This MiniTool’s tutorial walks you through the process of installing NOOBS on SD card so that you can set up an operating system on your Raspberry Pi with fewer efforts. Certainly, the question “what is NOOBS Raspberry Pi” is also answered in this tutorial. Check this tutorial now.

About Installing NOOBS on SD Card for Raspberry Pi

When you load the SD card with NOOBS onto your Raspberry Pi, an interface will appear where many operating systems are available. BOONS allows you to choose an OS, download additional ones from the internet, and install them directly onto your Raspberry Pi. So, it is recommended to use NOOBS to set up an OS on a Raspberry Pi. Well, how to install NOOBS on SD card Raspberry Pi?

As to installing NOOBS on SD card for Raspberry Pi, three steps need to be performed. First of all, you need to prepare an SD card; then, you need to download and install NOOBS on the SD card; finally, install Raspberry Pi OS from NOOBS.

Note: The first two steps can be omitted because the SD card with NOOBS already pre-installed is available on the market.

an SD card with NOOBS installed

Scroll down to see the details about how to install NOOBS on SD card Raspberry Pi.

Step 1: Prepare an SD Card

The SD card for NOOBS installation should meet the following requirements:

  • It is an empty SD card with a minimum of 8GB storage capacity.
  • The SD card should be formatted to the FAT32 file system.
  • (Optional) a class 10 SD card with a minimum of 8GB storage capacity is ideal for optimal performance.

In other words, you need to prepare an empty and FAT32 formatted SD card with a minimum of 8GB storage capacity.

So, first, check the information on the SD card to see whether it has 8GB of storage capacity or higher.

Then, check whether it is empty. If there are some important files, transfer them to another storage device. See: How to See What’s Stored on SD Card & Recover Missing Files?

Finally, check its file system. In respect of the file system, generally, SD cards are formatted to the FAT32 file system. To make sure whether your SD card is using the FAT32 file system, do the followings:

  1. Connect your SD card to a computer (here take Windows computer for example) via the SD card slot or an SD card reader.
  2. Press Windows + E to open File Explorer. On the File Explorer window, locate your SD card and right-click it to choose the Properties option.
  3. On the Properties window, check if the information following the File system is displayed as FAT32.
  4. Click the OK button to exit the window.

check the file system

If not, you need to reformat the SD card. This is not only for getting the FAT32 file system but also for generating empty space.

To reformat an SD card to FAT32, you can try MiniTool Partition Wizard. MiniTool Partition Wizard is a handy and flexible SD card formatter — it breaks the limit that Windows cannot format the disk to FAT32 because the disk is larger than 32GB. More surprisingly, MiniTool Partition Wizard can complete the conversion between NTFS and FAT32 without data loss and check file system errors.

Therefore, if your SD card for NOOBS installation is larger than 32GB, MiniTool Partition Wizard comes to be helpful.

Free Download

  1. Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to access its user interface on which you can see lots of functions.
  2. Highlight the SD card in the disk map and choose the Format Partition feature from the left side.
  3. Choose FAT32 as the target file system and then click the OK button to confirm.
  4. Click the Apply button on the user interface to start formatting the SD card to FAT32.

format an SD card to FAT32

How to get an empty and FAT32 formatted SD card for installing NOOBS? I cope with that easily with the help of MiniTool Partition Wizard, and I recommended it to you.Click to Tweet

Certainly, you have other choices if your SD card is smaller than 32GB. For example, you can cope with this formatting task with Disk Management. The steps go like this:

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on the taskbar and then choose the Disk Management option from the menu.
  2. Find your SD card partition on the Disk Management window and right-click it to choose the Format option.
  3. On the small window, set the file system to FAT32 and then click the OK button.
  4. Click the OK button to confirm this operation.

format an SD card via Disk Management

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Step 2: Download and Install NOOBS on SD Card

What is NOOBS Raspberry Pi? NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) is an OS installation program created by Raspberry Pi and released in June 2013. It has two variants: NOOBS and NOOBS Lite.

The variant NOOBS comes with an installer for the Raspbian operating system and LibreELEC operating system and allows you to download and install other different operating systems from the Internet. Due to that, NOOBS makes it easy for you to test multiple operating systems — you do not need to remove one and then install another from your SD card.

available operating systems on NOOBS

The other variant NOOBS Lite is a light version that provides a menu to choose Raspbian and other operating systems, but it must be downloaded and installed from scratch.

Well, how to install NOOBS on SD card Raspberry Pi? Follow the guide below.

Step 1: Download NOOBS.

NOOBS is not available on the Raspberry Pi Foundation website. The reason for that may be for the new software promotion — In 2020, the Raspberry Pi foundation announced the release of Raspberry Pi Imager to set up its operating systems on its Raspberry Pi. See I tested for you: Raspberry Pi imager.

Although NOOBS is unavailable on the Raspberry Pi Foundation website, you can go to the GitHub website to get NOOBS. The download package is large (about 2.6GB) and takes several minutes to download, so wait for it patiently.

get NOOBS Raspberry pi from GitHub

Step 2: Extract the contents from the download package to your SD card.

  1. Locate the download package on your computer.
  2. Decompress it by right-clicking it and choosing the Extract All option.
  3. Wait for the decompression to finish.
  4. Open the decompressed folder, select all contents and copy and paste them to the SD card.
  5. When the transfer comes to an end, right-click your SD card and choose the Eject option to disconnect the SD card from your computer.

open the decompressed folder

Step 3: Set up OS onto Raspberry Pi Using NOOBS

Now prepare a keyboard, mouse, and HDMI cable and plug them into your Raspberry Pi. Then, insert the SD card with NOOBS installed into the microSD card slot on the underside of your Raspberry Pi and connect the Raspberry Pi’s power supply.

Raspberry Pi configuration

Your Raspberry Pi will now boot into NOOBS, and NOOBS has a simple interface as follows.

NOOBS interface

On the NOOBS interface, you can see several buttons and a list of operating systems.

Included buttons:

  • Install (i): this allows you to install the operating system(s) you select from the list.
  • Edit config (e): this allows you to open the config.txt with the included text editor and to be capable to change the configuration of the systems.
  • Wifi networks (w): this allows you to connect to a WiFi network to download additional operating systems.

Included operating systems:

In terms of availability, the included operating systems can be divided into two types:

  • The operating systems with an SD card icon: are available straight from your SD card.
  • The operating systems with an ethernet cable icon: are available and downloadable when your Raspberry Pi is connected to a WiFi network.

After making note of these buttons and operating systems, you can try to set up an operating system or more on your Raspberry Pi as follows.

Step 1: (Optional) Connect your Raspberry Pi to the Internet if you want to have an extended list of operating systems.

To do so, you can use an ethernet cable or via a WiFi network. As aforementioned, the Wifi network button is for wireless network connection. So, you can click this button, enter the password for your WiFi network in the specified field, and click the OK button to confirm this network connection.

Step 2: Find the operating system you want to install on your Raspberry Pi and tick the checkbox next to it.

Step 3: Click the Install button to install the operating system. Then, click the Yes button on the warning window, which will overwrite all existing data on the SD card, including the installed OSes.

the warning window

Step 4: The installation procedure will start and it takes several minutes. So, wait patiently.

Step 5: Click the OK button on the confirmation window that appears with the message saying “OS(es) Installed Successfully” when the installation is completed.

the confirmation window

Now you can reboot your Raspberry Pi, and once your Pi reboots, you can use it.

How to complete installing NOOBS on SD card? I find a three-step guide and would like to share it with you guys who want to set up an operating system on Raspberry Pi easily. It could be helpful to you.Click to Tweet

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Bottom Line

How to install NOOBS on SD card Raspberry Pi? You just need to complete three steps: 1). prepare an empty and FAT32 formatted SD card with a minimum of 8GB storage capacity; 2). download NOOBS and extract all files to the SD card; 3). set up an operating system or more on Raspberry Pi with NOOBS.

The three-step guide has been displayed in the above content, and you can follow it to finish installing NOOBS on SD card. If you have any problems with installing NOOBS on SD card, please leave them below, and I will reply to you soon enough.

In this guide, MiniTool Partition Wizard is shared with you to format the SD card for installing NOOBS. If there is something unclear when you use this SD card formatting tool, please send an email to MiniTool via [email protected], and you will get an instant reply.

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