Ubuntu – Install windows on external hard drive

external-hddwindows 10

My laptop only has a 28 GB hard drive with Ubuntu installed. I would like to install Windows 10 as well but there is no room on the hard drive. How do I install Windows 10 onto an EXTERNAL hard drive

EDIT: I want to dual boot with Ubuntu on the internal drive and Windows 10 on the external drive

Best Answer

  • There is a license issue

    It is difficult to make Windows work from an external drive, I think because Microsoft wants to keep people from using the same instance of Windows in more than one computer.

    I have read that it is possible, at least with the enterprise version, but think it is beyond the scope of AskUbuntu to describe how to do it. Searching the internet for install windows in external drive I found for example this link,


    Virtual machine

    It is possible to run Windows in VirtualBox (or another tool to run a virtual machine) from an Ubuntu host, and the host or the virtual hard disk drive can reside in an external drive. I have an Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS host with VirtualBox and a Windows 10 guest, and it resides in an SSD in an external box with USB 3 and eSATA connections.

    Swap the location

    If you move Ubuntu to the external drive, you can install Windows in the internal drive. It is rather small for Windows, but if you are very careful, and keep it clean, you might get along without getting a full hard disk drive.

    Ubuntu is free and has no licensing issues, so it is happy running from external drives.

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