How to Finalize a DVD-R Disc

By Jason Artman

Windows 7 has the built-in ability to back up data to a DVD-R using a simple drag-and-drop system that allows you to add additional files to the disc later if you did not fill it up during the first backup session. However, this disc burning method uses a special file system that some older computers and standalone DVD players may not be compatible with. To make a disc burned in Windows 7 compatible with older computers and DVD players, finalize the disc after burning it so that no further data can be added.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank DVD-R

Step 1

Insert a DVD-R into your computer's DVD burner. After a moment, the disc will spin up and Windows 7 will display a dialog box asking what you would like to do. Choose "Burn files to disc using Windows Explorer." Note that you also can force the dialog box to appear by clicking the Windows logo at the bottom of the screen, selecting the "Computer" icon and double-clicking the DVD burner icon.

Step 2

Enter a title describing the content that you intend to put on the DVD-R. Select the radio button titled "With a CD/DVD player" to indicate that you want Windows to finalize the disc when you are finished burning it, then click the "Next" button. A file explorer window will open.

Step 3

Drag the files that you would like the DVD-R to include and drop them into the open file explorer window.

Step 4

Click the "Burn to Disc" button at the top of the file explorer window when you have added every file that you want to back up to the DVD-R. Windows will burn the DVD, including the selected files, and finalize the disc so it will function in an older computer or standalone DVD player.