Installing NOOBS on an SD card isn’t hard, but it also isn’t necessary. If you’d like, you can choose to buy an SD card that comes pre-loaded with NOOBS. If you go that route, you can skip all the way to the final step!
If you want to do things yourself, though, just read on.
What you’ll need to install NOOBS on the Raspberry Pi
This project is pretty simple. Besides your Raspberry Pi and essential peripherals, here’s all you’ll need:
- A computer with an SD card slot
- An SD or microSD card of at least 8 GB
Step 1: Download NOOBS and extract it
You’re going to use your computer to put NOOBS on an SD card – so step one is to get NOOBS onto your computer!
The NOOBS download page will let you choose between NOOBS and “NOOBS Lite.” NOOBS includes a full version of Raspbian, so you can install that particular operating system without using the internet at all. With NOOBS Lite, on the other hand, you’ll need a network connection to install any of the operating systems NOOBS makes available – even Raspbian.
Go ahead and choose whichever version you would like. NOOBS will download as a .zip file, so before you do anything else, go ahead and extract it.
Step 2: Format an SD card
Now you’re going to want to go ahead and stick your SD card into the corresponding slot on your computer. You’re going to want to format it as FAT. There are a few ways to do this:
On Mac or Windows, use the SD Association’s Formatting Tool (Mac users can also just use the disk utility). Make sure the “Format size adjustment” option is set to “on.” Then erase it in FAT (or MS-DOS) format.
Step 3: Put the NOOBS files on the SD card
Now, just drag and drop the NOOBS files into your newly formatted SD card. You want the files only, so if your .zip extracted to a folder, open that folder up and select only the stuff inside of it.
Step 4: Put your SD card into your Raspberry Pi and boot it up
Once you have NOOBS on your SD card, using it is incredibly easy. Just put the SD card into your Raspberry Pi and start that sucker up. As we said before, while this guide is called “How to install NOOBS on the Raspberry Pi,” the endgame here is actually to install an operating system like Raspbian, LibreELEC, OSMC, or any of the others NOOBS gives you access to.