How to Play ISO PC Games

By Stephen Lilley

An .ISO is a file extension normally associated with disc image files. The term "ISO" is short for "International Organization for Standardization" and signifies that the file type meets certain criteria. These files contain an archive of all the files contained on a CD or DVD, only they've been compressed to a single computer file for storage. The files can be easily written back to physical CDs or DVDs, or can be run directly from your computer's hard drive. Data discs, videodiscs and game discs can all be archived to .ISO files. Use this article as a guide as you play PC games in the .ISO file format.

Things You'll Need

  • Virtual CD/DVD drive software

Step 1

Buy and install virtual CD/DVD drive software. These are programs that will emulate a CD- or DVD-ROM drive inside your operating system, allowing you to load and access the data on .ISO files. You can buy a program such as "Virtual Drive," though there are many worthwhile free alternatives, such as "PowerISO."

Step 2

Open your virtual CD/DVD drive software. Whichever program you've chosen, double-click on its icon on your desktop or single-click on its icon in the "Programs" folder on the "Start" menu to activate it.

Step 3

Right-click on the icon for your virtual CD/DVD drive software. That will bring up a list of options for you to choose from. Select the one that reads "Mount disc image."

Step 4

Select the .ISO file that represents your PC game from your computer's hard drive. To do that, simply locate it using the dialog box that has popped up inside your virtual CD/DVD drive software and double-click on it. That will load the PC game onto a virtual drive, which in turn will make your computer think the disc for the game is in your computer's real CD or DVD drive even though it isn't.

Step 5

Proceed as normal. Once the computer thinks the PC game's disc is in the drive, you will be able to use it the way you normally would. Simply install the game if you haven't already, or let the game load and play away.

References & Resources