right instruction. Keep reading my guide on how to boot a Surface Pro from USB to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • Before you can boot from a USB, you need to first create a bootable USB drive. This is an easy process that only requires a USB drive, and the download and use of the Windows Media Creation Tool.
  • To boot from USB with your device off, you need to ensure the device is completely off and then follow a few instructions to properly start it with the USB attached.
  • You can also boot from USB with the device on. The exact process may differ slightly depending on whether you use Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Create a Bootable USB

Before you can actually boot your Surface Pro using USB, you need to create a bootable USB. Many people may think you can use any old USB stick for this, and this isn’t quite the case. 

To create a bootable USB, the first step is to get an empty USB drive, preferably with at least 16 GB of space. When you have the drive, go and download the Windows Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website.

After downloading, run the file and accept the terms, select the language and Windows edition you want, and then plug in your USB drive. Next, choose USB flash drive when given the choice of which media to use, and then select your drive under the Removable drives section.

Once you click Next again, the tool will begin downloading your chosen edition of Windows to your USB drive. When the download is done, your USB drive is officially good to go and can be booted from.

Booting Your Surface Pro from USB

Once you have a bootable USB drive ready to go, you can begin the process. The first step is to make sure to completely shut down your device. When it is completely off, plug the bootable USB drive into the Surface Pro.

Then, you need to press and hold the volume down button, and then press the power button but release it right after you press it. 

Continue holding the volume down button as the device boots up, and you can finally release it once the spinning dots appear on your screen under the Surface logo. Then, simply follow the steps on the screen and the device will boot from the USB.

In addition to booting your Surface Pro from a USB when the device is off, there is also a method to boot it when the device is on, through Windows. The method for doing this varies slightly depending on whether you are on Windows 10 or Windows 11.

On Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Then, look under the Advanced startup for Restart Now, and press it. After being restarted, you will be greeted by a blue screen. On the screen you will see a few options, and you need to choose Use a Device.

After that, select USB Storage and your device should immediately restart and boot from the USB drive you have connected.

If you use Windows 11, you will go to Settings > System > Recovery. Once you’re at the page, the process going forward is the exact same as with Windows 10. Make sure there are no other USB devices attached to your Surface Pro when you attempt either of these methods.

Final Thoughts

While booting from a USB may seem like a complicated and difficult task, it can actually be done relatively quickly and easily. I hope this guide has been able to help you learn not only how to boot from a USB, but also how to create a bootable USB drive.

Is there anything else you think I should have mentioned or covered in this guide but didn’t? If so, let me know in a comment below.

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