How to Mount and Install ISO Disc Image Files in Windows 10

What is an ISO File?

An ISO file, also known as an ISO image, is an archive file containing the exact copy of the data and file system of an optical disc like a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray. It allows you to access the files and programs on a disc without requiring the physical disc.

ISO files are commonly used for:

  • Backing up optical discs
  • Distributing software programs and operating systems
  • Transferring files between computers

Some key features of ISO files:

  • They are exact sector-by-sector copies of optical discs with no compression
  • They replicate the file system allowing files on the image to be accessed
  • They can contain up to 8 levels of nested subdirectories
  • Maximum file name length is 32 characters
  • File size is limited to 650MB for a standard CD

Mounting ISO Files in Windows 10

Windows 10 has built-in support for mounting ISO disc images, allowing you to access them like virtual CD/DVD drives without requiring any additional software. Here are 3 ways to mount an ISO file in Windows 10:

1. Double-click the ISO file

Simply double-click on the ISO file to mount it. A virtual drive will appear allowing you to access the contents.

Note: This will not work if you have another program set as the default for opening ISO files.

2. Right-click Mount

Right-click on the ISO file, hover over “Open with” and choose “Mount”. This will mount the ISO image and open the virtual drive.

3. Use Disk Image Tools

Select the ISO file and click the “Disk Image Tools” tab in File Explorer. Click “Mount” to mount the ISO virtual drive.

To unmount an ISO when done, right-click the virtual drive and select “Eject”.

Installing Programs from ISO Files

Many software programs and operating systems are distributed as ISO disc images. Once mounted, an ISO image can be installed just like inserting an actual CD/DVD.

To install software from an ISO image:

  1. Mount the ISO file using any of the methods described above
  2. Open the virtual drive that appears
  3. Locate and double-click the “Setup” file
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to install the program

If the ISO contains an operating system installer, you’ll need to burn it to a DVD/USB or select it in your computer’s boot menu to start the installation.

Burning ISO Files to DVD/USB

To create physical media from an ISO file, you can burn it to a DVD, CD or USB flash drive. This allows you to install programs on systems without internet access.

Burn ISO File to DVD/CD

  1. Insert a blank DVD/CD into your computer
  2. Right-click the ISO file and select “Burn disc image”
  3. Choose the drive to burn to
  4. Click “Burn” and wait for completion

Burn ISO File to USB

  1. Connect a blank USB flash drive with sufficient storage
  2. Launch Windows Media Creation Tool
  3. Select “Create installation media for another PC”
  4. Choose “ISO file” and select your image
  5. Select USB flash drive and choose your drive
  6. Accept the warning and click “Finish”

The ISO file will be burned to the DVD/USB, creating bootable installation media.


ISO files allow you to easily archive, transfer and install discs without requiring the physical media. Windows 10 supports mounting ISOs to access them like virtual drives.

They enable simple distribution of software programs over the internet. And give you backup copies of your discs for safekeeping.

With the built-in functionality of Windows 10, working with ISO files is straightforward. So utilize them for managing your software discs and installations.