How to Install Ubuntu Alongside With Windows 10 or 8 in Dual-Boot

This tutorial will guide you on how you can perform the installation of Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 19.04, Ubuntu 18.10, or Ubuntu 18.04 in dual-boot with a Microsoft Operating System on machines that come pre-installed with Windows 10.

This guide assumes that your machine comes pre-installed with Windows 10 OS or an older version of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows 8.1 or 8.

In case your hardware uses UEFI then you should modify the EFI settings and disable Secure Boot feature.

If your computer has no other Operating System already installed and you plan to use a Windows variant alongside Ubuntu, you should first install Microsoft Windows and then proceed with Ubuntu installation.

In this particular case, on Windows installation steps, when formatting the hard disk, you should allocate a free space on the disk with at least 20 GB in size in order to use it later as a partition for Ubuntu installation.


Download Ubuntu ISO Image as per your system architecture using the following link:

  1. Download Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop
  2. Download Ubuntu 19.04 Desktop
  3. Download Ubuntu 18.10 Desktop
  4. Download Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop

Step 1: Prepare Windows Machine for Dual-Boot

1. The first thing you need to take care of is to create free space on the computer hard disk in case the system is installed on a single partition.

Log in to your Windows machine with an administrative account and right-click on the Start Menu -> Command Prompt (Admin) in order to enter Windows Command-Line.

Preparing Windows for Dual Boot with Ubuntu

Preparing Windows for Dual Boot with Ubuntu

2. Once in CLI, type diskmgmt.msc on prompt and the Disk Management utility should open. From here, right-click on C: the partition and select Shrink Volume in order to resize the partition.

Shrink Volume to Resize Windows Partition

Shrink Volume to Resize Windows Partition

3. On Shrink C: enter a value on space to shrink in MB (use at least 20000 MB depending on the C: partition size) and hit Shrink to start partition resize as illustrated below (the value of space shrink from below image is lower and only used for demonstration purposes).

Once space has been resized you will see a new unallocated space on the hard drive. Leave it as default and reboot the computer in order to proceed with the Ubuntu installation.

Create Windows Partition for Ubuntu Installation

Create Windows Partition for Ubuntu Installation

Windows Partition for Dual Boot Ubuntu Installation

Windows Partition for Dual Boot Ubuntu Installation

Step 2: Install Ubuntu with Windows Dual-Boot

4. For the purpose of this article, We will be installing Ubuntu 19.04 alongside with Windows dual boot (you can use any Ubuntu release for installation). Go the download link from the topic description and grab Ubuntu Desktop 19.04 ISO image.

Burn the image to a DVD or create a bootable USB stick using a utility such as Universal USB Installer (BIOS compatible) or Rufus (UEFI compatible).

Place the USB stick or DVD in the appropriate drive, reboot the machine and instruct the BIOS/UEFI to boot-up from the DVD/USB by pressing a special function key (usually F12, F10 or F2 depending on the vendor specifications).

Once the media boot-up a new grub screen should appear on your monitor. From the menu select Install Ubuntu and hit Enter to continue.

Ubuntu Boot Screen

Ubuntu Boot Screen

5. After the boot media finishes loading into RAM you will end-up with a completely functional Ubuntu system running in live-mode.

On the Launcher hit on the second icon from top, Install Ubuntu 19.04 LTS, and the installer utility will start. Choose the language you wish to perform the installation and click on the Continue button to proceed further.

Select Ubuntu Installation Language

Select Ubuntu Installation Language

6. Next, choose the first option “Normal Installation” and hit on the Continue button again.

Select Ubuntu Normal Installation

Select Ubuntu Normal Installation

7. Now it’s time to select an Installation Type. You can choose to Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager, an option that will automatically take care of all the partition steps.

Use this option if you don’t require a personalized partition scheme. In case you want a custom partition layout, check the Something else option and hit on the Continue button to proceed further.

The option Erase disk and install Ubuntu should be avoided on dual-boot because is potentially dangerous and will wipe out your disk.

Select Ubuntu Installation Type

Select Ubuntu Installation Type

8. On this step, we’ll create our custom partition layout for Ubuntu. This guide will recommend that you create two partitions, one for root and the other for home accounts data and no partition for swap (use a swap partition only if you have limited RAM resources or you use a fast SSD).

To create the first partition, the root partition, select the free space (the shrinking space from Windows created earlier) and hit on the + icon below. On partition settings use the following configurations and hit OK to apply changes:

  1. Size = at least 20000 MB
  2. Type for the new partition = Primary
  3. Location for the new partition = Beginning
  4. Use as = EXT4 journaling file system
  5. Mount point = /
Create Ubuntu Root Partition

Create Ubuntu Root Partition

Root Partition Settings

Root Partition Settings

Create the home partition using the same steps as above. Use all the available free space left for the home partition size. The partition settings should look like this:

  1. Size = all remaining free space
  2. Type for the new partition = Primary
  3. Location for the new partition = Beginning
  4. Use as = EXT4 journaling file system
  5. Mount point = /home
Create Home Partition

Create Home Partition

9. When finished, hit the Install Now button in order to apply changes to disk and start the installation process.

A pop-up window should appear to inform you about swap space. Ignore the alert by pressing on the Continue button.

Next, a new pop-up window will ask you if you agree with committing changes to disk. Hit Continue to write changes to disk and the installation process will now start.

Confirm Partition Changes

Confirm Partition Changes

10. On the next screen adjust your machine physical location by selecting a city nearby from the map. When done hit Continue to move ahead.

Select City Location

Select City Location

11. Pick up a username and password for your administrative sudo account, enter a descriptive name for your computer and hit Continue to finalize the installation.

These are all the settings required for customizing the Ubuntu installation. From here on the installation process will run automatically until it reaches the end.

Create Ubuntu User Account

Create Ubuntu User Account

Ubuntu Installation Process

Ubuntu Installation Process

12. After the installation process reaches its end hit on the Restart Now button in order to complete the installation.

The machine will reboot into the Grub menu, where for ten seconds, you will be presented to choose what OS you wish to use further: Ubuntu 19.04 or Microsoft Windows.

Ubuntu is designated as default OS to boot from. Thus, just press Enter key or wait for those 10 seconds timeout to drain.

Ubuntu Installation Completed

Ubuntu Installation Completed

Ubuntu Windows Dual Boot Grub Menu

Ubuntu Windows Dual Boot Grub Menu

13. After Ubuntu finishes loading, login with the credentials created during the installation process, and enjoy it. Ubuntu provides NTFS file system support automatically so you can access the files from Windows partitions just by clicking on the Windows volume.

Ubuntu Login Screen

Ubuntu Login Screen

Access Windows Partition from Ubuntu

Access Windows Partition from Ubuntu

That’s it! In case you need to switch back to Windows, just reboot the computer and select Windows from the Grub menu.

If you want to install some additional software packages and customize Ubuntu, then read our article Top 20 Things to Do After Ubuntu Installation.

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359 Responses

  1. pointless says:

    well, this dude is instructing people to install ubuntu alongside windows via BIOS, yet his screenshots were taken from oracle”s VirtualBox.

  2. Larry Davis says:

    I am a total noob to Ubuntu, please be gentle…

    This looks easy but doesn’t work for me. (dual boot with Win 10 ).

    I successfully shrunk my HD to free up 100 Gb, BUT – it doesn’t find Win 10 – there is NO option to install Ubuntu with Win 10.

    I WAS able to create the root partition (30 Gb), BUT: The remaining space ( 54 Gb) is marked “unusable” and the + and - signs are greyed out, so:

    I can’t bring up the “create partition” window to move to the next step. If I hit Install now on the “unuseable” it says “no EFI partition” and wants me to add it.

    I have no idea how to proceed, any help would be much appreciated!

  3. Geo says:

    Thanks a lot!

  4. Nicola says:

    Hi, and thank you for your useful tutorial.

    I’m just trying it on a brand new Dell XPS 15 where I want to install Ubuntu Studio alongside with the already installed Windows 10 but, after booting with my Ubuntu USB stick, the ubuntu installer doesn’t seem to detect the already present Windows OS neither it shows me the shrinked partition I’ve created.

    It seems my USB stick is not able to see the internal SSD drive.

    How to solve?

    Is it maybe a BIOS boot option I’ve to change?

    Thank you so mush for your help

  5. Harsh Seth says:

    I did the “shrink” option for Ubuntu, but when I’m going to install Ubuntu, I’m unable to access that partition. Its name is “unusable” in the install process. Please help me with it.

    • Vcxz says:

      Maybe your partition sector mode is MBR, while you’re using MBR you’re not able to define more than four primary partitions.

  6. Alireza says:

    Is it possible to install Ubuntu on sdcard? My internal emmc isn’t enough to shrink (32gb) so I decided to install Ubuntu on sdcard, but after installation, I have an issue : minimal bash-like line editing is supported..

  7. Dr. Girish K Deshpande says:

    Dear article writer, Thank you very much. You have described it all in such a depth and details, I didn’t need anything else to refer to!

    Thank you so much. You made it all very easy and painless.

    Thanks again and again

    • Dr. Girish K Deshpande says:

      There is one major point to be added. If you’re using Windows and additionally you’re installing Ubuntu 18.04, you need to first create an efi partition preferably of 200mb. Select type as efi system partition. Then create root and if you’re not exceeding limit of maximum four partitions, you can add home partition, otherwise you have to get satisfied with the root alone. You can use Windows partitions though.

  8. Adam Muiz says:

    Hi, Please reply..

    When i Shrink Volume in D: will my file in that directory will be formatted and deleted ?

    Thanks for complete tutorial

  9. Afonso says:

    How can I put the /home inside the same partition as / ?

    Is it possible?

    Thank you

  10. Anup says:

    Ubuntu is not even showing up at booting even after pressing F12. Can someone give me a solution this problem. Thanks

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