How To Dual-Boot Linux And Windows 10 On Desktop/Laptop


Linux is a wonderful operating system with a wide range of hardware and software support, but the truth is that you will occasionally need to use Windows, possibly due to the fact that some applications will not run on Linux. Thankfully, dual-booting Windows and Linux is simple—and in this blog, I’ll show you how to do it with Windows 10 and Ubuntu.

Make sure you’ve backed up your computer before you begin. Despite the fact that the dual-boot setup process is relatively straightforward, mistakes can still occur. So, in case chaos theory comes into action, take the time to back up your important files. Consider taking an image backup of the disc in addition to backing up your files, though this isn’t needed and can be a more advanced procedure.

Things You Need To Dual-Boot Your Desktop/Laptop

You’ll need the following five things to get started:

1. Two USB flash drives (or DVD-Rs):-

Since flash drives are faster than DVDs, I suggest using them to install Windows and Ubuntu. Creating bootable media erases everything on the flash drive, which should go without saying. As a result, search to see if the flash drives are empty or contain data you don’t mind losing.

You can make DVD media instead if your computer doesn’t support booting from USB. I’m afraid I won’t be able to guide you through the process because no two machines seem to have the same DVD-burning program. If your DVD-burning program allows you to burn from an ISO file, that’s the choice you’ll want to use.

2. A Windows 10 license:-

If your PC came with Windows 10, the license will be pre-installed, so you won’t have to worry about entering it during setup. You should have a product key if you purchased the retail version, which you will need to enter during the installation process.

3. Windows 10 Media Creation Tool:-

The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool is available for download and use. The tool will guide you through the steps to build Windows media on a USB or DVD-R once you’ve launched it. Even if you already have Windows 10 enabled, making bootable media is a smart idea in case something goes wrong and you need to reinstall it.

4. Ubuntu installation media:-

Download the Ubuntu ISO image.

5. Etcher software (for making a bootable Ubuntu USB drive):-

Etcher is my recommendation for creating bootable media for any Linux distribution. Etcher is compatible with all three major operating systems (Linux, macOS, and Windows) and will not overwrite the existing operating system partition.

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Once Etcher has been downloaded and launched, click Select image and navigate to the Ubuntu ISO that you downloaded in step 4. Pick your flash drive and then press Flash! to begin the process of transforming a flash drive into an Ubuntu installer. (If you’re using a DVD-R, use the DVD-burning app on your machine instead.)


Install Windows and Ubuntu

You should be all set to get started. You should now have completed the following tasks:

  • Backed up your important files
  • Created Windows installation media
  • Created Ubuntu installation media

There are two methods for installing the application. If you already have Windows 10, you can have the Ubuntu installer resize the partition and begin the installation in the space. If you haven’t already done so, install Windows 10 on a smaller partition that you can build during the installation process. (I’ll show you how to do it later.) The second method is favored because it is less prone to errors. There’s a fair chance you won’t have any problems either way, but manually installing Windows and shrinking the partition before installing Ubuntu is the simplest choice.

If your system already has Windows 10, skip the Windows installation instructions and go straight to installing Ubuntu.

Installing Windows

Start your machine by booting from the Windows installation media you made. It depends on your machine how you do this, but most have a key you can click to bring up the boot screen. F12, for example, is the key on a Dell PC. If the flash drive does not appear as an option, the device will need to be restarted. Only if you’ve inserted the media before turning on the machine will it appear. Press a key if you see a message that says “press any key to boot from the installation media.” The following screen should appear. Select Next after choosing your language and keyboard style.

How to Install Windows 10 from USB

Click on Install now to start the Windows installer.

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Your product key is requested on the next screen. If you don’t have a product key since Windows 10 came preinstalled on your computer, choose “I don’t have a product key.” Once it has caught up with updates, it should activate automatically after installation. Enter your product key and click Next if you have one.

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Choose the Windows edition you want to install. The mark on a retail copy will tell you which edition you have. It’s usually included with the documentation that came with your computer if you don’t have it. It’ll either be Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro in the majority of cases. Most PCs with the Home edition come with a label that simply says “Windows 10,” while the Pro edition is clearly labeled.

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Accept the license agreement by checking the box, then click Next.

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You have two installation options after approving the agreement.  Pick Custom: the second choice Install Windows only (advanced).

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The next screen should show your current hard disk configuration.

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Your findings would most likely vary from mine. This hard disc has never been used before, so it is totally unallocated. Your present operating system will most likely have one or more partitions. Delete each partition by selecting it and dragging it to the trash.

Your screen will now show your entire disc as unallocated. Build a new partition to proceed.

Confirm the partitioning looks good to you and click Next. Windows will begin installing.

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You’re ready to move on to the next level if your machine successfully boots into Windows.

Install Ubuntu

You now have Windows installed, whether it was already there or you followed the steps above. To boot into Ubuntu, use the Ubuntu installation media you created earlier. Insert the media in the drive and start your computer from it. Again, the exact sequence of keys to access the boot menu varies by device, so review your notes if you’re unsure. If all goes well, you’ll see the screen below once the media has finished loading:


You can choose between two options: Try Ubuntu or Install Ubuntu. Instead of installing right now, press Try Ubuntu. You can see the Ubuntu desktop after it finishes loading.

You can try Ubuntu before you install it by clicking Try Ubuntu. You can play around with Ubuntu in Live mode to make sure it works before committing to the installation. While Ubuntu works with most PC hardware, it’s still a good idea to try it out first. Make sure you have internet access as well as audio and video playback. A good way to do all of that at once is to go to YouTube and watch a video. Tap the networking icon in the top-right corner of the screen to connect to a wireless network. There’s a list of wireless networks there, and you can add to your own.

Double-click the Install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS icon on the desktop when you’re ready to start the installer.

Then press Continue after choosing the language you want to use for the installation.

After that, choose a keyboard layout. Tap Continue once you’ve made your decision.

On the next screen, you have a few choices. You have the option of installing in a Standard or Minimal mode. Normal installation is suitable for the majority of people. Advanced users can prefer a Minimal install, which includes fewer software applications by default. You can also choose whether or not to download updates, as well as whether or not to include third-party apps and drivers. Both of those boxes should be checked, in my opinion. Select Proceed when you’re done.


The next screen asks whether you want to format the disc or build a dual-boot configuration. Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10 since you’re dual-booting. Install Now should be selected.


The following screen will likely appear. You won’t see this screen if you built Windows from scratch and left unallocated space on the disc. Ubuntu would automatically set itself up in the space. This screen will appear if you already have Windows 10 installed and it is taking up the entire drive, and you will have the option to pick a disc at the end. If you only have one hard drive, you can decide how much room to take from Windows and give it to Ubuntu. You can use your mouse to move the vertical line in the center-left and right to take space from one and give it to the other. After you’ve made all of your improvements, press Update Now.


A confirmation screen should appear, showing what Ubuntu intends to do. Continue if everything appears to be in order.

While Ubuntu installs in the background, you must still configure it. Although Ubuntu does its best to determine your position, you can use the map to zoom in and check that your time zone and other settings are right.


Fill in your name, computer name, username, and password in the user account details. When you’re done, press Proceed.


Restart your computer once the installation is complete.

If everything went according to plan, your machine could restart with a screen like this. Choose Ubuntu or Windows 10; I won’t go through the other choices because they’re for troubleshooting.

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To try them out, boot into both Ubuntu and Windows to make sure everything works as it should. If it does, your machine now has both Windows and Ubuntu enabled.

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