What are ISO files and How to extract iso files, burn and mount them


The Windows File Explorer lets you burn disc image files to a DVD

By Robert Kingsley Robert Kingsley Writer ITT Technical Institute Robert Kingsley is a former Lifewire writer who specializes in technology. He has worked as an IT support engineer, installing, configuring, and maintaining Windows computers. lifewire’s editorial guidelines Updated on September 10, 2020

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How To Mount a Disc Image

With Windows 10, the mounting or burning of a disc image is a breeze. Click on Start > File Explorer and browse for the desired ISO or IMG file. Right-click on the disc image and select the desired option:

Mount: this option allows you to “load” the ISO file to a virtual drive. – Burn disc image: this option allows you to burn the content of the ISO file to a CD/DVD:


How To Mount An ISO Image File

Mounting an ISO image file “tricks” your computer into thinking that the file is an actual disc.  For example, if you’re playing a video game that requires its original disc, you can create and mount the ISO image file of that disc to play the game instead of inserting the physical disc.

When you mount an ISO image file, Windows will create a virtual drive for the file the same way a drive is created for a physical disc. This way, you can play a video game, install an application, watch a movie or listen to music from the ISO file without burning any data to a physical disc.

How To Mount An ISO Image File On Windows 10 And MacOS

You can mount an ISO image file natively by double-clicking on the ISO image file. 

You can also use the File Explorer app to mount an ISO image file on Windows 10.

  1. Open File Explorer and select the ISO image file you want to mount. Click the Disc Image Tools tab. The Disc Image Tools tab only appears when you select the ISO image file.
  1. Click Mount in the upper left side. Windows will immediately create and open the contents of the ISO image file.
  1. In the left pane of the File Explorer window, click This PC, and you’ll see the virtual drive appear alongside other drives on your PC’s system. You can copy files from the ISO image file to your hard drive, and do whatever you want with the files.
  1. To unmount the ISO image file in Windows, right-click on the virtual drive in File Explorer and click Eject.

To mount an ISO image file on your Mac computer, just double-click on the file. You can also mount an ISO image file on macOS by opening up Disk Utility and going to File > Open Disk Image, or opening up a Terminal window and typing hdiutil mount filename.iso.

Windows USB/DVD Download Tool

Another option that gives you the ability to burn the ISO to a disc or copy it to a USB is the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, a free Microsoft utility. This tool copies the contents of the ISO file to a CD, DVD, or USB drive so you can then install the program from the disc or USB drive, which becomes bootable.

This is a good method if you want to install Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 on a clean computer or as part of a dual-boot setup. Microsoft no longer offers this utility on its website, but you can still find it at other sites, including FileHippo and Major Geeks.

After you download the Windows7-USB-DVD-Download-Tool-Installer.exe file, right-click on it and choose the Run as Administrator option. Once the installation is complete, launch the tool, then browse to and choose the ISO file you wish to burn. Click Next, then choose either a USB device or a DVD.


If you choose USB, the next screen asks you to insert the USB media. If you have more than one USB drive plugged into your PC, make sure to choose the correct one. Click Begin copying to copy the file onto the drive.

If the USB drive still contains data, it will be erased. Click Erase USB Drive to make room for the Windows files. After the files have been copied, the tool will tell you that the Bootable USB device was created successfully. You can then use your USB device to install the program.


If you choose a DVD, insert a blank DVD into your drive and click Begin burning. The tool will inform you once the DVD has been successfully burned. You can now use your bootable DVD to install the program.

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Mount ISO by using the Right-Click

If you don’t want to use the Manage tab, you can just use the right-click method.

Just go to the file which you want to mount and right click on it. You will see an option “Mount.” Just click it and the image file of the disc will be mounted.

After the mounting process, the file appears as th

After the mounting process, the file appears as the disk drive in the PC or Computer. It is same as when you insert a physical disk in your laptop or computer, and it shows up on the PC or My Computer. You can double click this disc and use the contents. Such is the power of mounting a disk drive in Windows 10.

How to unmount ISO in Windows 10

If you have used the content and installed the software from the disk drive and now want to unmount disk Windows 10, just right-click on the mounted image and click on the “Eject” button.

This is same as ejecting a disk drive which you in

This is same as ejecting a disk drive which you inserted in your computer. As soon as you click on Eject, the disk image will be unmounted.

Burn An ISO Image To Disc On MacOS

There are three different ways to burn an ISO image file for free on macOS:

  • Finder application
  • Disk Utility
  • A Command Line or hdiutil in Terminal

Burn An ISO Image Using Finder Application

  1. Open Finder and look for the ISO file. Click once to select the file, and then click File > Burn Disk Image (file name) to disc option.  You can also right-click the ISO file and select Burn Disk Image.
  1. Insert a blank disc into the drive and click Burn to start burning the ISO file to the disc.

Burn An ISO Image To Disc Using Disk Utility

  1. Click Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility to open the utility.
  2. Click File > Open Disk Image. You’ll see the available drives listed by name in the left pane.
  1. Insert a blank disc into the Mac drive. Click Action > Open Disk Utility > OK.
  1. In the Disk Utility (Super Drive) window, drag the ISO (.iso or .dmg) file from a Finder window or from your desktop into the Disk Utility window. Drop the file in an empty area in the left pane below Mac drive names.   
  2. Select the ISO file in the left pane and click Burn at the upper left side.
  1. The Burn Disc In: window will show the destination for the file i.e. the blank disc. Click Burn.
  1. Once the burning process is complete, the disc will be automatically ejected from the drive. You’ll also receive a message that the ISO image was burned successfully. Click OK to exit.

Burn An ISO Image To Disc Using Terminal

  1. Move your ISO image file to the desktop or any location that’s easier for you to find, and insert a blank disc into the Mac drive.
  2. Open Terminal from Finder by clicking Applications > Utilities,and then double-click Terminal. You can also click the Launchpad icon in the Dock and enter Terminal in the search box.
  1. Type the command: hdiutil burn ~/PathToYourISOFilename.iso. The ISO image file will start burning onto the disc you inserted. Click Return.

Mount the ISO File in Windows 7

The Mount command is available only in Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. If you’re running Windows 7, you can instead turn to a free virtual drive utility, such as Virtual CloneDrive. After installation, open Windows Explorer in Windows 7 and right-click the ISO file you wish to install. From the pop-up menu, click the Mount (Virtual CloneDrive) command.

The virtual drive is created. A small window pops up asking if you want to run the setup file or open the folder for the virtual drive. Choose the option to run the setup file.

The installation then proceeds. After the program has installed, right-click on the ISO file in Windows Explorer and click Unmount from the pop-up menu to remove the virtual drive.

How to burn ISO image to disc

Now comes burning an iso image to a CD or DVD. There are a number of image burning tools available for that purpose. We will use a popular one – Imgburn.

1. Download and install Imgburn on your computer. Open the application.

2. Click on “Write image file to disc”.

3. Now select the ISO file by clicking on folder i

3. Now select the ISO file by clicking on folder icon given under “Source”. After selecting correct destination drive, writing speed and number of copies click on the image file to disc icon (check the screenshot below) to start the disc burning process. Check the verify option if you want to verify disc after burning.

If you are using rewritable disc and it already ha

If you are using rewritable disc and it already has some data inside it then it will warn you to erase your data before starting the burn process.

After confirmation, Imgburn will start burning the

After confirmation, Imgburn will start burning the ISO image file to disc. You can see the status on the window.

After completion, it will eject the disc tray. Insert the disc again and it will start verifying the data on disc. It will take some time depending upon size of CD/DVD to verify the data.

After completion a small pop up window will appear

After completion a small pop up window will appear with a sound alert confirming it.

How to Burn an ISO File in Windows 8 or Windows 10

How to Burn an ISO File in Windows 8 or Windows 10

To burn your ISO file to a disc in Windows:

  1. Insert a disc into your disc drive.

    Make sure you pick a disc that matches the original format. For example, don't try to burn a DVD image to a CD-R.

  2. Select the ISO file you want to mount in the File Explorer, then select the Disc Image Tools tab at the top of the window.

  3. Select Burn in the top-left corner.

  4. Select your disc burner, then select Burn.

    You have the option to select Verify disc after burning to make sure no files were corrupted. This will add considerable time to the process.