ISO files are one of the image formats or, in other words, exact copies of discs. They are used to distribute installers for operating systems, software, games, and media content. You can burn the ISO file to physical media or view its contents without this step. In this article, you’re going to learn how to open ISO file in Windows 7.
By and large, ISO is an archive with structured files. They can be opened by means of the operating system or using a suitable application.
How to open an ISO file using OS tools
All modern operating systems are able to work with ISO files, they mount them to the file system and allow you to interact with the content. In addition to viewing, you can also burn the image to physical media.
Since Windows 8, ISO support has been implemented in the system, so to work with the image, you just need to find it in Explorer and double-click to open it. After a couple of seconds, the disk image will appear in the removable media section in My Computer. To record, call the context menu and select “Burn disc image”.
If you have Windows 7, use the other options described below.
The Apple operating system also knows how to mount ISO files and does this using the built-in DiskImageMounter utility. It starts automatically if you try to access the image in the Finder or through the “Open” context menu item.
All popular Linux distributions easily open ISO files natively without any additional software. You just need to right-click on the file and select “Connect archive” or “Open with …” → “Archive manager”. In the first case, the ISO image will be mounted, in the second it will become available for viewing.
In addition, you can write the image to disk if you select “Open with …” → Disk Image Writer from the menu.
How to open an ISO file with an archiver
Since the ISO image is essentially an archive, it is easy to open it in any archiver. For example, WinRAR, 7‑Zip, and others. Just call the context menu and select the appropriate command.
How to open an ISO file using specialized software
Such applications are needed when it is necessary not only to view the contents of the image but to emulate its connection to a virtual drive for installing a game or playing it in a Blu-ray player. Such programs imitate the operation of a disk drive and make the system think that a physical disk is inserted into the computer, even if there is no drive itself.
There are many utilities for floppy drive emulation and imaging. Consider how to open an ISO file in the two most popular ones.
Daemon Tools Lite
The most famous program for working with disk images. It is paid, but it has a free Lite edition with basic features that will be more than enough to open an ISO file.
Download Daemon Tools Lite from the link and install it following the wizard’s prompts. To get the free version, select the “Free license with ads ” option.
Run the utility and click on the “Quick Mount” button. Specify the ISO image file and click Open. After that, the disk will appear in Explorer, and if it has an autorun menu, it will be immediately offered.
Like the previous one, this application allows you to mount, edit, convert, and burn images, as well as create bootable media. UltraISO is offered on a paid basis but has an unlimited trial period with a limit of 300 MB for editing images and a purchase reminder. Fortunately, this does not apply to mounting disks.
Download UltraISO and install it. Open the application by selecting “Trial period” in the launch window.
Go to the menu “Tools” → “Mount to virtual disk …”.
Click on the button with three dots, select the ISO file, and click Mount. The image will appear in File Explorer, and you can view its contents or autorun.
4. How to open ISO files on Android
A rather rare scenario, but also quite real. You can open the image on your smartphone using an ISO-enabled archiver. For example, RAR or ZArchiver. Just install the application, run it, and extract the files from the desired image.