Guide to Performing a Bootable USB Clean Installation of Windows 11 2023 Update

One can perform a clean installation of the Windows 11 2023 Update, also known as Windows 11 23H2, using Rufus and Windows 11 ISO files. A clean installation involves starting fresh with a new copy of the Windows 11 2023 Update, which can enhance app performance, improve the operating system’s performance, and resolve any existing issues.

To clean install the Windows 11 2023 Update, users can utilize Rufus, a third-party tool. The process includes downloading the media installation from Microsoft using Rufus, creating a bootable USB flash drive or ISO file, and following the on-screen instructions to install the operating system. The installation process requires booting from the USB, selecting installation preferences, formatting the drive where Windows will be installed, and following the necessary steps to complete the setup.

The Windows 11 2023 Update introduces various features, such as Microsoft Copilot, similar to ChatGPT, enhancements to the Start menu, taskbar ungrouping and labels, as well as a new gallery feature in File Explorer. Additionally, the update includes improvements in system settings, including Automatic Color Management specifically for graphics.

While Windows 10 2023 Update is the latest release of Windows and can be installed via Windows Update, some users may encounter issues during or after installation. For example, reports suggest potential issues with File Explorer and Taskbar. Fortunately, it is possible to perform a clean install of the Windows 11 2023 Update (23H2) to eliminate unwanted files and install a fresh copy of Windows.

The easiest way to perform a clean install is through a bootable USB drive. You can create a Windows 11 2023 Update bootable drive using Rufus. Rufus is a widely used third-party utility for creating bootable USB drives, similar to the Media Creation Tool. As Microsoft does not offer the Windows 11 2023 Update through the Media Creation Tool, Rufus serves as a suitable alternative for a clean installation.

To clean install Windows 11 2023 Update using Rufus, follow these steps:
1. Go to the Rufus website and download the most recent Standard version of Rufus.
2. Double-click on the rufus.exe file and click on the Settings button, located on the bottom menu to the left.
3. In the “Update policy and settings” pop-up window, click on “Check now” next to “Check for updates.”
4. Close the window. Under the Device menu, ensure that the USB drive connected to your system is selected. If you have multiple USB drives connected, choose the correct one from the drop-down menu.
5. In the Boot selection drop-down menu, select Disk or ISO image. On the right side, select “Download.”
6. Rufus will download the most recent Windows 11 update from Microsoft. On the “Download ISO Image” pop-up, select Windows 11 and change the Release to “23H2 (Build 22621.2428 – 2023.10).” Click on Continue.
7. Select the desired edition of Windows 11, such as Home, Pro, or Edu. Click on Continue.
8. Choose the language you prefer and click Continue.
9. Select the architecture of your system and click on Continue.
10. In the next window, browse to the path of the USB drive and save the changes. The ISO file will begin downloading in the Rufus window’s status bar.
11. After the file finishes downloading, return to the Rufus menu. Rename the Volume Label, ensure that the File System is set to NTFS, and check the Quick Format option.
12. Click on Start, and if desired, add a username for a local account. Additionally, select the second and third checkboxes to block data collection.

To boot Windows 11 2023 Update using the bootable drive, follow these steps:
1. Connect the bootable USB pen drive and restart your system or turn it on.
2. You will see a prompt to press a key to continue. Press any key.
3. Choose the language, time and currency format, keyboard language, and click on Continue.
4. Click on “Install Now.”
5. If prompted for a Product key, click on “I don’t have it.” Select the version of Windows 11 to install, accept the license terms, and click Next.
6. On the next page, select “Custom: Install Windows only.” This option ensures the removal of all data from your system.
7. Choose the drives you wish to create and click on Next.
8. Select “Drive 0 Unallocated Space” (representing the C: drive) as the drive where you want to install Windows 11 version 23H2. Click Next.
9. Follow the remaining steps to complete the installation process, including selecting your country, keyboard language, entering a username, setting up for personal use, logging in with a Microsoft account, creating a PIN, and customizing privacy settings.
10. Finally, choose your desired experiences, select whether to back up files, skip or set up Microsoft 365, and complete the agreement process.

The Windows 11 2023 Update introduces several noteworthy changes. Firstly, Microsoft Copilot, an AI feature similar to ChatGPT, allows users to interact with Bing-connected AI. However, some users prefer ChatGPT over Copilot due to its more advanced stage of development.

Secondly, the Start menu in the Windows 11 2023 Update offers a thumbnail preview and allows users to share files by right-clicking on them.

Thirdly, the taskbar, system tray, and notifications have undergone improvements. Users can open the Volume Mixer by pressing CTRL+Windows+V and hide the clock through settings. The update also enables taskbar ungrouping and the display of app labels. In File Explorer, a new gallery feature has been added, which functions similarly to the Photos app. Notably, if OneDrive is connected to a user’s phone, they can browse through its images using the Gallery feature.

Furthermore, the update includes a new graphics setting. If a user’s system has sufficient graphic features, they can enable the Automatic Color Management feature, which saves time by automatically adjusting color settings periodically.

In summary, a clean installation of the Windows 11 2023 Update can be achieved using Rufus and Windows 11 ISO files. This process involves creating a bootable USB drive, selecting installation preferences, formatting the drive, and following the necessary steps to complete the setup. The update introduces various features and improvements, including Microsoft Copilot, enhancements to the Start menu, taskbar ungrouping and labels, a new gallery feature in File Explorer, and improvements in system settings like Automatic Color Management for graphics.

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