4 Free Tools for Burning ISO to USB on a Windows 11 PC (2022 Edition)
If you own a computer, especially a Windows 11 PC, chances are you would need a bootable USB flash drive for reinstalling OS or troubleshooting the system.
To prepare a bootable USB, you need to burn an ISO image file on to a USB flash drive. There are multiple utilities that are available all over the internet that would help you with this.
However, there’s a catch. If you chose the wrong tool, you might end up with a faulty USB and waste a lot of time on it. So, we tested a dozen of different ISO burning utilities and pick up the best four to help you burn ISO to USB on a Windows 11 PC.
#1 Rufus (Most Popular ISO Burner)
The first utility we will be looking at is Rufus, which is №1 choice when it comes to burning ISO file to USB drive. It supports various ISO files, including Windows, Linux, MS-DOD, FreeDOS, Syslinux, and Grub. It is also packed with advanced features, such as UEFI booting, GPT partition. Another notable feature is that Rufus can help you create a Windows 11 bootable USB to bypass Windows 11 system requirement.
Rufus supports multiple languages, and is also available in a portable version so that you won’t have to install it on your Windows 11 PC. It supports both UEFI and legacy BIOS, so you can use it on an old computer without any issues.
How to Burn ISO to USB Drive with Rufus
1. Get the Rufus utility from their website (rufus.ie), preferably the portable version. Double click on the EXE file to open the utility.
2. Insert a blank USB flash drive. Remember, all the data in this USB drive will be lost. So, if you do not have a blank USB drive, take a back up of the data in there and then use it.
3. Select the USB drive under Device menu, from the Boot selection menu opt for Disk or ISO image, then click on SELECT button beside this dropdown to select the ISO image file that you would want to burn on the USB flash drive. Next, choose GPT as the Partition scheme, and you can leave the rest of the selections as they are.
4. Once you have made all the selections, click on START button to begin the process of burning the ISO image file on to the USB flash drive. This might take some time. Once the process completes, you can close Rufus, and take out the USB flash drive. You can use it once to check if it is working as intended.
· Completely free of cost.
· Support a large number of OS images.
· Create GPT and MBR bootable USB with UEFI support.
· Install Windows 11 on unsupported PC.
· More than 20+ languages available.
· Only work on Windows OS.
· Failed to burn because of download error .
· No support team.
#2 UUByte ISO Editor (All-in-one ISO Toolkit)
UUByte ISO Editor is a dedicated software for creating Windows bootable USB, including Windows 11, Windows 10 and Windows 7. Unlike rufus, this tool is able to work on both Windows OS and macOS. Another advantage over Rufus is that ISO Editor has more user-friendly UI. All the settings are done at the background so there is no complex settings as Rufus.
Besides ISO burning feature, UUByte ISO Editor is also capable of opening, editing, creating, extracting ISO files. In fact, it is a super handy ISO toolkit. Using it is pretty simple, and they do have a support team in case you get stuck and need help. You can also download a free trial version from their website and give it a spin to check if this tool is a good fit for you.
How to Burn ISO to USB with UUByte ISO Editor
1. Download ISO Editor application from UUByte website and install it on a Windows 11 PC.
2. Run the application and you’ll get the opening window. From there, select the option that says Burn.
3. Now, insert the blank USB flash drive in the Windows 11 PC.
4. On the next window, select ISO image file by click on the Browse button. Then select the option that says Create A Bootable USB, and select the blank USB flash drive using the dropdown underneath it. You can choose the Partition style using the drop-down below it if you want to. Finally, click on the Burn button to start the process.
5. Once done, close the UUByte ISO Editor program and take out the bootable USB flash drive.
· Support all Windows ISO images.
· Takes very less amount of time compared to the other utilities.
· Easy to use.
· Free trial version available.
· Work on both Windows and Mac.
· Does not support Linux OS.
· Have issues with old DVDs.
#3 Ventoy (Create Multiboot USB Drive)
Ventoy is an innovative bootable USB creator that is totally different from the traditional ISO burning tool like Rufus and UUByte ISO Editor. You don’t need to burn ISO to USB with Ventoy. Instead, just create a Ventory bootable USB and put ISO images file into Ventoy USB.
The main advantage of Ventoy is that you can create a multiboot USB without burning ISO again and again. Most important, Ventory supports a large number of ISO image files. According to official document, there are more one hundred ISO files supported by Ventory, including Windows, Linux, Unix, Chrome OS and VMware ESXi.
How to Burn ISO to USB with Ventoy
1. Download the ZIP file on your Windows 11 PC and unzip it.
2. Open the unzipped folder, and run the Ventoy2Disk.exe to start the program.
3. Insert the blank USB flash drive.
4. In the Ventoy program, select the USB flash drive from the Device menu and click on Install. This will create a bootable Ventoy USB.
5. Once the process is complete, simply drag and drop the image files onto the Ventoy USB drive like you normally would. That’s it.
To add a new ISO image file to this bootable USB, drag-and-drop it on the USB flash drive like you would for a normal file. You can also use the Option menu at the top to enable Secure boot support, select the Partition style (whether MBR or GPT) etc.
6. Boot from Ventoy USB and you will see a list of bootable options from imported ISO image.
· Free and open-source tool.
· Burn USB once.
· Create multiboot USB from various OS images.
· Simple maintenance with drag-and-drop support for new ISO images.
· Extended support for legacy PC by enabling MBR Partition style.
· Runs only on Windows and Linux, no support for Mac.
· Hard to delete the hidden partition created with Ventoy.
· No dedicated support channel, although they do have an extensive FAQ and Forum.
#4 Etcher (Cross-Platform)
Balena Etcher is a full functional and cross-platform app for burning OS images to USB and SD card, including ISO, IMG, ZIP, VHD, GZ and BIN. It runs on Windows, Linux and Mac.
In addition, it is one of the simplest tools to use, as we will see in a while. This is also a freeware, although they do have a Pro version available on their website with added functionalities including multi-write, and modular expansions.
How to Burn ISO to USB with balenaEtcher
1. Download the EXE file on your Windows 11 PC and double click on it to start the installer.
2. Click on Agree button to install the program on your Windows 11 PC. Once installed, Etcher will run on its own.
3. Now, insert the blank USB flash drive.
4. On the Etcher window, you will get 3 options to select the source. You can use an ISO file, a URL, or clone a drive. Choose Flash from file option. This will ask you to select the ISO file, please select the one that you would like to burn on your USB flash drive.
5. Now, click on the Select target button and select your blank USB flash drive. After that, simply click on the Flash! Button to begin the process.
After completion, you can close Etcher and take out the USB flash drive where the ISO image has been burned onto. Wasn’t that simple!
· Work on Windows, Linux and Mac.
· Additional support for SD card.
· Straightforward user interface.
· Verify ISO image before burning.
· Faster ISO burning speed.
· Not support Windows ISO file.
· Not many customization options.
· Large installation file and slow installation process.
· Etcher sends user data to Balena by default, although this option can be turned off.
In a Nutshell
There are a bunch of free ISO burning programs out of my list. They are also good in quality but the user interface is either out of date or come with complex settings. No matter which type of OS image you want to burn, the above list is fairly enough to get the job done in an easy manner.
Specifically, try Rufus first as it is currently the most popular ISO burning tool on earth. And nothing to loss as it is completely free of charge. However, move over to balenaEtcher if Rufus does not work in your case.
For creating Windows bootable USB, UUByte ISO Editor is more recommended as it is a dedicated app for this purpose. It supports almost all Windows OS ISO files and there are less errors. Most importantly, you could get timely reply from their support team if you have any question for ISO burning.
Lastly, Ventoy is the your best choice if you want to create a multi-boot USB installer from various ISO files.
- Rufus: Best ISO Burner in general
- UUByte ISO Editor: Best for burning Windows ISO
- Ventory: Best for creating multiboot OS on a single USB
- balenaEtcher: Best for burning Linux ISO and Raspberry Pi OS.