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However, in reality, this is a necessary step in many situations. If you’re reinstalling Windows 11 or 10, or using software to clone a hard drive, it’s the easiest way.
Before you begin, there are three things you’ll need for the process to work:
a bootable USB stick.
a laptop or PC set up to boot from USB devices
Software that will run from a USB driveHow to make a USB device bootable
A PC or laptop won’t be able to start from a USB drive unless it’s formatted correctly and has the appropriate files and software which enable it to boot.
A common mistake is to copy an ISO file (containing an operating system) to a USB drive and assume this is all that’s needed for it to boot and install Windows or any other operating system. First, you need to use software which can write the files to the drive and make it bootable.
Several utilities can do this, including Rufus (which supports many operating systems) and Microsoft’s own Media Creation Tool, which you can use to legally download Windows 10 or Windows 11 and put it on a USB stick.
These tools will warn you that they’ll delete everything off your USB drive, so make sure you’ve copied off any files you don’t want to lose before starting. You’ll also need to have downloaded whatever software it is you’re planning to boot from, be it Windows, Linux or something else.How
do I boot from USB in the BIOS?
Many PCs and laptops are set to check for a USB drive first before trying to boot from a CD, DVD or the internal hard drive. But not all are configured this way. You might find that plugging in your flash drive before pressing your computer’s power button doesn’t work: it just boots into Windows as normal or does nothing if you’ve got no operating system installed yet.
In this case, you need to:
Turn on your computer and press
Delete, F2, F10 or F11
(this varies by device) to enter the BIOS
Use the cursor keys to find the ‘Boot’ menu or something similar
Change the order so USB is at the top of the list as the number one boot priority
If none of those keys work to enter the BIOS, look out for a message on your monitor after pressing the computer’s power button. The message is usually at the bottom of the screen and says something like ‘Press F11 for boot options’.
Some PCs and laptops don’t show this, so you’ll have to check your manufacturer’s website to find out which key to press or even your motherboard manual.
Once in the BIOS, look for a menu or an option that lets you see and change the boot devices or boot priority. This will vary from BIOS to BIOS, but it’s usually fairly obvious.
Make sure you change the first (#1) boot option, as whatever is set there will be the device that is tried first.
A small number of old PCs may lack the ability to boot from USB, but anything within the last decade or so should have the option. If you’re still having problems, check that USB ports haven’t been disabled in the BIOS. Different BIOSes work in different ways, but it should be simple enough to figure out how to make a USB drive the first boot device.
Bear in mind that the USB stick may need to be plugged into a USB port for it to appear in the list of boot options.
Once you’ve set everything correctly, use the ‘Save & Exit’ option in the BIOS to save your changes and reboot the system (often this is the F10 key). Then your PC or laptop should boot from the USB drive when it restarts.Related articles
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If your Mac’s recovery partition is damaged or you want to install macOS on an additional volume, a bootable USB drive can be handy. Luckily, setting up a flash stick to boot into macOS Recovery is not difficult, so long as you know how.
In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through what you must do to download macOS and use that to create a bootable installer. We’ll also teach you how to boot a Mac computer with a flash drive.
Table of ContentsDownload a macOS Installer File
To create a bootable USB installer drive for your MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini, you need a full installer file for macOS, which you can get through the Mac App Store. However, the version you’re downloading depends on what you’re attempting to accomplish.
For example, to have a bootable USB in case something goes wrong with the operating system, download the version that matches what you already have installed on your Mac. To clean install an earlier iteration of the system software or troubleshoot macOS on another Mac, download the installer for that specific version.
Note: Modern macOS installers typically weigh around 10-15GB, so ensure you have adequate space on your Mac’s hard drive or SSD before you begin.
Downloading the macOS installer for the same operating system version you’re currently running is relatively straightforward. Just:
Open the Mac App Store.
Search for the macOS version, e.g.,
, and select
The Software Update pane should automatically appear—select
Note: If there are any pending updates for your Mac, expect Software Update to install them first. You must then repeat the steps above to re-download the macOS installer.
If you want to download the installer for an older macOS version, searching for it on the Mac App Store won’t work. Instead:
Select the download link below for the macOS version you want to download.
On the Mac App Store Preview page in your web browser, select
View in Mac App Store
After the Software Update tool finishes downloading, you’ll encounter a compatibility error—select
If you’re looking for an even older version of macOS or Mac OS X, follow the direct download links from Apple.Create macOS Bootable USB Installer
Now that you have the macOS installer on your Mac’s Applications folder, creating the bootable USB drive is just a matter of running a Terminal command. However, the flash drive should have a storage capacity of at least 16 gigabytes; anything below that won’t work.
Plug the USB stick into your Mac, open Finder, and note down the drive’s name on the sidebar.
Important: The bootable USB creation procedure erases the data inside the drive, so back up anything important before moving on to the next step.
Execute the command from the list below that matches the macOS installer file you downloaded, replacing
at the end with the name of your USB drive:
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS Big chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS High chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume
: sudo /Applications/Install macOS chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume –applicationpath /Applications/Install macOS Sierra.app
: sudo /Applications/Install OS X El chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume –applicationpath /Applications/Install OS X El Capitan.app
: sudo /Applications/Install OS X chúng tôi –volume /Volumes/MyVolume –applicationpath /Applications/Install OS X Yosemite.app
Enter your Mac administrator password and press
Wait until the Terminal creates the USB drive.
Exit the Terminal, open Finder, and eject the USB flash drive.Use the Bootable macOS USB Installer
You can immediately begin using the USB installer on your Mac or another macOS device (assuming the system software version is compatible with the device). The process differs between Intel and Apple silicon CPUs.Boot Intel Mac via USB
Restart your Mac.
Hold down the
key at startup.
Select the bootable USB on the startup disk selection screen.Boot Apple Silicon Mac via USB
Shut down your Mac.
Turn on the device while holding the
Select the bootable USB on the startup options screen.
After booting in through the USB drive, enter your Mac administrator password to enter macOS Recovery. You should then have access to the following recovery tools.
Restore from Time Machine: Restore the data on your Mac with a Time Machine backup.
Install macOS [Version Name]: Reinstall, upgrade, or clean-install the operating system.
Safari: Access the internet using Safari.
Disk Utility: Open the Disk Utility app to manage and repair your Mac’s internal storage drive.
Additionally, you can open the Mac’s Terminal and Startup Security Utility through the Utilities menu bar option. For example, you can use Terminal to disable System Integrity Protection and the Startup Security Utility to manage your Secure Boot settings. For more information, check our complete guide to using macOS Recovery.Time-Consuming But Not Difficult
Whether upgrading your Mac’s operating system or troubleshooting severe issues in macOS, creating a bootable USB installer is a valuable skill. With the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to do that fairly easily and handle pretty much anything that macOS throws your way.
Long ago, the best tool for slapping two pieces of technology together was the mighty Roll of Duct Tape. It brought us such wonders as Flashlight Taped to Gun, Cardboard Taped to Broken Car Window, and even the ever-popular Command Module Carbon Dioxide Filter Taped to Lunar Module Receptor.
In these more enlightened days, the USB drive has risen as the primary mode of integrating two forms of disparate hardware. Unfortunately, Android devices come equipped with the far less-ubiquitous micro USB drive, so all that USB-ready technology lies just outside of reach. Except it’s not, really.
Even though it’s not being marketed or sold by any major phone manufacturers, a tiny little cable called the USB On-The-Go adapter can let you have a lot of USB-related fun with your Android device.
What is this thing?
USB On-The-Go is really just a micro USB cable that runs out to a female USB port. You plug it into your Android device, and it effectively gives your device a USB port. Now you can use a slew of different gadgets that weren’t necessarily designed with Android interface in mind.
So, does it work on just about everything?
No, unfortunately. Compatibility is actually extremely hit-and-miss, because not a lot of Android device designers were really working with USB functionality in mind. Figuring out whether devices work with USB OTG has been a matter of trial and error, with some devices only having partial functionality and others taking to it like ducks to water. It seems like Samsung has the most USB capability overall so far.
Although Android devices have been USB-host-mode ready since Android 3.1, the problem is that hardware manufacturers have to enable that feature. If they don’t, then your device will just be mystified if you try to plug a USB drive into it.
How do I make it… do things?
Time to break out the hyperactive, tinkering little kid inside you, because there aren’t really any established instructions or best practices for USB OTG. You might as well just grab one and see what works with your device, but so far we’ve discovered some pretty awesome uses.
It’s a little bit odd that even the most compatible devices would have this functionality, but it seems like you can connect a mouse on most of them and have a pointer materialize on your screen. Use it just like you would on your computer. Doesn’t seem terribly practical, but it’s definitely interesting. Maybe you could use it to play old-school first-person shooters like Wolfenstein 3D or DOOM.
Speaking of games…
With emulators and roms becoming increasingly popular, one of the only downsides to playing them on your phone has been the inherent clumsiness of using a touch screen to mimick something as complex and alien as the N64 controller. I mean, who designed that thing?
Although your Android device’s power output isn’t stout enough to keep an unpowered hard drive operational, you can use a plug-in-the-wall powered hard drive to move some files around. Great if you’ve maxed out your phone’s hard drive and want to make some more room.
Because your Android powers whatever device it’s connected to, a portable (not powered) hard drive won’t work. However, a powered hard drive will, since it relies on energy from an external source. With the hard drive connected, you can read, write, and transfer any stored files.
Although this won’t work for some devices, you can plug a thumb drive in and most compatible Android devices treat a USB thumbdrive just like your computer does. Check some files on the go or tuck others away for safekeeping.
How to add a USB-C port to your laptop and keep your desk tidy
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Wondering how to add a USB-C port to your laptop? We’ll explain you how a computer networking hub can give you an extra USB-C port for your laptop, and ease connectivity for multiple devices.How to add a USB-C port to your laptop
Laptops, today, are more than just portable PCs. They are both power sources and data transmitters.
Most laptop owners almost always have two or more devices such as a tablet or smartphone, and these gadgets also rely on USB ports to perform common tasks such as data transfer or charging.
For such users, a laptop may not offer much in terms of connectivity owing to the limited number of ports it comes with. There is need for something extra that ensures everything is in one place, without the hassle of carrying extra cables, adapters, and finding extra power sources.
Unlike the usual USB-A and USB-B ports found on most PCs and laptops, the USB-C port is gaining more popularity because it enables faster data transmission, and quick charge for different devices.
If you’re looking to add a USB-C port to your laptop, don’t fret. Computer networking hubs, or simply USB hubs, are designed with users like you in mind.
A USB hub is a gadget with multiple USB ports on it, which you can plug into your laptop’s USB port, then use it with up to eight devices connected to the hub.
These hubs come with anywhere between three to eight ports, so you have the freedom and convenience of moving around with your laptop and other devices as you so wish.
When it comes to a USB hub, most users look for the following:
Ports that work whenever anything is plugged into them (and an indicator that shows they’re working)
Well-arranged ports that keep the desk organized and do not suck up much space
Minimum of three data ports
Speeds that do not drop off
A good price
READ ALSO: This new USB-C multi-port hub acts as a docking station for your Windows 10 laptop
There are two types of USB hubs: powered hubs, and non-powered hubs.
What you need if you have multiple devices, is the powered hub, which must be plugged into the computer to get power, then supply power to your other USB devices.
It is important to note that not all devices can run from USB hubs, so you’ll have to plug it directly to your laptop’s ports. However, your laptop will give you a warning message prompt in such a case, and recommend what to do when this happens.
If you have a small laptop case or bag, don’t worry. There are many small USB hubs available in the market that can comfortably meet your needs.
Like a Swiss Army knife, a multi-port hub has several extended ports that offer a variety of functions.
Some of the tasks you can fulfill while using this hub include:
Charging your phone
Fast data transfer
Charging your laptop (if you have a type-C connector)
Connect your keyboard, mouse, flash drive or hard disk
Stream HDTV, as the hub also has a HDMI port
SD and Micro SD memory card readers
The compact design of multi-port USB hubs effectively take up little desk space, and support high power devices, when connected to an external power source.
If you’re looking for a USB-C port hub that matches your connectivity needs, remember to check out our list of the best USB hubs for your laptop.
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I have a bit of a soft spot for portable apps. They require no installation on your computer and can be run on a USB stick. This means your computer can stay free of all the dross files which gradually accumulates from installed software.
But the downside is that portable apps are only for Windows computers. To date, I have never seen any for MacOS or Linux (or maybe I am just looking in the wrong places).
Table of Contents
Here are some of the portable apps specifically for maintaining the Windows operating system which have proven invaluable to me. In all cases, download the portable app from the links provided below and then unzip the folder making sure to leave the folder structure and file locations in place. If you move anything inside the app folder, it won’t work.
When it came to deleting crap files on the computer (temporary internet files, cookies, browser history, and so forth), I always used to rely on CCleaner. But then CCleaner got hit with major controversies ranging from trojan malware, data harvesting, installing other software without permission, and more.
So now I use BleachBit and it is just as good. Granted, it doesn’t clean as many things as CCleaner but it does the job I want it to do and that’s the main thing. As well as cleaning Windows OS crud, you can also get it to delete unneeded files for other programs, as well as overwrite deleted files, and shred files and folders.
As anyone who uses Windows well knows, the operating system is far from perfect. Problems can arise at any time and you would not know the reason why. That’s why something like FixWin 10 is very useful to have in your USB toolkit.
Made by one of my favorite websites, FixWin 10 covers a whole multitude of potential Windows 10 issues. But the cardinal rule when using something like this is never to alter something if you don’t know what you’re doing. That is the fastest way to a Blue Screen of Death and total Windows chúng tôi be on the safe side, do a System Restore first so you can roll back any changes if you mess up.
If something is not working right with your Windows machine, check FixWin 10 to see if it will reset the feature for you. All it changes.
Another annoyance of Windows is that when you uninstall something from the Installed Programs section, it doesn’t always delete everything related to the program. So the actual program might be gone, but temp files and start menu entries might still be there clogging up the works.
Revo has an excellent reputation for stepping up and doing the job that Windows should be doing themselves, which is uninstalling stuff properly. As a result, it takes a while to uninstall a program but that is what happens when it is done properly.
When you start the uninstallation process for a program, Revo first makes a system restore point to roll things back if necessary. Then it uninstalls the program, hunts for associated temp files, cookies, start menu entries, folders, and more. Then you can delete them in one go.
Revo also offers a wide range of other tools such as removing Microsoft Office documents history, deleting other Windows files such as logs, a secure shredder, and more.
Although the website says Zip2Fix only works up to Windows 8, I have no problem with it on Windows 10. And it has saved my hide on many occasions when important files were trapped inside a corrupted zip file and I needed to get them out. Zip2Fix to the rescue.
Obviously if the files inside are damaged beyond repair, there is nothing the program can do to un-corrupt them. But if the file can be extracted from the zip archive, then Zip2Fix is your best bet to try and get it out. No more “the dog ate my homework”. Quick, fast, and free.
Every file format on your computer is assigned a default program to open it. So PDFs are opened by Adobe, TXT by Notepad and PSD by Photoshop.
But what if your default program preferences are somehow messed up and changed? Or what if you want to easily change the default program for a particular file format? Then the portable app Default Programs Editor is here to help make your life easier.
As well as the default programs, you can also change autoplay settings, refresh the program icons in Windows File Explorer, and editWant More?
The AirPods Pro should adopt USB-C charging this year but don’t expect the third-generation AirPods to pick up a USB-C version of its charging case before 2024.
What’s happening? A new version of the AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case could drop later this year, but there will be no USB-C AirPods 3 in 2023.
Why care? As Apple transitions from Lightning, you’ll need the right cables and power adapters to charge your devices via USB-C.
What to do? Check out our roundup of the featured USB-C chargers. As you’ll be dealing with USB-C and Lightning in the transitional period, be sure to also check out our selection of the featured 3-in-1 USB cables.AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case arriving in 2023
Noted industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said on Twitter that Apple will only equip its noise-canceling AirPods Pro earbuds with a USB-C version of the case. As for the second and third-generation AirPods, those will retain the Lightning port on their charging case, as Kuo isn’t expecting any updates on that front this year.
According to Kuo’s tweet, Apple “currently appears to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 and 3.” That doesn’t mean Apple will continue selling Lightning-equipped AirPods into 2024 and beyond, especially not with the EU ruling mandating USB-C charging on all consumer gadgets by the end of 2024.
I think this is likely the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2, with mass shipments expected in 2Q23-3Q23. By the way, Apple currently appears to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 & 3.
— 郭明錤 (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo) March 24, 2023
“I think this is likely the USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2, with mass shipments expected in the second and third quarter of 2023,” Kuo wrote.
“By the way, Apple currently appears to have no plans for USB-C versions of the AirPods 2 and 3.” His tweet is a reaction to the recent findings in the iOS 16.4 code revealing references to unreleased AirPods with the model number A3048 and a new AirPods case with the model number A2968.Regular AirPods to get USB-C charging in 2024?
By the end of 2024, Apple will release a fourth-generation AirPods with a USB-C charging case in the box. As for the upcoming AirPods Pro update, we wouldn’t expect any new features beyond a USB-C charging case if we were you.
Kuo is generally reliable when predicting Apple’s future moves but less in terms of timeframes. In August 2023, for example, Kuo said that all AirPods models would gain USB-C charging in 2023. By contrast, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is adamant that all of the AirPods—the regular models and the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max—would adopt USB-C charging by the end of 2024.
In addition, Apple is also expected to ditch Lightning and adopt USB-C on its Magic accessories for the Mac and the MagSafe Battery Pack accessory for the iPhone next year. The new European legislation requires that all gadgets sold within the European Union provide charging via the ubiquitous USB-C standard.
Companies are expected to comply with the mandate by December 28, 2024.
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