How to Install Windows 10 Alongside Ubuntu Linux on the Same Computer

  • Dual-booting allows you to have both Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux installed on the same computer, giving you access to the best of both worlds.
  • The process involves shrinking your existing Windows partition to create free space, then installing Ubuntu in the free space during setup.
  • With a dual-boot system, you’ll get a boot menu at startup to choose which operating system to load into for that session.

As someone with over a decade of experience in Linux system administration and desktop support, I’ve helped countless users set up dual-boot systems with Windows and Linux distributions like Ubuntu. Dual-booting provides the flexibility to use Windows for certain tasks while taking advantage of Ubuntu’s stability, security, and open-source software ecosystem.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of installing Ubuntu Linux alongside an existing Windows 10 installation on the same computer. We’ll cover the necessary steps to prepare your system, create space for Ubuntu, and configure the dual-boot environment.


Before we begin, ensure that you have the following:

  • A computer with Windows 10 already installed (if not, install Windows 10 first)
  • At least 25GB of free disk space for the Ubuntu installation
  • A USB drive with at least 4GB of storage
  • The Ubuntu ISO file downloaded from the official website

Step 1: Back Up Your Important Data

It’s always a good practice to back up your important files before making any significant changes to your system. While the process of dual-booting is generally safe, it’s better to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.

You can back up your data to an external hard drive, cloud storage service, or simply copy your important files to a separate partition or drive.

Step 2: Create a Bootable Ubuntu USB Drive

To install Ubuntu, you’ll need to create a bootable USB drive using the downloaded Ubuntu ISO file. There are several tools available for this purpose, but we’ll use the popular “Rufus” utility in this guide.

  1. Download and install Rufus from
  2. Insert your USB drive into the computer
  3. Open Rufus and select your USB drive
  4. Click on the “SELECT” button and navigate to the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded earlier
  5. Ensure that the “Partition scheme” is set to “GPT” and the “Target system” is set to “UEFI (non-CSM)”
  6. Click “START” to begin the process of creating the bootable USB drive

Step 3: Shrink the Windows Partition

To make space for Ubuntu, you’ll need to shrink your existing Windows partition. This process will create unallocated space on your hard drive, which you can then use for the Ubuntu installation.

  1. Open the “Disk Management” tool by pressing the Windows key + R, typing “diskmgmt.msc”, and hitting Enter
  2. Right-click on the Windows partition (usually the “C:” drive) and select “Shrink Volume”
  3. Enter the amount of space you want to shrink (at least 25GB for Ubuntu)
  4. Click “Shrink” to complete the process

Step 4: Disable Fast Startup and Secure Boot

Fast Startup and Secure Boot are Windows features that can interfere with the dual-boot process. It’s recommended to disable them before proceeding.

  1. Open the “Control Panel” and navigate to “Power Options”
  2. Click “Choose what the power buttons do”
  3. Click “Change settings that are currently unavailable”
  4. Uncheck the “Turn on fast startup” option
  5. Save the changes and exit the Control Panel
  6. Restart your computer and enter the BIOS/UEFI settings (usually by pressing a key like F2, Del, or Esc during boot)
  7. Locate the “Secure Boot” option and disable it
  8. Save the changes and exit the BIOS/UEFI

Step 5: Boot from the Ubuntu USB Drive

With the necessary preparations complete, you can now boot from the Ubuntu USB drive to begin the installation process.

  1. Insert the Ubuntu USB drive into your computer
  2. Restart your computer and look for a prompt to select the boot device (usually by pressing a key like F12, F8, or Esc)
  3. Select the USB drive from the list of boot devices
  4. The Ubuntu installer should now load

Step 6: Install Ubuntu Alongside Windows 10

Once the Ubuntu installer loads, follow these steps to install Ubuntu alongside your existing Windows 10 installation:

  1. Select your preferred language and click “Install Ubuntu”
  2. On the “Installation Type” screen, select “Something else”
  3. You should see your existing Windows partition and the unallocated space you created earlier
  4. Select the unallocated space and click the “+” button to create a new partition
  5. Set the “Use as” option to “Ext4 journaling file system”
  6. Set the “Mount point” to “/”
  7. Optionally, you can create separate partitions for “/home” (your personal files) and “swap” (virtual memory)
  8. Once you’ve set up the desired partitions, click “Install Now”
  9. Follow the remaining prompts to complete the Ubuntu installation

Step 7: Configure the Dual-Boot Menu

After the installation is complete, your computer will reboot, and you should see a boot menu allowing you to choose between Windows 10 and Ubuntu. If you don’t see the boot menu, you may need to access the BIOS/UEFI settings and adjust the boot order to prioritize the Ubuntu boot loader.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up a dual-boot system with Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux on the same computer. You can now enjoy the best of both worlds by choosing the appropriate operating system for your needs at startup.

Troubleshooting and Additional Tips

  • If you encounter any issues during the installation process, try booting from the Ubuntu USB drive again and selecting the “Try Ubuntu” option. This will allow you to access the live Ubuntu environment and troubleshoot the problem.
  • If you’re having trouble accessing the BIOS/UEFI settings, consult your computer’s manufacturer documentation or search online for specific instructions.
  • Consider installing a boot manager like rEFInd, which can provide a more user-friendly boot menu and additional customization options.
  • Regularly update both Windows 10 and Ubuntu to ensure compatibility and security.
  • If you plan to use Ubuntu for gaming or resource-intensive tasks, consider allocating more disk space and creating separate partitions for “/home” and “swap.”

Dual-booting Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux can be a powerful combination, allowing you to leverage the strengths of both operating systems. With this guide, you should now have the knowledge and confidence to set up a dual-boot environment on your computer.