How to Boot Raspberry Pi 4 / 400 From a USB SSD or Flash Drive

Editor’s Note (7/24/2021): We have updated this tutorial to include how you can boot your Raspberry Pi 400 from USB.

By default, Raspberry Pi boots up and stores all of its programs on a microSD memory card, which has a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 50 MBps on the Raspberry Pi 4 and just 25 MBps on prior models. In real-life, even the best microSD cards for Raspberry Pi get no faster than about 38 MBps in sequential writes.  Using an external SSD as your main storage drive could speed things up significantly and, with a few commands and a simple firmware update, you can do just that.  

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