It looks like we have got what we have been demanding for so many years. Microsoft has offered native support for ISO image files. We prefer using ISO files because they are so many advantages of using them. For those who don’t know what an ISO file is, we can say that an ISO file is an image of a CD/DVD. You must have heard and seen people burning an ISO file directly to the disk using a burning program like Nero or ImgBurn.
You should know that burning the file does not affect the functionality of the disc. When you mount an ISO file, you are still able to use the file. ISO files are not new to us but previously we had to use third party programs like Nero to mount and burn their disc images. Sometimes we have to pay for such programs and then downloading and installing them was another time-consuming task especially if there occur any issues during the downloading or installing process. But now things have changed a lot. Now Windows offers native support for ISO image files something Windows users have been praying for so long. The support was offered in Windows 8 when its dual-UI operating system offered built-in support for mounting and burning image file right from the File Explorer.
Finding the Disc Image Tools Tab
There is no way you can find disc image features in the File Explorer. Do you know why it is? Well, the features are kept hidden and they are only revealed when you select an ISO file. If you don’t believe us, try it out yourself. If you have an ISO file on your computer then select it and the moment you select it you will see a new tab named Disc Image Tools tab.
When you click the Disc Image Tools tab, you will see two options. There you can choose if you want to mount or burn the ISO file.
Mounting means accessing the contents of an ISO file as if it was recorded on a physical disk. You must have an ISO file on your hard disk if you want to mount an ISO file. Firstly, open File Explorer and locate an ISO file. Select the file and when you select the file you will notice Disc Image Tools tab at the top. Click the tab and then select Mount. A virtual drive will be created by Windows then contents of the selected image file are opened for you to view.
Click “This PC” or “Computer” on the left side in File Explorer to view the virtual disc drive. You will see virtual disk drive just like other drives you may have installed on your PC. Apparently, you can’t tell the difference between a virtual drive and physical drives. Now, this is the time to use the virtual media. You, now, can use the virtual media any way you like. You can either copy files from the image to your hard drive or install an application or do whatever you want. When you are done, make sure that you unmount the image file.
As stated above, you can see the virtual drive among other physical drives you have installed on your computer. You will have to “Eject” the virtual disc to unmount the image. You can see the virtual drive on the left side below “This PC” in File Explorer. Simply right click the virtual drive and then select Eject from the menu. This is how you unmount the ISO file.
How to Burn an ISO File in Windows 8 & 10
You should know that burning an ISO file means creating a duplicate of the original disc. It is not just an ordinary copy or duplicate of the original. The format is popular because it gives an exact duplicate of the original. The copy will be just like the original and you cannot tell the difference between two. This is why people prefer using this format.
Now we will show you how to burn an ISO file to a disc. Firstly, select the ISO file in the File Explorer. When you select the ISO file, Disc Image Tools tab will appear at the top of the window. Click the Disc Image Tools tab and then click on Burn. Make sure that your drive has a disc and if it doesn’t put one now. The disc you have put in your drive must match the original format. For instance, you can burn a DVD image to a DVD only and not to a CD-R.
Windows will throw up a dialog from which you can select your burner. In case there is one disc drive in your system, it will be selected automatically. When there are more than one disc drives then you can select the drive from the list that appears after clicking the drop-down list.
You will see an option “Verify disc after burning”. Selecting this option will increase the time the burning process takes. If you are satisfied with the quality of the burned disc, you don’t need to select the above option. Finally, click Burn.
Finally, we can say that now Windows 8 allows you manage your ISO files. So you don’t have to use any third party software to burn or mount an ISO image.