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How to Copy OS from Laptop to USB Pen Drive

Updated by Gemma on Nov 22, 2021
Written by Jean

Solution Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Copy Laptop OS to a USB Pen Drive Install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer
Clone the entire system drive to a connected USB
Use the created Windows portable USB drive on another PC...Full steps

Tip: This tutorial also applies to similar demands of copying OS from a laptop HDD/SSD to a USB pen drive.

For example:

  • How to transfer Windows OS from a laptop to USB drive and make it bootable?
  • How to install the laptop OS on an external pen drive?

EaseUS OS2Go

One-click copy laptop OS to a bootable USB pen drive!


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Why Do You Copy OS from Your Laptop to a USB Pen Drive

The biggest advantage for users to copy the operating system to USB is flexibility. As the USB pen drive is portable, if you have created a computer OS copy in it, you can access the copied computer system anywhere you like. In fact, other than carrying your laptop operating system elsewhere (at home, in the office, or on a business trip), there is another noticeable benefit.

With a bootable USB pen drive at hand, you shall feel worry-free and risk-free when accidents happen, especially the hardware failure or system blue/black screen of death that prevents you from booting up your laptop normally.

Backup OS in Pen Drive with Built-in Tool?

For users who want to copy os, there used to be a Windows built-in tool - Windows To Go. It is a feature in Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education that enables the creation of a Windows To Go workspace that can be booted from a USB-connected external drive on PCs.

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For Windows 11/10/8/7

But this feature is removed in Windows 10, version 2004, and later operating systems. It does not support feature updates and therefore does not enable you to stay current. And it also requires a specific type of USB that is no longer supported by many OEMs. So if you want to copy the computer os from laptop to pen drive, you'd better choose a third-party tool to help.

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How to Create Windows To Go USB Without Enterprise Edition

When you lose access to the inbuilt application, try some third-party alternatives. With EaseUS OS2Go, the Windows To Go alternative, you can create a Windows To Go USB for Windows 11/10/8/7 without the Enterprise edition.

How to Copy Laptop OS to a USB Pen Drive

As we know that the Windows To Go is not available in Windows 10. If you are trying to backup Windows 10 to USB with it, it's likely to receive the error "this is a removable drive and isn't compatible with Windows To Go" and fail to create Windows To Go with a non-certified USB flash drive.

As a result, we recommend you to switch to a reliable third-party bootable USB creation tool - EaseUS OS2Go. Once the system is cloned to the USB drive, you can boot the laptop OS anytime on any other computer or laptop, without requiring additional tools!

Key features of EaseUS OS2GoTo:

Download EaseUS OS2Go on your laptop, and follow the guide below to copy the operating system to USB.

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For Windows 11/10/8/7

Step-by-step Guide to Create a Portable USB Pen Drive

Step 1. Install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer, it will display your system drive's used space. Plug in a USB drive that is larger than the system drive used space. Choose the target USB drive and click Next to continue.

how to use os2go step 1

Step 2. EaseUS OS2Go will notify you that the following operation would delete all data on your drive. Make sure that you have backed up all the important data. Click the Continue button to proceed.

how to use os2go step 2

Step 3. Adjust disk layout. The default disk layout on the target drive will be exactly the same as the resource drive. You could also edit the layout according to your needs. Tick the option there if you're using a Solid State Drive as the Windows bootable drive. Next, click Proceed.

how to use os2go step 3

Step 4. Then EaseUS OS2Go will start to create the portable USB drive. It usually takes a while depending on your OS and Network condition. When the progress reaches 100%, the USB drive should be bootable now.

how to use os2go step 4

Step 5. Insert the portable Windows USB and start your computer. Press the required key (F2, DEL, F10...) to access BIOS. Choose to boot from the USB disk.

Note: Please make sure that the boot mode (UEFI or Legacy) of the portable USB and your target computer are the same, otherwise you may not be able to boot.

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Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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