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How to flash an SD card on Windows 10

A desktop operating system like Windows 10 or Ubuntu can be installed on a computer from a USB device. A USB device is needed because these operating systems are large, and when they’re installed, the files expand to take up more space.

Not all operating systems are large since not all operating systems are installed on a desktop system. There are smaller devices that run an operating system and they don’t always have a USB port.

For devices without a USB port, an SD card is used. In order to use an SD card though, you will have to flash the OS, or whichever app/software you want to use, to it. 

Flash an SD card

In order to flash an SD card with an operating system image, you need the file you’re going to flash and an SD card. An SD card isn’t always small, in fact you can find them in very large storage configurations. 

Make sure the SD card you have is as big as you need it to be.

  1. Download and install a free tool called Etcher.
  2. Download the image/OS/file that you need to burn.
  3. Insert the SD card into your system.
  4. Open Etcher.
  5. Click Open File.
  6. Select the file you want to burn/flash.

  1. Click the ‘Select target’ button and select your SD card.
  2. Click Flash.
  3. Wait for the process to finish. It will take time depending on the file size.

Flashing and booting

You should know that you can flash all sorts of images to an SD card but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can boot from it. It is up to you to make sure the image you’re burning to the SD card can be booted from.

We mentioned that SD cards come in large storage configurations which means, you can find one that is big enough to burn Windows 10 to. You will be able to use Ether to do so however, Windows 10 is NOT a system that can boot from an SD card.

You will need a USB drive if you want to boot or install Windows 10.


SD cards come in larger storage sizes but operating systems and devices aren’t in a hurry to support them as bootable devices. An SD card, because of its size, is best used on devices like a Raspberry Pi. For devices that have a USB port, it’s better to use it since it will be faster than an SD card.

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