Why burn an ISO to a hard drive when you can easily do it in Windows?

Use Windows laptop

If you need the data from a disk (e.g. Windows installation disk) but don't want to buy a physical CD, you can use the ISO file instead. An ISO file is a "blueprint" of a floppy disk, meaning it contains all of the data you would find if you bought the physical CD. Manufacturers use ISO files to distribute drivers, software, or operating systems to end users.

While you can format an ISO on a CD, Microsoft Windows 10 comes with a built-in tool that you can use to mount ISO files in the operating system itself. That means you don't have to buy a hard drive if you want to run the ISO. In this article, we're going to show you how to mount ISO images on Windows using PowerShell commands along with some third-party tools.

1. How to use File Explorer to mount ISO images

If you're using Windows 10 or 11, you don't need any third-party software to mount ISO images. You can do anything you need in File Explorer with no additional tools or downloads. Here's how:

  1. Open minded File managerand navigate to the folder where your ISO image is located.

  2. Double click the ISO file assemble it.
  3. After mounting, you'll see it as a new drive under This pc on Windows. Windows will now treat the ISO file like a CD, so use it like a regular floppy disk.

  4. Just like a CD, you can Right click on the drive and choose Eject to unmount the ISO file when you're done. After ejecting the file, you will not see the image on the drive until you mount it again.

Mount ISO files using File Explorer

Alternatively, you can use this method to mount ISO images in File Explorer. To do this, proceed as follows:

  1. Open minded File managerand navigate to the folder where your ISO image is located.

  2. Right click on the file and choose the Assemble Option from the context menu.
  3. After mounting, you'll see it as a new drive under This pc on Windows.

  4. You can Right click on the drive and choose Eject to unmount the ISO file.

  5. Once you're done, you won't see the image on the drive until you mount it again.

Mount ISO files in File Explorer using the context menu

Related: How to Create an ISO Image of Your Windows System

You can also perform the same task from the ribbon. To mount an ISO file in File Explorer using the ribbon, proceed as follows:

  1. Open minded File managerand navigate to the folder where your ISO image is located.

  2. Click the ISO file to select it.
  3. Choose Administer Option in the ribbon of the file explorer.

  4. click on the Assemble Option below.

  5. After mounting, you'll see it as a new drive under This pc on Windows.

  6. You can Right click on the drive and choose Eject to unmount the ISO file. When done, you will not see the image on the drive until you mount it again.

Mount ISO files from the ribbon menu

2. How to use third party software to mount ISO disk image files

If you are running Windows 7 or lower, Windows Disk Image Burner will not be available to you. However, you can still use third party software to mount ISO files on Windows 7 or lower. Some popular ISO assembly tools you can use are:

In this guide, we'll use WinRAR to demonstrate how to mount ISO images.

To extract ISO files using WinRAR, follow the steps below:

  1. Download and install WinRAR on your computer.

  2. Navigate to the location of the ISO file in File manager.

  3. Right click on the ISO file and select Extract to "(FILENAME)".

Extract ISO file with WinRar menu option

This will extract the contents of the ISO image into the ISO file folder. The disk image will not be mounted, but you can extract the contents of the disk image to any location without mounting it.

Related: Best Tools to Open RAR Files

Easily mount ISO files on Windows

Mounting ISO files on Windows 10 or higher is relatively easy compared to previous versions. This is because Windows 10 comes with a native tool in File Explorer.

You can choose any of the above methods to mount ISO images if you are running Windows 10. Although the processes are different, in the end they end the same.

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About the author

Varun Kesari
(16 articles published)

Technology editor. I am an obsessed tinkerer and hesitate about the future. Interested in travel & movies.

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