How to work with an ISO file?

Every computer user has at least once encountered ISO files. What to do with them, and how do you open them? Sometimes you don’t even need a separate program to open them, but in some cases, you will need different software. What it is and how to work with it are described in our article.

Of course, to play online casino games, you do not need an ISO file, but if you are interested in such topics – you can follow the link. 

What is an ISO file?

Only some understand what extensions mean when they encounter them. It’s a way to store files and folders in one place and can also burn CDs or DVDs. Given the trend away from physical media, encountering a disk image file (ISO files are called) instead of an actual disk is becoming easier and more accessible.

How to open an ISO file on a computer

  • Windows. Some versions of Windows can open ISO files by default, but the deciding factor here is what version of windows you have. So, for example, the now obsolete but occasionally encountered Windows XP and Vista need to learn how to handle disc image files. For them, ISO is an unknown format, and they can only interact with individual programs.
  • With Windows 7, the situation is different: this operating system has a built-in tool that knows how to burn ISO files to CDs and DVDs. So if your system has a floppy drive and your goal is to burn an image of a file to a disk, you can get by with the built-in tools.
  • Since windows 8, there have been built-in tools for mounting ISO files in Microsoft’s operating system. The system has learned to recognize such files and open them as folders. So those who have Windows 8, 8.1, 10, or 11 installed don’t need any additional software to open disk image files any more. To work with ISO files on modern versions of Windows, you need to double-click on the file with the left mouse button. You can also select the file and, by right-clicking, select “Open.” The disk image file will then open as an ordinary folder.
  • macOS. macOS has long had a built-in DiskImageMounter utility for opening iso, which automatically launches when the user tries to access the file through the Finder or selects the “Open” context menu item when accessing a disk image.
  • Linux. The situation with ISO files is similar in popular Linux distributions, which can work with disk images using standard system tools. They do not require any additional software. For example, with most graphical interfaces, you must right-click on the file and select the “Mount archive” context menu item. In this case, the ISO image of the disk will be mounted into a virtual drive and become similar to the disk drive connected to your computer. You can also use the “Open with…” item and select “Archive Manager.” It will make the ISO image viewable as a folder.

How to open an ISO file using archivers

It is popular to unpack archives instead of mounting disk images when working with ISO files. To do this, download one of the free archivers that will help you quickly access the files contained in the disc image.


As with ordinary archives, the popular archiver WinRAR easily opens files with the .iso extension. Then the disk image will appear as a regular zipped folder that you can open and extract all the files you are interested in.

To do this, right-click on the ISO file and select “Open in WinRAR.” If you did not agree to add the program functionality to the context menu when installing the archiver, you would have to use the “Open with” menu and choose the archiver.

After that, you can drag individual files to the right place on your computer or extract the entire contents of a disk image. To do that, select the icon labeled “Extract” in the archiver’s interface and specify where the program will place the objects from the image.


The 7-Zip archiver is also popular. This free program allows you to work with archives and disk images in .iso format conveniently.

To access the contents of a disk image, install 7-Zip, right-click on the file in a supported format and run the program. In some cases, the “Open Archive in 7-Zip” function is already included in the context menu, but you can also do it from the interface using a similar button.

How to open an ISO file using specialized software

Daemon Tools Lite

Daemon Tools Lite is a free version of the well-known program Daemon Tools, which is designed to emulate virtual drives and work with disk images. Its limitation is that, unlike the paid edition, the user is limited by the system’s four simultaneously possible virtual drives.

One way to open an ISO file in Daemon Tools Lite is through the context menu of Windows. It is enough to right-click on the file and select “Mount.” Then a virtual disk drive will appear in your system through which you can retrieve data from the disk.

If your version of daemon Tools Lite does not support the Windows context menu, you can go into the program itself and manually create a virtual drive and then load the image into it. To do that, go to DT Lite, select “Create Drive,” then find your image among the folders and load it into the created drive.


The utility UltraISO is similar in its functionality to Daemon Tools Lite: it is free, and lets you create, edit and open disk images and virtual drives, burn photos to actual CDs and DVDs, and create bootable flash drives.

To open an ISO file in UltraISO, you must launch the application. Then in the top “File” menu, find the “Open” item and see the desired image. The program will download the content and display it in its interface.

After that, you can do different things with the disk image. 

What program to open an ISO file on Android

In general, in the user’s everyday work with the device on the Android operating system, there should not be a need to open files in iso format. But given the possibilities this relatively open operating system gives its users, such a need may arise.

Here’s an easy one: ISO Extractor is the most popular (and free) application for opening ISO files on Android, which can be easily downloaded from the Google Play Store.


By default, all modern operating systems for computers know how to open ISO files and work with their contents. If you have the current version of Windows, macOS, or a widespread Linux distribution installed, you can work with the disk image directly from the system.

If there is some more complicated task like burning the image contents to an actual CD or DVD or creating your virtual drive and opening the disk “for real,” you should use a particular program. Fortunately, free solutions like Daemon Tools Lite or UltraISO allow you to do this.

Even on mobile devices running Android, you can easily open a disc image, although you will have to use a separate application for this.

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