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How To Open ISO Files

How To Open ISO Files

There isn’t a single answer to how to open ISO files. That’s because there are more ways than just one to do so. But before we list them out, let’s understand what ISO files are. To keep things short, an ISO file is essentially an archive similar to ZIP and RAR formats, otherwise referred to as a disc image. Most ISOs are created from optical discs (not audio CDs) as identical backups of the original. You can even add a compilation of content stored on a computer or an external drive to an image file. Today, we’re going to show you a few methods for accessing content hoarded within this sort of archive. So read on if you’re busy pondering on ways to get an ISO to open.

1. Daemon Tools:

On the top of our list is Daemon Tools, an application that’s not only simple to use, but also pretty effective. Besides delivering a quick way to mount ISO files, this tool allows you to mount multiple types of images including popular ones such as BIN/CUE, APE/CUE, NRG, MDS/MDF, CDI and much more, to a virtual drive. You can create new archives and even burn existing ones to optical discs.

i. To begin, head over to the Downloads tab on the Daemon Tools website.

Note: The company currently offers various versions of the software, but we’re going for the lite edition as it’s free and packs in a host of features.

ii. The link to obtain Daemon Tools Lite is situated in the middle of the page, so scroll down a bit. Depending on the OS your computer runs, Windows or Mac, select the appropriate file and click on the Download button.

Daemon Tools Lite Download

iii. The executable file is just about 13.5MB large and shouldn’t take more than a minute or two to finish downloading via a broadband connection. Once the transfer is complete, run the installer and accept the terms and conditions after agreeing to the license.

iv. Remember when we said the lite version comes at no cost? Well, here’s where you can decide whether you want it for free or you’re okay with shelling out a few bucks.

v. Once the download is complete, the software will automatically install the virtual drive.

vi. Now to open the ISO file, simply run the application, hit the Add Image button and navigate to where the ISO is saved.

Mount ISO 1

vii. You can mount an image through the taskbar itself by right-clicking the application (if it is already running), selecting the Virtual Drive menu, the right drive to open the ISO in and finally mount Image.

Mount ISO 2

viii. The mounted image can be accessed from My Computer and it should appear just besides your optical drive. And that’s pretty much it.

2. WinRAR:


WinRAR is an archive manager that allows you to quickly extract files stored in multiple formats such as CAB, ARJ, JAR, 7Z, ACE, ZIP and RAR. Chances are, you already have this tool installed on your computer. Remember when we first said that ISOs are archives? Well, this software amongst many others can even provide access to the image file in question. However, you need to set it to do so during installation.

– Fresh Install:

i. If you don’t have the application installed, simply head over to the RARLab website and download the most recent stable version. Next, run the installer once the transfer is complete.

WinRAR ISO Setup

ii. On the last page ‘WinRAR Setup,’ tick the checkbox situated just besides ISO.

iii. Now, navigate to any ISO file and simply run it through Explorer or the WinRAR application.

– Modifying the settings to recognize ISO files:

i. If you already have the software installed, then start the tool and head over to the Options followed by the Settings menu or you can also use the Ctrl + S shortcut key.

WinRAR ISO Setup 1

ii. From there, select the Integration tab and tick the checkbook besides ISO to make the application compatible with the image file.

3. Windows 8:

If you’re using Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Release Preview, then Microsoft has just made things all the more convenient for you to extract ISO files. The platform comes with native support for .iso images. This means you can read content stored within these files and even burn them to an optical drive without the use of any third-party application. The latter feature is available on Windows 7 as well. The procedure to get the job done is rather simple and shouldn’t take more than a few clicks.

i. Head to the directory where the ISO file is stored.

ii. Now, click the file and on the top of the window you will see a Disc Image Tools menu. Select it and hit on the Mount button located in the upper left corner of the window.

Mount ISO Windows 8

iii. Another method is to right-click on the desired image file and simply select Mount.


And there you have it – 3 simple and intuitive methods on how to open ISO files. Apart from these, applications like Virtual Clone Drive, MagicISO, PowerISO, ISOBuster and many such tools have similar capabilities as compared to the ones we’ve already mentioned. And they even offer both paid and free subscriptions. So do let us know whether our guide worked out for you. Also, which software is your favorite for mounting an ISO or any other image file for that matter? Do drop in with a comment or two.