How to create a recovery USB stick in Windows 10

USB reset One of the most important operations when we own a computer with Windows 10 is the creation of a recovery disk, too often ignored by less experienced users but also by users who are navigated but who only use the PC to work (as long as it works I don’t have to do anything).
Creating the recovery disc is very important because, if in the future we encounter problems with the computer or Windows stops starting or working properly (maybe following a virus or some wrong operation) we can restore the system and correct any type of error without having to bring the PC to the technician.
So in this guide we will show you how create a recovery disc for Windows 10, showing you the procedure to accomplish a recovery USB stick, much more practical and faster than the old DVD (now fallen into disuse).READ ALSO: How to reset Windows 10 and what it means

How to create a recovery USB stick in Windows 10

Creating the USB stick for Windows 10 recovery is quite simple and will save us time and money in case of future problems with the system; for this reason we advise you to make it as soon as possible, especially on newly purchased computers (therefore with a still clean operating system).


USB reset

For the preparations, just keep one handy USB stick of at least 32 GB, to be reserved exclusively for the purpose (we do not recommend installing any files or documents inside). If we do not find a suitable key, we can buy a low-cost one from Amazon, as shown in the list below:

  1. Kingston DataTraveler 100 G3 32 GB (€ 5)
  2. Kingston Datatraveler 32 GB (€ 5)
  3. Toshiba Hayabusa 32GB (€ 6)
  4. Moreslan USB 3.0 32 GB (11 €)
  5. Sandisk Ultra Flair 32 GB (€ 12)

All the recommended USB flash drives above are compatible with USB 3.0 ports, which are also the ports that we recommend you use for creating the recovery key, so as to benefit from excellent read and write speeds both during the creation of the key and during the system recovery.
If we don’t know how to format the stick, we advise you to read our study How to format USB sticks and disks: difference between NTFS, FAT32 and FAT.

How to create the recovery USB stick

Once the key to be used has been chosen, we start the computer with Windows 10, insert the pen in an available USB 3.0 port, await recognition by the system, click on the menu Start bottom left and type on the keyboard Create a recovery drive, so as to open the option of the same name Control panel.
Restore Windows 10

A new window will open where we will have to tick the item Back up your system files to the recovery drive and press on Come on; after a few minutes of waiting (necessary to collect all the system files) a new screen will now open, where we will be asked to choose the connected USB drive on which to create the recovery drive.
Recovery unit

Make sure to select the USB stick inserted a little while ago in the computer port, then press on Come on and later on Create to start creating the recovery USB flash drive.
This could take several minutes; at the end the window will warn us of the conclusion and we can detach the USB stick from its socket.

Once the recovery unit has been created, let’s keep it in a safe but easy to remember place, so that in case of problems or Windows freezes we can easily start the recovery procedure.

How to restore the system with the recovery USB stick

Windows 10 no longer starts or is completely blocked? Can’t even access the desktop? In these cases, it is better to take out the USB stick created previously and start the system recovery procedure (often the fastest remedy to immediately recover access to the computer).
We insert the recovery USB stick with the PC off, start it and quickly change the boot order of the system, as seen in our guide on How to change the boot order of your computer.
After a few seconds we will see the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE); from here we press on the menu Troubleshooting.

We now have several ways to repair the computer that won’t boot, as seen in the Windows 10 recovery console guide; among the most important options, to be chosen also based on the type of problem we had and what we want to do with the personal data still present on the computer, we have:

  1. System Restore: selecting this option will remove the recently installed programs, drivers and updates which could be the cause of the block or the problem on the computer; with this option we will not lose our personal files.
  2. Restore from a unit: the installation procedure of Windows 10 will start, which in fact will restore the system to its original settings by canceling any changes made so far. With this option we will lose all programs, drivers and personal files, but we will be sure to get a clean and functioning system again.

Obviously it is up to us to choose the appropriate option for our needs, also based on the severity of the problem that arose during startup or while using our PC with Windows 10.

READ ALSO: Reinstall the Windows 10 Recovery Console (Windows RE)


Creating a recovery USB stick will allow us to quickly intervene on our locked computers or with some big problems during startup or during use, so that we can always restore the last configuration that is definitely working or start a clean installation of Windows 10, so to quickly erase any problems, viruses or mistakes made.

In another guide, we showed you what to do If Windows doesn’t start and won’t start, how to save everything and reinstall.
If, on the other hand, we are interested in restoring Windows 10 from a dedicated recovery partition, please read our guide on how Create a recovery partition on your Windows PC.
Do we also want to save our personal files and documents? In this case we will have to proceed with other backup tools, such as those seen in our article How to backup files in Windows 10.


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