Surface Pro Tips: How to Boot from USB (Force Boot)

Step by step process to boot your Surface Pro using USB flash drive

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • You can set up your Surface Pro to boot via a USB drive through boot configuration under Surface UEFI.
  • Using USB to boot will not reset or refresh your device, it will start your Surface via the OS on your flash drive.
  • Booting from USB can be helpful if you want to change Windows startup or firmware settings.


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Looking for ways to boot your Surface Pro using a USB flash drive? Well, it is a bit complex process and following the steps correctly is essential if your device can’t boot to Windows. But don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

This guide will walk through the detailed steps and all the possible scenarios related to the process. Let’s begin!

How to Boot Surface Pro using a USB flash drive?

Before diving into the solutions, we need to ensure that we have some things in order:

  1. Create a backup of your data.
  2. Disable secure boot.
  3. Working bootable USB drive.
  4. Connect your device to a charger before starting.
  5. Keep a Wired keyboard and mouse handy.
  6. Remove all the USBs (keyboard, mouse, or storage device) before beginning the process.
  7. If your Surface Pro is frozen or can’t boot up Windows, try these first:
    1. Next, try to do a force restart. Press and hold the power button till the Microsoft logo appears. 
    2. Press the Windows logo, then press Ctrl + Shift + Win + B.

1. Boot Surface Pro using a USB drive

➡ Windows 11

  1. Insert a bootable USB flash drive into the USB port.
  2. Press Windows + I to get Settings.
  3. Go to System and choose Recovery.System recovery Surface Pro USB boot

4. Navigate to Advanced startup and click Restart Now.Surface Pro Boot from USB

5. You will see Choose an option screen; click Use a device>USB storage. Choose-an-option

Tip icon
For Windows 11, if you don’t have the keyboard connected, on the login screen, locate the Accessibility icon and click on it. Choose On-Screen Keyboard.

➡ Windows 10

  1. Press Windows + I to get Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. From the left pane, click Recovery.
  4. Under Recovery, navigate to Advanced startup and select Restart Now.Surface Pro Boot Restart Now

5. You will see Choose an option screen; click Use a device>USB storage.

Tip icon
For Windows 10, if you don’t have the keyboard connected, locate the Ease of access icon on the login screen and click on it. Choose On-Screen Keyboard.

2. Configure boot device order

  1. Turn off your Surface.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up button
  3. With the Volume Up button pressed, press & release the Power button.
  4. Keep holding the Volume Up button till you get the Microsoft logo, or the Windows logo disappears.
  5. You will get Surface UEFI.
  6. On Surface Pro UEFI from the left pane, click Boot configuration.Surface pro
  7. Select USB Storage, drag it, and place it on top of the list.Change the order
  8. Click Exit, then Restart Now.

3. Format USB as a bootable drive

  1. Take a USB drive (at least 16 GB) and plug it into your Surface Pro’s USB slot.
  2. Press the Windows key and type CMD and click Run as Administrator.CMD elevated
  3. On the Command Prompt, type the command mentioned below and hit Enter : diskpart
  4. Next, paste the command mentioned below and hit Enter. This will show you all the disks on the computer. list disk
  5. Type the following command and hit Enter (where X is the drive letter or number assigned to the USB drive). select disk X
  6. Type the following commands and press Enter after each of them: clean create part pri select part 1 format fs = fat32 quick active

That’s it. This is how you can make your Surface Pro boot from a USB drive. Try these steps and let us know in the comments section below if the methods worked for you.

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