Rufus: Free Portable Utility to Write Bootable ISO or IMG Files to USB Drives

Creating a bootable USB drive might come very handy when you don't have access to CD/DVD drive in a computer system or don't have the setup disk to install Windows or a Linux distro in your PC.

You can create a bootable USB pen drive for Windows or Linux setup and then boot your system using it and then you can install the OS without any worries. It also makes the installation a little bit faster compared to installing via setup CD/DVD.

Creating bootable USB is not an easy task. You need to run some DOS commands and copy the setup files from your hard disk to USB stick. There are many free software available which allow you to automatically and quickly create bootable USB drives to install Windows and Linux which can be found at following link:

Ultimate Collection of Best Freeware to Create Bootable USB Drive to Install Windows and Linux

Today we are going to share another free tool "Rufus" which allows you to format and create bootable USB drives for Windows and Linux which might come handy in following situations:

  • Create USB installation media using bootable ISO or IMG image files (Windows, Linux, Android, etc.)
  • Need to work on a system that doesn't have an OS installed
  • Need to format a USB drive
  • Need to check your device for bad blocks
  • Need to flash a BIOS or other firmware from DOS
  • Want to run a low-level utility

Rufus is portable so you don't need to install it. Just run its EXE file and you are ready to create bootable USB drive. Its very small in size and you can carry it on your USB drive.

The most impressive thing about this tool is its interface. It looks very close to default format window which is shown by Windows whenever you try to format a hard disk partition or a USB drive.


The developer claims that Rufus is very fast compared to other free software available for the same task such as UNetbootin, Windows 7 USB download tool, etc.

Also once formatted using this tool, your USB drive is still usable as before to transfer data. It doesn't have to be dedicated for DOS or installation only.

This small utility also allows you to check the device for bad blocks. Up to 4 passes can be selected to find out if your device is defected.

This free utility can be used in Windows XP and all later Windows versions such as Windows Vista, 7, and 8. It can be used in both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows editions.

You can create bootable USB drive for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and almost all popular Linux distro such as Fedora, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, OpenSuse, Gentoo, Knoppix, etc. You can also create bootable USB drive to install or test Google Android OS in your Desktop PC or laptop. Just download a ported ISO file of Android OS and write it to your USB drive using this little tool.

Rufus comes with FreeDOS support. If you use a non-US keyboard, FreeDOS is recommended as it supports more keyboard layouts. In both cases, if you choose DOS, this freeware will try to set the keyboard locale for you.

You can download it using following link:

Download Rufus

Thanks to our reader "Irving Prais" for sharing it...


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  • Very useful and simple tool...Thanks a tonn VG

  • Doesn't work with the ISOs created with WBI creater.

  • I'll try it with my Android 4.0 ICS x86 image!

  • Ultimate Crapware!
    My WD-HDD drivers were missing and this has never been a case with WinToFlash.

  • You can also use the following 2 great FREE apps for this:

  • Wow, this works! Unetbootin didn't work, XBOOT didn't work, manual copying didn't work, Rufus worked!! I now have an Android netbook!

  • Not quicker than WinToFlash whatsoever and certainly with a bug since my USB flash drive was already formatted and not only that but I also unticked "Qick-format" dial but the application started with formatting my flash drive although it was not supposed to!

  • Cool, will check it out if needed. Does it work on Linux?

    In any case, we need more Linux articles.

  • Thanks again VG for listing Rufus on your page. Disclaimer: I am the author of this program.

    FYI, the latest version (v1.1.6) should now supports BartPE, XP and Windows 2003 ISOs, along with the ISOs that were already supported.

    @Suhail Shah: For safety reasons, Rufus is designed to work only with removable USB drives and won't list USB HDDs. If you really want USB HDDs listed, you can try Alt-F, but this is isn't a supported mode of operation.
    @Xantes: Be mindful that the tool always formats the drive. Unchecking quick-format simply means that normal (slow) format will be used. The utility also gives a warning about formatting the drive before it starts.

    If you have any issues with Rufus, please go to and create a new request.

  • I need a clean install of Win XP -
    When start and run WinXP cd for new install -
    I get the BSOD - after all files have loaded and ready to start new installation
    (not repair) then the BSOD and connot continue ???

    I expected to be able to totally remove the old version and re-partition the drive for the new install ????

    Help ?? Please ??

  • VG

    ^^ Try to change hard disk mode from AHCI to IDE in your BIOS settings.

  • This software is a piece of sh*t, it doesn't even detect my USB drive. I've been searching for a software that would allow me to install windows from USB stick for some time now, and non of them had worked. This piece of junk just adds to my frustration.

  • th,

    Can you try Rufus v1.2.0, which has been released yesterday (the link for the download is on the homepage)? It may have fixed your issue, and it also has an integrated log that should provide information about your drive detection and may help identify problems. Means of getting support with Rufus are also provided on the homepage (I only monitor this blog occasionally), but if you don't send a report, I cannot fix potential issues.

    Also, VG, can you PLEASE update the 1.1.3 links and point to the 1.2.0 version instead? Or you can just point the download to which is always updated to the latest version. Note that starting with v1.2.0, there's only one version, with FreeDOS always. As you may expect, each new version comes with fixes and improvements, but if the link is to the older versions, then people may run into issues that have long been fixed...

  • The Most Useful Application For "Creating A Bootable Usb Drive"

  • is there any method of creating mac os x i am having trouble of dual layer dvd

  • it only work in laptop in desktop computers it doesnt run in desktop computers

  • Good app and props to the Dev for his effort however when it comes to Windows installations WinUSB Maker v2.0 is the best utility currently for Windows period.
    M$ own Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool is by far the worst because of limitations and requirements.

    Now give the following a try as it's all about personal preference, ease of use and most importantly getting the job done!

    UNetbootin - WinToFlash - Rufus - Universal USB Installer - Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator - WiNToBootic - Windows Bootable Image (WBI) Creator - XBoot

  • a tool is a tool, like all tools expecting it to have no limits on all work ,
    I find odd, you would not use a pin hammer to repair a watch,
    or watchmakers tools to build stairs,
    this program will do the job its intend for within its define limits,
    and after using this program find its very buggy free,
    and carry on using this program,
    find some of other people comments odd,
    as I can carry out all the jobs that some people complains it will not work on,
    updated to latest ver today
    cool and thank for this Free software,

  • a tiny query..

    if we create a bootable usb, can we not use it for storing other data anymore??
    might sound silly, but i can't take the risk.. :P

  • HI rufus tool !
    I could install windows xp using pen drive
    Thanks u ("_!_")

  • What command do i enter so as to boot it after d flash drive has been inserted and rufus has been install.

  • No idea how it works. I opened it and it just sits there...doing nothing, seeing nothing. Waste of my time and their effort whom ever created it.

  • Dear stevecramertoo, what exactly do you want it to do then? Did you expect it to install Windows or Linux for you if you click on it? Rufus is probably the best tool for creating a bootable USB drive and works flawlessly every time. You waste everyone else's time, and yours, by posting and declaring that you clearly should be doing something much much easier than using computers.

  • I would love to have a Rufus linux version . I am using Linux so I cannot use Rufus I guess.

  • i know it's irrelevant to ask here but i want to know 2 things about Flash drives
    1. is it possible to remove(or format) write protection from pen drives ??
    2. if yes then how (i mean any tool available for this)

    Please help (coz i am tired searching net for this and now i want a reliable answer i can trust )

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:

    Open Command prompt as Administrator and then type DISKPART and press Enter.
    Then type LIST VOLUME and press Enter.
    Look at the correct Volume number of your USB drive which you want to remove write protection from.
    Now type SELECT VOLUME X
    (Replace X with the correct volume number of USB drive in above command)
    Now type ATTRIBUTES DISK CLEAR READONLY and press Enter

    It should work.

    Also check point 21 in following tutorial:

  • mine wont recognise an .img file saying its not right type... different boot compression or one thats not supported by rufus..... even though its version2.5!!

  • I created an .iso file using poweriso and another file with nero. but when i try to use rufus to make my pendrive bootable, it shows it doesn,t support this compression format something like that.. what should i do?? or tell me a software that convert files to .iso format that rufus supports

  • VG

    ^^ Which ISO file did you create? Was it Windows setup ISO?

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