How to Open a File With an Extension ISO

By Candace Benson

Files with the extension ISO contain a CD or DVD's data and file structure. In order to open an ISO file, you will need to download and install specialized software. There are a number of programs that can extract, manage, and alter the data contained within ISO files. Other programs allow you to burn the ISO file or disk image to a CD or DVD. Although some of these programs are commercial, there are a number of free programs that allow you to open a file with an ISO extension, including ISO Recorder and 7-Zip.

Things You'll Need

  • CD or DVD burner (Section 1)
  • ISO burning software, such as ISO Recorder or Nero (Section 1)
  • Blank CD or DVD (Section 1)
  • ISO extraction software, such as 7-Zip or WinRAR (Section 2)

Burn to Disc

Step 1

Make note of the location of the ISO file you wish to open.

Step 2

Insert a blank CD or DVD into your disk burner. Close the tray.

Step 3

Open your ISO-compatible DVD or CD burning software. Select "Disk Image" as the type of disk to be burned.

Step 4

Right-click in the blank data area, or click on the "Add" button. Select the ISO file.

Step 5

Click on "Next," "OK," and/or "Burn disk," according to your burner software.

Step 6

Close the burner software. Close the tray, and allow Windows to Auto-play the disk and to open a file with an ISO extension.

Extract Files

Step 1

Open 7-Zip or another program capable of opening ISO files.

Step 2

Browse to the ISO file you wish to open. Double-click on it.

Step 3

Hold down Ctrl + A to select all files within the ISO. Click the "Extract" button.

Step 4

Browse to the directory where you wish to extract the ISO.

Step 5

Close your extraction software.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also mount ISO files on hard drives as if they were playable CDs or DVDs. In order to do so, you must purchase and install a CD-mounting program like Daemon Tools, PowerISO, or Alcohol 120%. Please see the Download.com link in the Resources section below for more ISO file tools.
  • While there are legitimate uses for ISOs, pirates often use the file type to distribute illegal software. Do not use the information in this article to engage in illegal activity.