How to Install Windows on An SD Card [Detaied Guide]

Windows can be installed on an external SD card, and you can also boot Windows from an external SD card. If you are curious to find out how, continue reading this article as we share all the necessary steps to do that.

Updated by Larissa on Jul 20, 2023
 | Home > Windows System To Go

Windows is one of the most flexible operating systems that can also be installed on an SD card. There are several reasons why you should consider installing Windows on an SD card, such as if you're a journalist, a businessperson, a government official, or you travel a lot and don't want to use an untrusted computer.

In this case, you can install Windows on an SD card, plug the SD card into the computer, access Windows using that, and once done, securely unplug. This way, no one can access your data.

If this sounds exciting and you want to know how to install Windows on an SD card, continue reading!

📖You may be interested:

Install Windows on an SD card [Step-by-Step Guide]

Make sure an SD card has a respectable IOPS value before installing Windows on it, and then you must turn the SD card into a bootable SD card.

Here's how to do that:

Step 1. Connect the SD card to the PC and format it to the NTFS file system using the Windows "Diskpart" or "Disk Management" tool.

Formatting the SD card to NTFS file system using Disk Management

Step 2. Visit the Microsoft website and download the Windows 10/11 Installation Media Creation Tool. Run the file after it has downloaded.

Step 3. Select the option "Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC."

Selecting the option “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC.

Step 4. Now, select the language, your Windows architecture, and the Windows edition.

Step 5. Choose the option "USB flash drive" and select your SD card.

Choosing “USB flash drive” as the option

Now, after you've turned your SD card into a bootable SD card, here's what you need to do to install Windows on it:

Step 1. Restart your PC and open the BIOS menu by pressing the BIOS key.

Step 2. In the firmware section, check if "UEFI boot mode" is enabled or disabled. If it is enabled, disable it and then enable "legacy support/BIOS."

Step 3. Now, change the boot order and select your SD card as the first bootable device.

Step 4. Save the changes and exit out of the BIOS window.

Step 5. Now restart your PC, and you will boot Windows using an SD card.

[Easy] One-Click to Install Windows on a Portable USB

Installing  Windows on an SD card requires many steps, and you must have a certain knowledge of the computer to finish the process. If you want to make it easier, EaseUS OS2Go is a fantastic tool that helps install Windows OS on a Windows-verified and non-verified portable USB. You can create Windows To Go directly using an ISO file with BIOS and UEFI support.

Using this program, you can also clone Windows OS to a portable USB, from Windows 7 up to Windows 11.

Use EaseUS OS2GO to quickly install Windows on your portable USB if you don't want to deal with the hassle of downloading the Windows creation tool from Microsoft's website and then going through a drawn-out installation process.

And if you want to install Microsoft's latest Windows 11 on your SD card, you can do that easily using EaseUS OS2GO. You can create a Windows 11 installation USB drive that can bypass Windows 11 system requirements.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

Now, use it to install your Windows operating system on a portable USB so you can take and use it anywhere.

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.

Fixing issues that are preventing from installing Windows on an SD card

A lot of the users reported that the Windows creation tool doesn't detect SD cards, and some reported that SD cards aren't recognized by the BIOS when trying to change the boot order. A few users even reported different problems; however, these are the most common ones.

The solution to the first problem is very easy. Use EaseUS OS2GO and install Windows 11 on an SD card easily, or clone your own Windows on an SD card.

For the second issue, update the BIOS of your computer, and then it should detect your SD card as a bootable device. You can then select it under the BIOS and boot Windows off your SD card.


Unlike other operating systems, Windows is really flexible and advanced, which is what makes it the most popular operating system on Earth. You can install and boot Windows using regular hard drives and SSDs, as well as unconventional methods like installing and booting Windows from an SD card, or on a portable USB with EaseUS OS2Go easily. We hope this article has helped you successfully install Windows on an SD card.

  Free Download

For Windows 11/10/8/7

FAQs on Installing Windows on An SD Card

Do you have any other questions about installing Windows on an SD card? We answer a few of them below.

1. How do I put Windows 10 on my SD card for Steam Deck?

The steps are basically simple, first, create a Windows ISO file, and afterward, download Steam Deck's drivers. Using Rufus, install Windows on your SD card. Now insert the SD card into the Steam Deck and restart it. In the Steam Deck boot selection menu, select your SD card, and then let it boot Windows. After a successful startup, install the drivers.

2. How do I make my SD card bootable for Windows 10?

You can make your SD card bootable for Windows 10 using Disk Management, Diskpart, and Explorer.

Was This Page Helpful?


EaseUS OS2Go

  • Create portable Windows to USB
  • Copy installed Windows OS to USB
  • Clone Winodws OS drive to USB
  • Run Windows 11 on any PC
  • Run Windows 11 on unsupported PC
  • Run Windows 11/10 on a Mac
Download Now