PC Won't Boot from USB? Top Troubleshooting Solutions for the Error

By Andy Samuel to Fix Windows | 2023-01-10

I can't boot from USB even though the BIOS is set to boot from USB first. Windows Boot manager somehow seems to be taking precedence. I have Windows 7, Linux Mint and Ubuntu installed on my hard-drive. When I boot-up those are the only options, despite having a USB stick plugged in then going into the BIOS and setting the UEFI USB stick as the primary boot device.

Any suggestions?

If you are facing some problem with your computer, you may need to boot from a bootable USB. Similarly, nowadays, we use USB drives more than use CDs/DVDs to install Windows. Most of the time, it works. However, sometimes you may face problems like ‘PC won’t boot from USB’. You may wonder why your computer won’t boot from USB and what you should do to resolve it. So, in the following sections of the article, you will learn about the best ways to fix the problem.

Part 1: Why my PC won’t Boot from USB?

Many factors lead to Windows not booting from USB problems. However, we will mention some of them here

  • USB is not bootable
  • Damaged/corrupt USB drive
  • Low disk space
  • Incompatible hardware
  • The computer does not support booting from USB
  • Misconfigured UEFI/EFI settings
  • Problems with ISO image file
  • Faulty hardware, such as USB ports
  • USB is not set on priority

Part 2: How to Fix PC won’t Boot from USB?

Windows operating system comes with many handy tools to resolve different problems its users may face while using the system. You can fix most problems using built-in tools without spending a single penny. If you are unable to boot from USB windows 10, try the following fixes. Hopefully, your problem will be gone.

Fix 1: Change the USB’s File System

If the file systems of your PC and the USB do not match, it can cause the computer won’t boot from USB problem. For example, if your computer uses UEFI, whereas the USB uses the NTFS file system, it will not work. Now, to fix it, you will have to change the file system of your USB to FAT32, which is compatible with UEFI.

Step 1: Turn your computer on, plug in the USB and open File Explorer.

Step 2: Right-click on your USB and choose Format from the drop-down menu.

pc won t boot from usb, choose format from drop down menu

Step 3: Expand the options in front of File Systems and choose FAT32 from the list.

Step 4: Select Perform a Quick Format option and click OK.

select perform a quick format

Once the USB has been formatted, and the file system has changed to FAT32, you need to burn the booting instructions again to make it bootable.

Fix 2: Set USB drive on Boot Priority

By default, your computer uses your hard drive as a primary booting device. So, to boot from some device other than the primary hard drive, you have to change the boot priority to that device as follows

Step 1: Plug in the USB, restart your computer and press the boot key upon startup.

Step 2: Switch to the Boot menu, press Enter and go to Boot priority.

Step 3: Set your USB drive on priority using the arrow keys and hit Enter.

use arrow key to hit enter

Step 4: Now, press F10 to save settings and exit the boot menu.

Now, retry to boot from USB. You may not face the PC won’t boot from USB issue this time.

Fix 3: Enable Legacy Boot

If your system uses EFI/UEFI file system, the enabled secure boot settings might prevent it from booting through USB. So, to resolve the problem, you will have to enable the legacy boot and disable the secure boot as follows.

Step 1: Plug in the USB, restart the system and press the boot key upon startup.

Step 2: Look for the Legacy Boot settings. They will be named differently on different machines, but the most common titles are Boot Device Control, Boot mode, boot options, CSM, etc.

fix windows 10 won t boot from usb with look for legacy boot menu

Step 3: Once you find the required settings, enable them using the arrow keys and pressing the Enter key afterwards.

Step 4: Switch to the Security tab and look for the Secure Boot option.

search for security tab

Step 5: Disable the secure boot using the + or – keys.

Step 6: Press F10 to save the changes and exit the boot menu.

After the secure boot has been disabled, you can boot your system through USB successfully.

Fix 4: Check if your PC Supports Booting from USB

Most computers nowadays can boot from the USB, but not all can do that. Especially if you are using an old system. So, if this is the case, you can check if your computer supports booting from USB or not by following these steps.

Step 1: plug in the USB, restart your computer and press the boot key.

Step 2: Go to Boot Options, and check if your USB appears in the list of bootable devices.

If yes, your computer can boot from it, and something is wrong with your USB or the ISO image file.

If a boot drive not found and you know that your USB is functional, then your computer does not support booting from USB.

Part 3: Workaround for PC won’t Boot from USB

If you doubt that the tool you used to create the bootable USB might not have done its job properly, you can use any third-party software to do so. PassFab FixUWin is an incredible tool that comes in handy when creating a bootable device. Using this amazing tool, you can burn the boot instructions very quickly within a few steps.

  • Install and launch PassFab FixUWin and insert a USB drive into your computer.
  • Click on Create boot disk now button. create boot disk now
  • Choose your USB drive and click Next. select boot media
  • Let the software burn boot instructions on the USB. create boot disk successfully
  • You have successfully created 100% working bootable media. You can now use it to resolve any problem or boot your computer through it by setting it on priority

  • Plug the bootable media into the computer and restart it.
  • Set your device on boot priority, save and Exit the boot menu.
  • enter onto boot menu

    Now, pc not booting from usb will not show again.

    The PassFab FixUWin is an incredible tool that is 100% compatible with all PC brands and Windows versions. Besides creating the bootable media, you can use it to perform various tasks such as managing the memory, restoring the data, fixing different errors and much more. It is a complete package that will help you manage your computer resources more efficiently.

Part 4: Other Ways to try if you are still unable to boot from USB Windows 10

If the fixes mentioned above did not solve your problem, here are some more fixes for you to try.

  1. Do not open the downloaded ISO image file directly.
  2. Do not unzip the ISO image file.
  3. If you have a spare computer, test your USB by booting that computer through it.
  4. If you have another USB, try booting your computer with that USB.

Part 5: FAQs about PC won't boot from USB

1. What is the best way to create a bootable USB?

The best yet recommended way to create a bootable USB is using the PassFab FixUWin. However, you can use whatever tool suits you the most.

2. Why can’t I boot from USB?

There could be various reasons behind it, such as incompatible hardware, damaged USB, corrupt or damaged ISO image file, incompatible file system etc.

3. Is the PC won’t boot from USB problem fixable?

Yes, you can try different fixes mentioned in this article.

4. Can I boot any computer with USB?

No, not all computers support booting from USB. However, almost all modern computers allow you to do so.


Booting a computer through a USB drive is easy, but you may sometimes face problems for different reasons. However, you can easily fix this problem by considering different factors. In this article, we have proposed the best ways to fix Windows 10 won’t boot from USB problem and the best way to create a bootable media, i.e. with the help of PassFab FixUWin.