Running Windows 10 on a USB drive/flash drive?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by BluAffiliate, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. BluAffiliate macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2010

    I am picking up an iMac 5K this week and I would like to experiment with having Windows 10 or 7 as a bootcamp option. Does it absolutely have to be installed on the drive or can I install it on a USB flash drive or a USB hard drive? Reason being is that I only have a 512 GB drive and I don't want to partition my drive as space will be needed.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    First, Windows 7 will not run on a new iMac 5K using Boot Camp but will run as a VM. Windows 10, OK. Windows in general will not run from an external drive or USB flash drive without a hack. That's because of the Microsoft Anti-Piracy policy.
  3. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I was able to install Windows 8.1 onto an external USB-3 SSD and then upgrade it to Windows 10.
    You can't use Bootcamp assistant but I wouldn't call it a hack -- you just need to properly prepare the SSD and the installer.

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