How to Burn a CD With a Laptop

Burning a CD is a common and easy task, useful for backing up files or music in case something goes awry with your computer or MP3 player. To burn a CD, your computer or laptop needs a disc drive; if your computer doesn't have an internal disc drive, you can purchase an external one in most computer and electronics retail stores. You also need a program to burn your CD and to provide a way to choose the tracks you want to put on it. Windows 8 Media Player, for example, comes preinstalled on your computer; if you’re a Mac user, you can use iTunes. You can also download free software for ripping and burning CDs. Finally, you need a blank CD-R -- a recordable CD -- which can be purchased in packs of 10, 20 or more. CD-Rs typically hold up to 80 minutes of audio or 700MB of data.

colorful compact discs set of DVD scattered on a table
Burning a CD is a simple and straightforward task.
credit: Casanowe/iStock/Getty Images

Instructions

Step

Insert a CD-R into the internal or external disc drive.

Step

Drag and drop the songs you want to burn into the right column of Windows Media Player to create the burn list.

Step

Arrange the tracks in the burn list to your liking by using drag and drop.

Step

Click the “Burn” button or whatever variation of the button appears in your program. Depending on the number of tracks and amount of data you are burning, the process can take a couple of minutes.

Step

Remove the burned CD from the disc drive when the program indicates it is finished.