How to Install Windows from Android

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USB flash drives are very useful, but not everyone has one, and it is not always possible to lay your hands on a Windows recovery disk every time you want to install Windows on your PC.

Thanks to DriveDroid, you can install Windows from Android. It only takes a few minutes to set it up.

Requirements

Before you proceed with this tutorial, ensure that you have the following things in place:

  • A rooted Android device (Magisk and SuperSU work well for this – always back
  • up your device before rooting)
  • 4.5GB or more free space on your Android device
  • The Windows ISO file

Setup

First, you need to install DriveDroid or DriveDroid Paid on your device. Launch the Google Play Store app on your device, search for “DriveDroid” and install from there. It’s important to note that the current free version works best with Android 9 devices. However, it’s still one of the best options, despite not being updated for a while.

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Once you have it installed, you can run the USB setup wizard to configure the application. Hit “Setup” to begin.

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It will verify that your device has not been blacklisted. Tap “Proceed,” then grant the app root access.

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Next, connect your Android device to a PC using a USB cable.

You need to choose from a list of USB systems for handling USB. Most devices will work with the first available USB system.

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Finally, open the file manager on your PC and confirm whether your device is mounted as a USB drive or CD drive. This indicates that your device works well with DriveDroid. You may close the Wizard and proceed with the rest of the tutorial.

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If your device doesn’t show up at all, head back to the previous page and try other USB systems until one works.

Create a Bootable Windows Image

Once you have scaled the initial setup, creating a bootable Windows ISO on your Android device should be a walk in the park.

Follow the below-listed steps and make sure your device remains connected to your PC before continuing.

  1. Download the latest Windows 10 ISO file or Windows 11 ISO file and move it to your device’s internal storage or SD Card.
  2. Launch DriveDroid and hit the “+” button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select “Add image from file.”
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  1. Name your image and tap the magnifying glass icon to select the path of the ISO file. Once done, tap the checkmark at the top to save.
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  1. Tap the newly-created entry and select one of the hosting options. “CD-ROM” worked for me in this case.
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  1. Your Windows image should be mounted now. A notification will appear on your phone indicating the the image was successfully mounted.
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  1. Finally, reboot your PC and boot from the Drive where your Windows ISO is mounted.

You may need to enter the boot menu if your PC isn’t set to boot from external devices or disks first. During the boot process, press F8, F11, or Del (the button varies based on your PC) to access the boot menu. Choose the UEFI option with a name that usually starts with Linux File-CD.

That’s it! Windows should boot normally, and you will be able to continue the installation process from there.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will this cause any data loss on my Android device?

It shouldn’t. As long as you perform the root process correctly and have ample space on your device, you shouldn’t lose any files, apps, or settings. However, always back up your device first. If you’re worried, consider using an old Android device instead if there is one available.

2. Will DriveDroid let me boot other operating systems?

Yes. It’s actually designed for letting you boot Linux systems directly from your Android device so that you don’t have to install them on your PC. For example, if you wanted to give Linux a test drive before creating a dual-boot system on your PC, use DriveDroid to install a Linux distro on your Android device and boot directly into it by connecting your Android device to your PC via USB.

If you’re not sure which Linux distros to try, check out some of the best Linux distros for Windows users.

3. Can I delete the Windows ISO once I’m finished?

Absolutely! Once Windows is successfully installed on your PC, you no longer need the Windows ISO on your Android device. Feel free to delete it to save space.

4. Is there a big difference between DriveDroid and DriveDroid Paid?

While I personally had no issues with the free version of DriveDroid on Android 12, some users have reported having better success on Android 11 devices using the paid version.

5. Will DriveDroid let me run Windows from Android?

While you can run Linux systems, you can’t run Windows fully from Android using DriveDroid. This is only to start the installation process. This works the same as creating a recovery or installation media on a DVD or USB drive.

Crystal Crowder
Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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