How to Burn a CD With a Laptop

By Jonathan Keane

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Internal or external disc drive
  • CD-burning software
  • Blank CD-R disc


Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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 5

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

Tips & Warnings

  • You cannot burn from one CD to another CD. The tracks you want to burn must be saved on your device and in your media library. If you want to make a copy of a CD, you need to rip it to your computer first, using the same program you use to burn it.
  • Burn a CD for your own personal use and not for distribution; otherwise, it can be construed as unauthorized copying or copyright infringement.