BURN ISO to USB Bootable Windows / Mac / Linux  ▷ Guide ▷ 2020

The creation of a Bootable USB has become very popular. Have you ever wondered how to install an operating system or simply run special programs without putting the one you have on your computer at risk? because the answer is in this peculiar type of pendrive, which will allow you to have an ISO image that you can run from the Boot menu that all portable or desktop devices have in their firmware.

Installing an operating system via bootable USB is the solution for many people, because it is cheaper and some laptops (mini-laptops) cannot read CDs, and can only be accessed via USB devices. But beyond that, they have also become popular because it is a way to experiment with advanced software. without compromising the Windows, Linux or MacOS version.

If everything we are telling you still sounds like quantum physics, then continue reading this tutorial so that you learn once and for all what a bootable USB is, what its uses are and how you can create your own in the main operating systems such as Linux, Windows or MacOS. So pay attention and put this article in your bookmarks so that you can study it all well several times until it is clear to you.

What is a bootable USB device and what are its uses?

You will ask yourself What is a Bootable USB?, is that device that through a process is capable of providing an operating system to the computer. The word “Boot” refers to modifying the boot order of your devices, when you “boot” your pendrive you make this read before the computer boot system, allowing the installation of various tools and other actions without compromising any component of the original operating system.

These are used to run tools or programs so that the original operating system is not compromised, or, failing that, to install it on computers that have recently had a hard reset. What you need is an ISO image of the operating system that you want to install on the bootable USB and a pendrive of at least 4 GB.

Steps to burn an ISO image to USB and make it Bootable

burn an ISO image to USB and make it Bootable

Currently there are different operating systems, here we will teach you how to create a bootable USB from the main ones (Mac, Linux, Windows). In an easy and simple way. Before starting it is necessary that you have a completely new pendrive or failing that do a hard reset the one you have on hand.

Doing this is very easy, you just have to go to “Team“in the operating system you have; locate the removable device; right click on it and then left click on the option “Format“After this, all the information stored in it will disappear.

It should be noted that after making it bootable you will be able to continue storing information normally in it as long as there is enough space for it.. If in the future you would like to make it normal again, then simply format it and that’s it. Without more to say we begin with the explanation of how to create your removable boot device in Windows, Linux and MacOS.

On windows

This is the operating system in which it is easiest to do everything since most of us are more identified with it. The process is very easy and first you will need to download a program that allows you to do the process. We recommend you “Rufus ” that in this link you can download it from your Rufus.ie official website.

Once you have it in your documents, the steps to follow are the following:

  • You open the folder where the download was saved, select the program and double-click on it.
  • A main window will appear, where you will see several drop-down options. The first option Device; the second option Type of partition and target system; third File system and the fourth Cluster size. Also a space where you can change the name of the device and some formatting options.
  • With the program already open you connect the pendrive, right away Rufus will show below the first option (Device) the full name of the device, if it does not appear it verifies that the device is connected correctly.
  • Locate at the bottom of the program the icon of a disk, which is located to the right of the lower option with the name “Create Disc Boot with…” and click on that icon.

select the icon (rufus)

  • The Windows folder explorer will automatically open, once open you will locate the ISO image that you previously downloaded, double click on it to select it.
  • In the field of New Label You will change the name of the device to one that makes it easier for you to recognize it. The other configuration options are left the same.
  • At the bottom there is a button that says Start, click on it.

click start (rufus)

  • A dialog window will open that will inform that everything contained in the pendrive will be deleted, you click on To accept.
  • Wait for the operation to complete until a message appears at the bottom saying Operation performed. Typically, it takes 5 to 15 minutes to finish.
  • You disconnect the USB, and voila, you have your Booteado device.


The procedure in this operating system tends to vary a lot since the programs can facilitate or even make the process difficult, but here you will find the easiest way. For Mac it is recommended that you use the tool Boot camp assistant, this application is factory installed on Apple computers.

In case you don’t have it, you can find it at the following link: Support.apple.com/boot-camp. Once you have it located, the steps to follow are the following:

  • Connect your pendrive to the Mac (remember everything on the device will be erased).
  • Locate the application Boot camp assistant and open it by accessing Applications> Utilities (or start with Spotlight).
  • Check the box Create a Windows installation disc and uncheck Install Windows version.

select create a windows, mac installation disc

  • Click the button Continue.
  • In the option that says ISO image click on To choose, to select the ISO image previously downloaded to your Mac.
  • Select the removable drive you want to convert to USB Bootable, then click Continue.

select the location of the ISO image, mac

  • Confirm you want format USB flash drive and wait.

wait for it to culminate

  • When the process is ready you will see that the unit has changed its name to WININSTALL.
  • Your boot device is ready, what remains is to remove the USB from the computer.

On linux

This is an operating system that gradually grows and competes with Windows, for this reason many of the programs that are used in Microsoft’s OS can also be used in Linux.

To be able to make a bootable UBS in this interface, follow the steps that we explain below:

  • You will have to download the necessary application to make your device bootable, by recommendation download WinUSB, from the following link: Pkgs.org/download/winusb
  • Once downloaded, use the following commands in the terminal to install it:
    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa: nilarimogard / webupd8
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install winusb

commands once downloaded

Once everything is installed, the boot disk is created. Windows. First starting the program and follow the steps that we explain below:

  • When starting the program, you will select the boot disk (iso image) below the first text (From a disk image iso).

select the iso image below from a ... (linux)

  • Then select the USB you are going to use and click on Install.

device name (linux)

  • And it only remains to wait for the process to complete, and you can remove the device.

*Note: In some cases it usually says error and that is why you can guide yourself to boot it through the command console:

  • First determine where the device is located you can locate it with the help of the program WinUSB (An example address will appear: / dev / sdd).
  • Once the device is located and the ISO path (you can find it in the same way as the device) use the following: sudo winusb –format /to/windows.iso>

command to format linux

  • In device> you will put the address of the device and in /to/windows.iso> the address of the ISO image.
  • You wait for the process to finish and you would have your USB ready to install the operating system.

How to use a Bootable USB?

All computers have a menu Boot or Boot menu which can be accessed by turning it on just before the operating system starts running. As you may have noticed, we have taught you how to create a bootable extractable with an ISO image of the Microsoft Windows operating system, but this does not mean that it can only be run on computers with that system installed.

You can use it on any computer since it runs before the original operating system starts running. Remember we told you that things can be done without putting OS at risk? Well that is the trick of these USB, they have nothing to do with the software since it is something that is executed from the firmware.

SoHow we enter our USB? it all depends on the computer. Generally on computers with Intel processors this is done by pressing the F11 or Del keys a couple of times before the OS starts., but this is not a norm. In some cases it can be F12, Esc or even none, just by inserting the removable bootable the equipment will recognize it and send you directly to the Boot Menu.

To find out which is the correct key for you, simply turn the computer off and on, or restart it, and look at the bottom of the black screen that the key indicated for Boot or Boot Menu appears at startup. Once you have it identified, press it as we have indicated and that’s it. Once inside you can start your external boot peripheral.

List of the best programs and tools to create USB bootable discs

We have taught you how to create a boot disk using Rufus in Windows, Boot camp assistant on MAC and WinUSB on Linux, but these are not the only programs that you can use for it. Here is a list of pretty good alternatives that you can use if you wish.

  • LiLi USB Creator: Works only on Windows (Windows 10, 8.1, 7, Vista and XP)
  • UNetbootin: although it is old, this one works great on Windows, Linux and Mac
  • Windows USB / DVD Download Tool: widely used today by Windows users (Windows 7 and 8)
  • YUMI: It is an excellent program that creates multiboot boot disks, that is, with more than one operating system. It also allows you not only to install operating systems, but any type of ISO image, so you can also include utility programs.

Now you are already an expert creating boot disks with ISO images to install operating systems or run tools without compromising the one you have installed on your computer. Surely you are saying “Is this why a technician charged me when formatting my equipment?“and the answer is a big yes.

Knowledge in the digital world is worth a lot and with us you can learn absolutely everything related to it so that you do not have to continue paying anyone and, on the contrary, you are the one who charges for it.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

You may be interested:

Rate this post

Leave a Comment