Uncover the finest selections of bootable USB software, designed to elevate your computing endeavors. These tools provide effective avenues for crafting bootable USB drives, catering to a spectrum of tasks from system restoration to operating system installations. Whether you're an ardent tech or an occasional user, delving into these top 10 choices equips you with adaptable solutions for your USB requirements.

However, while selecting the optimal choice, it's crucial to factor in aspects like user-friendliness, cost, and booting speed. To facilitate your decision-making process, we've meticulously assessed the bootable USB software based on a diverse set of criteria. Relevant test data is conveniently presented in the following table:

  • 🔢Number of bootable USB software tested: 10
  • ⏰Time duration: 5 Weeks
  • 💻OS versions: Windows, macOS, Linux
  • 🔧File systems: FAT32, NTFS, ext2/ext3, HFS+, ReFS, APFS

Let's get started with the rundown of the best booting software.

In this article
    1. Rufus
    2. WinToUSB
    3. Universal USB Installer
    4. Windows Bootable Image Creator
    5. UNetBootin
    6. DiskMaker
    7. Balena Etcher
    8. Ventoy
    9. ImageUSB Writer
    10. MultiBootUSB

Top 10 Bootable USB Creators

Selecting the right bootable USB creator can greatly impact the efficiency of your tasks, from OS installations to diagnostics. This guide unveils the top 10 creators, each with distinct features. With options ranging from user-friendly interfaces to advanced functionalities, discover the ideal tool for your needs.

If you … You can choose…
consider the fastest bootable USB creator Rufus
prefer a plug-and-play bootable USB software WinToUSB
like a bootable USB creator with persistent storage function Universal USB Installer
prefer a bootable USB creator that can avoid unnecessary entries Windows Bootable Image Creator
want a bootable USB creator that caters to a broad range of Linux distributions UNetBootin
consider a bootable USB software for OS X/macOS installer programs DiskMaker
prefer an open-source bootable USB software with data protection measures Balena Etcher
don't want to format the USB drive for each new ISO Ventoy
prefer the functionality to Zero a USB flash drive ImageUSB Writer
want a bootable USB creator to boot multiple operating systems MultiBootUSB

Let's explore the world of bootable USB creators together.


Rufus is an open-source USB booter that enables you to create a bootable USB for all versions of Windows and Linux. While running this utility, you can directly double-click the set-up file without installation. Moreover, Rufus excels in speed, outpacing competitors in bootable USB creation. It also offers advanced options for customized partition schemes and cluster sizes, along with the ability to check USB drives for bad blocks, ensuring reliability.


Ratings: 4.6/5

  • No installation required
  • Open-source and free
  • Fast and efficient
  • Allows only 1 ISO at a time

Compatible System: Windows 8 or later.

Download Here


WinToUSB emerges as a plug-and-play bootable USB software, enabling the complete installation and operation of MS Windows on USB flash drives. This free, lightweight tool not only simplifies the process but also enhances security and convenience by backing up all files to the flash drive. It boasts further features, including the ability to transfer Windows PE image contents to a USB drive, expanding its capabilities. With an intuitive wizard-style interface and multilingual support, the tool ensures a seamless experience for users of varying technical levels and linguistic backgrounds.


Ratings: 4.2/5

  • Lightweight
  • User-friendly interface
  • Wide compatibility
  • The free version offers limited functionality and only allows non-commercial use.

Compatible System: Windows 7 or later (64 and 32 bits)

Download Here

Universal USB Installer

Universal USB Installer is another open-source USB booter that allows you to create multiple types of USB for Linux, Antivirus Rescue Drives, Windows, and other Bootable Drives. Distinguished by its minimalistic yet user-friendly interface, this tool caters to both novices and experienced users, ensuring an intuitive experience for all. Notably, Universal USB Installer introduces a pivotal function – the utilization of persistent storage. With this feature, you can save modifications during one session and seamlessly restore them during subsequent boots.

universal usb installer

Rating: 4.2/5

  • Portable program
  • Offers persistent file storage support
  • Intuitive user-friendly interface and process
  • Downloading could be easier and more smooth.
  • Only one Linux distribution/tool per device

Compatible System: Windows, Linux, BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution)

Download Here

Windows Bootable Image Creator

The Windows Bootable Image Creator offers a simplified process through its user-friendly interface. It guides you in selecting the OS, specifying labels, and determining output paths. Additionally, this tool ensures efficiency by avoiding unnecessary entries, and it can be conveniently run from a USB flash drive.

windows bootable image creator

Ratings: 4.1/5

  • Fairly fast
  • It can create standard ISO files
  • User-friendly interface
  • Limited OS options
  • Setup files required

Compatible System: Windows 7,8, 8.1,10, Vista, and XP

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UNetbootin is a utility that caters to a broad range of Linux distributions. It's proficient in identifying and rectifying bugs that may disrupt your computer's performance. In addition, this tool also serves as partition software, enabling the restoration of damaged, corrupted, or missing files.


Rating: 4.7/5

  • Supports most common distros for download
  • It automatically detects USB flash drives
  • Cross-platform support
  • User-friendly interface
  • Limited compatibility

Compatible System: Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux distributions

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DiskMaker X, formerly known as Lion DiskMaker, is an AppleScript-based application designed for creating bootable drives from OS X/macOS installer programs. Leveraging Spotlight, DiskMaker X detects the OS X Install program, enabling the seamless creation of bootable install disks. Offering simplicity and efficiency, it features an intuitive user interface that caters to users of varying technical expertise.

diskmaker X

Rating: 4.1/5

  • Free to use
  • Regular updates
  • Versatility in bootable media
  • Streamlines process, saving time and effort
  • Not available for Windows

Compatible System: macOS 10.9 and later

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Balena Etcher

Balena Etcher stands out as a versatile open-source bootable USB software, catering to Windows, macOS, and Linux users. The utility is designed to address complexities across operating systems and to prevent accidental data loss with added security measures. Noteworthy features include a Pro variant for creating over 100 bootable drives simultaneously, all while maintaining its user-friendly ethos.

balena etcher

Rating: 4.4/5

  • Excellent compatibility
  • Open-source
  • Multi-write support
  • Cross-platform
  • It has a much larger file size.
  • The tool sends data to Balena by default.

Compatible System: Windows, macOS, and Linux

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The best thing about Ventoy, an open-source software, is that you don't have to format the disk over and over; you just need to copy the files to the USB drive and boot them directly. Moreover, the tool stands out from other software with its simple interface that allows you to switch the menu dynamically between ListView and TreeView mode. Last but not least, it supports both MBR and GPT partition styles.


Rating: 4.8/5

  • Highly customizable theme and menu style
  • USB drive write-protected support
  • It can be installed in USB/ Local Disk/ SSD/ NVMe/ SD Card.
  • Native boot menu style for Legacy and UEFI
  • Provides convenience of simultaneous copying of multiple ISO files
  • It might present some Windows 11 system requirements during installation.

Compatible System: Windows, WinPE, Linux, Unix, ChromeOS, VMware

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ImageUSB Writer

ImageUSB is a free bootable USB software that enables image writing for multiple USB drives. Designed to make USB file copies at the exact bit-level efficiently, this tool can be fully used for mass duplication of UFDs. Further, it seamlessly collaborates with PassMark OSForensics, facilitating its function to install OSFClone to USB flash drives.


Rating: 4.7/5

  • It offers functionality to Zero a USB flash drive.
  • The tool can format all kinds of hard drives and reclaim the disk space lost previously.
  • It supports the extraction of ISO contents onto the USB drive.
  • Potential learning curve for new users
  • Requires USB drives with a higher amount of storage space.

Compatible System: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 11

Download Here


The idea behind MultiBootUSB is to allow users to have a single USB drive to boot multiple operating systems, depending on their preferences. As an easy and functional application, MultiBootUSB leads you to access various options and features only by following the main window. Moreover, it's an advanced cross-platform application that supports both BIOS and UEFI firmware.


Rating: 4.3/5

  • Supports both BIOS and UEFI firmwareIt can create customized multiboot USB drives.
  • Supports persistent files for distros that are based on Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora.
  • It can store multiple operating systems on a single drive.
  • Open-source and free
  • It's required to write ISO images to your USB flash drive one by one.

Compatible System: Windows and Linux

Download Here

How to Recover Your Data After Booting Your Personal Device?

Are you done with booting a USB flash drive? What if your data gets lost during the process? In that case, you can turn to Recoverit and recover your lost files in three simple steps.

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Recoverit is a powerful tool that can completely recover your lost videos, photos, files, audio, emails, etc, from 2000+ storage devices, including USB flash drives. Furthermore, it also supports 500+ data loss situations, such as system crashes, virus attacks, formatting, accidental deletion, etc., and assures you retrieve your lost files.

Here's how to do so:

  1. Select the External Device

    Begin by connecting your USB flash drive to your computer to ensure its detection. Launch Wondershare Recoverit, move to Hard Drives and Locations, and choose your USB device as the recovery target. Click Start to initiate the process, setting the stage for successful data recovery.

    select external drive
  2. Scan the USB flash drive

    After initiating the scan by clicking Start, the tool thoroughly examines the external storage media. The process may take a few minutes, so avoid pressing the back button to ensure an uninterrupted scan. You can focus on specific files during scanning to accelerate the process.

    scan external drive
  3. Preview and Recover

    Finally, it's time to preview the recovered files. You can preview the files without any limits. If you are satisfied with the data, click Recover and save the recovered files to another safe location.

    preview and recover


That's all about the ten best Bootable USB software. From the user-friendly Rufus to the advanced Balena Etcher, there's an option for every level of expertise. By comparing a wide range of features and capabilities of these tools, you can make your final choice and start your journey to create a bootable USB. If your data gets lost during the process, select Recoverit, which would help you retrieve all files within a few simple clicks.

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Alex Nappi
Alex Nappi Apr 15, 24
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