By looking through the folders on your computer, did you come across one or more ISO files that you can’t open in any way? Browsing the net, have you downloaded an ISO file from the Internet but don’t understand how to do it to be able to view its contents? If the answer to these and other similar questions is “Yes”, know that you have come to the right place, or rather, the right guide. In the following lines I will in fact explain, step by step, how to open ISO on Windows PCs and Macs, but also on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.
Before telling you how to open ISO files, it is good, however, that you understand what we are talking about. ISO files are real uncompressed archives, designed to easily archive and distribute the contents of CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray or other media. These files can be burned, in order to obtain perfect copies of the disks from which they were taken, or read without the use of physical media, as I am about to explain.
Made clear about it, if you are interested in finding out how to succeed in this small “business”, I invite you to take a few minutes of free time, sit comfortably in front of your computer monitor and concentrate on reading the information I am about to give you. We bet you will eventually agree with me that it was a no-brainer.
- How to open ISO on computer
- How to mount ISO: Windows 10
- How to mount ISO: Windows 7
- How to open ISO files on Mac
- How to open ISO on Android
- How to open ISO on iPhone and iPad
- How to mount ISO to USB
How to open ISO on computer
Let’s start this discussion by seeing together how to manage ISO files on Windows computers and Macs.
How to mount ISO: Windows 10
Starting with Windows 8 and on all subsequent editions of Windows currently supported (Windows 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 11 ), Microsoft has decided to integrate a feature within the operating system that allows you to mount an ISO file without additional programs, with extreme ease.
How? I’ll explain it to you right away. First, open the folder containing the ISO file to mount, right click on its icon and select Mount from the context menu.
If everything went smoothly, after a few seconds, the ISO image should be mounted in a virtual optical reader created by Windows and a File Explorer window containing the files included in the image just opened should appear directly on the desktop .
Otherwise, click on the File Explorer icon located in the taskbar (the one in the shape of a yellow folder ), select the item This PC from the left sidebar and double-click on the virtual disk icon containing the image, to view its content.
Obviously, the ISO assembled in this way can also be used for games or programs whose operation requires the insertion of a CD, DVD or Blu Ray, as the virtual disc is recognized and managed like an optical disc. You cannot, however, add files to the ISO image with a simple copy-and-paste in File Explorer.
When you are done, you can unmount the ISO by going back to the This PC section of File Explorer , right-clicking on the icon of the virtual disk in which the ISO is mounted and selecting the Eject item from the context menu displayed.
How to mount ISO: Windows 7
If you use Windows 7 , you must necessarily rely on a third-party program, as the operating system does not have the function dedicated to direct mounting of ISOs. Among the many available, I recommend that you consider Virtual CloneDrive , a free software that allows you to mount one or more ISO images (even simultaneously) on Windows, within a couple of clicks.
To download it, open its website and press the Download button located at the bottom of the page, next to the wording Virtual CloneDrive ; when the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and click on the Yes , I accept , Next , Install (twice in a row) and Close buttons to complete the procedure.
Once the program installation is complete, you can mount any ISO image simply using the Windows context menu: therefore, open the folder that contains the file of your interest, right-click on its icon and then on the item Mount (Virtual CloneDrive ) resident in the menu that appears.
As I mentioned earlier, Virtual CloneDrive also allows you to manage multiple ISO images at the same time, creating multiple virtual disks: to do this, click on the program icon (the sheep in the yellow circle ) located in the Windows notification area and use the Number of drives drop-down menu , to select the amount of virtual optical readers to configure.
How to open ISO files on Mac
Even on Mac things are similar to what has been seen for the most recent editions of Windows: the macOS operating system, in fact, allows you to mount the ISO image on a virtual disk, using the Finder context menu and the integrated utility. DiskImageMounter .
Like? I’ll explain it to you right away. First, go to the folder that contains the ISO file to open, right-click on its icon and select the items Open with> DiskImageMounter from the menu that appears; alternatively, if you don’t have other programs for viewing ISO files, you can simply double-click on the file to mount it and view its contents directly in the Finder.
When you are done, you can quickly unmount the image by right clicking on the virtual disk icon residing on the macOS desktop and then on the Eject [image name] item , attached to the menu that appears.
If, on the other hand, you need a quick method to open an ISO image and extract its contents in a given folder on the Mac, download and install The Unarchiver application from the Mac App Store : go to the link I just provided, click on the Open Mac App Store button (if necessary) and, when you see the Apple market window open, click on the Get / Install button located inside it, to download and install the program.
At the end of the installation, you can extract the data contained in the ISO image by right clicking on the icon of the latter and selecting the item Open with> The Unarchiver from the proposed menu; should you be notified of the lack of write permissions for the chosen folder, select the relative path in the window that appears on the screen and press the Extract button to authorize the copying of the files.
How to open ISO on Android
If you need to view the content of an ISO file on a smartphone or Android tablet , you will be pleased to know that numerous compressed archive managers, available on the Play Store and on alternative stores on devices not equipped with Google services , provide this possibility.
Among the many apps available for the purpose, I would like to recommend you ZArchiver , a free manager that allows you to view and extract the files contained in ISO, ZIP, RAR and 7Z archives.
To get it, connect to the appropriate section of the Play Store using the link I provided you a little while ago or use the Search function of the market available on your device, to locate the application, then tap the Install resident button next to the name of the app and wait for it to be downloaded and installed on your device.
Once you have the application, open it and tap the Allow button , to give it the necessary permissions to access the memory. From now on, you can open the ISO files using the panel integrated in the ZArchiver app, or by tapping on the file icon and then on the ZArchiver button , visible in the panel proposed later (if necessary).
To extract the contents of the ISO in a specific folder, tap on the green arrow symbol located at the bottom and select the directory of your interest using the proposed panel; to extract a single file, make a long tap on it and tap the Copy button , located at the bottom.
How to open ISO on iPhone and iPad
If you have an iPhone or an iPad , you will certainly find iZip useful , a handy compressed archive manager with support for ISO images. The application is free, but a paid version is available (costs € 6.99) that allows you to eliminate advertising banners and add additional functions.
To download iZip, tap on the link I reported to you earlier, in order to open the App Store, press the Get / Install button and, when requested, authenticate via Face ID , Touch ID or Apple ID password , in order to complete the installation of the app.
To open an ISO file with iZip, tap on its icon, press on the share symbol (the square with the arrow ) and select the Copy to iZip item from the menu that appears. Now, if you want to extract all the files contained in the image within the app, press the OK button ; to view only the content of the ISO, however, tap the Cancel button .
If you want to intervene individually on a file to open it or to share it, return to the main iZip screen (simply press the Back button located at the top left), tap on the Files item and open the folder relating to the ISO extracted previously ; to view the contents of a file, tap on its icon; to share it, put the check mark next to its name and then on the Share button , located at the bottom.
I point out that you can store the images directly in the iOS camera roll: after selecting the photo of your interest as I indicated earlier, tap the iZip Save button to add it to the Photos app.
How to mount ISO to USB
If you need to mount ISO to USB , i.e. to transfer the contents of an ISO image to a USB stick to be used to start the computer or to transfer files from one place to another, you can contact one of the many suitable software purpose. Personally, I recommend that you consider UNetbootin , a free, open source and compatible program with both Windows and macOS and Linux.
Be careful, though: while writing the ISO image on the USB stick, all the files on the USB stick will be permanently deleted ; for this reason, I recommend that you copy any files that are important to you to another folder, before you even do anything.
In any case, after connecting the USB key to the computer and eventually saving the files on it, download UNetbootin by connecting to this website and clicking on the Download button dedicated to the operating system you use.
When the download is complete, open the file obtained and, if you use Windows , click on the Yes button to authorize the opening of the program. If, on the other hand, yours is a Mac , copy the UNetbootin icon in the Mac Applications folder and, holding down the ctrl key on the keyboard, right-click on the file you just copied, select the Open item from the proposed context menu and repeat the same operation on the button of the same name, in order to authorize its start (you only have to do it the first time). When prompted, enter your Mac password and press Enter , to authorize the software to write to the stick.
From now on, the procedures are the same: put the check mark next to the Disc Image item , set the drop-down menu located immediately next to the ISO item and click on the […] button to select the image to copy.
Now, set the drop down menu type of USB device , select the USB drive on which dump files from the drop down menu unit , and when you’re ready, click on the button OK , to start writing files. For further information, I refer you to reading my guide on how to burn ISO to USB , in which I also told you about other software of this type.