Start a Windows To Go Drive

Applies To: Windows 8.1

When you deploy Windows To Go in your educational organization you configure the host computer to boot from the USB.

Users of Windows To Go need to configure the host computer to boot from USB. For devices running an earlier version of the Windows operating system, the USB boot option can be enabled in the device’s firmware, such as the BIOS. For computers running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, the Windows To Go workspace can also be configured to start using Windows To Go Startup Options. On the Start screen, press the Windows logo key + W, and then search for Windows To Go startup options to configure the computer to boot from a USB drive. Changing this setting requires administrator privileges. You can also set the option to boot from a USB drive by using Group Policy for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.


Additional considerations exist when using a computer running Windows 7 as a host computer. See Tips for configuring your BIOS settings to work with Windows To Go for more information.

Regardless of whether you are using a Windows 7 host computer or a Windows 8.1 host computer, use caution when enabling boot from USB devices. Doing so may open an attack vector if the computer is booted from a USB drive containing malware.

When preparing a computer to boot into a Windows To Go workspace, make sure the computer is not currently in a sleep state. The USB drive with the Windows To Go workspace should be connected directly to a USB port on the computer, not through a USB hub.

Additional resources

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