Using the Raspberry Pi Imager Utility

Article Outline
  1. 1. Install the Rapberry Pi Imager Utility
  2. 2. Select an Operating System
  3. 3. Prepare the boot media
    1. 3.1. Format the disk
    2. 3.2. Apply the image
    3. 3.3. Test the image
      1. 3.3.1. Micro SD Card
      2. 3.3.2. USB Boot

Instructions for using the Raspberry Pi Imager Utility.

Install the Rapberry Pi Imager Utility


  1. If you are running Raspberry Pi OS, the Raspberry Pi Imager Utility can be installed by typing the following command,

sudo apt install rpi-imager

  1. If you are NOT running Raspberry Pi OS, the latest version of the Raspberry Pi Imager Utility can be found here:

Select an Operating System

  1. Open the Raspberry Pi Imager Utility.
  • On the Raspberry Pi OS, this can by done by running the following command,


  • Alternatively you can select ‘Imager’ from the ‘Accessories’ menu on the desktop.
  1. Click the ‘Operating System’ Menu.


  • Here you can view the list of officially supported Operating Systems. These will be downloaded automatically if selected.

If your desired OS is NOT listed here, you can download it independently OR use the following link to check the Raspberry Pi Foundation Downloads:

Prepare the boot media

  1. Attach the boot media to the device running the Raspberry Pi Imager Utility.

  2. Open the Imager Utility (if not already running)

  3. Use the Storage Menu to Select the media that was inserted.

Format the disk

  1. Open the Operating System Menu and scroll to the bottom to select, “Erase - Format card as FAT32”
  • This will perform a format to ensure the disk is clean/ready before installing the new bootable OS image.

Apply the image

Once the format is complete, go back into the Storage menu, re-select the media.

Now open the operating system menu, select a pre-loaded OS from the list or point to one you downloaded.

Click Write. Wait for verification to complete.

Test the image

If you are using a Micro SD Card to boot from, the instructions are below.

If you are attempting to boot from USB for the first time, it may require additional steps to update the firmware (see below).

Micro SD Card

Insert the sd card into the designated slot on the raspberry pi, and power on the device.

USB Boot

Booting from USB for the first time may require a firmware update.


I am booting from a Samsung T7 SSD (500GB), connected via USB

First, try booting from the USB device to see if the Raspberry Pi will recognize it. Otherwise follow the steps below to update the firmware and configure the boot order.

Firmware Update Instructions:

  • This will require you to boot from a microSD card with the latest Raspberry Pi OS on it.
    • Follow the instructions in the main article above to create a Micro SD Card with the latest version of Raspberry Pi. Once you have a bootable SD Card prepared, insert it and power on the Pi.
  • Login and Update OS / firmware:
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt full-upgrade
    • sudo rpi-update
  • Reboot the Pi
  • Install latest bootloader:
    • sudo rpi-eeprom-update -d -a
  • Reboot
  • Launch raspi-config
    • sudo raspi-config
    • Select Advanced Options, then select Bootloader Version.
    • Select Latest
    • When asked to Reset boot ROM to defaults, Select No.
    • Go back to Advaced Options Screen and select Boot Order.
    • Select USB Boot and click Ok. Then select Finish (requires reboot).