Unlike its predecessors, Windows 10 offers in-built mounting software support to mount your ISO disc images. ISO images are basically ‘virtual’ copies of the data contained in a CD/DVD disc. We can physically write ISO images onto a disc. Rather, we can do something called mounting to make life a lot easier. In this case, we can access the contents of an ISO image as it was recorded onto a disc an inserted into a CD-drive. As a result, we disregard the need for a disc and disc drive. Important, as most laptops being sold today, don’t have disc drives.
In this article, we’ll discuss some methods of how to mount ISO without using 3rd party software. Furthermore, if you choose to use a 3rd party software to mount ISO image, we have recommended a few of the best free mounting software.
How To Mount ISO In Windows 10
There are two methods to mount ISO on Windows 10. Firstly, the simpler option is by using File Explorer. Secondly, if you enjoy using the command line and complicating things, using Windows Powershell.
Method 1: Mounting Using File Explorer
Mounting using File Explorer couldn’t get any easier. Simple open up File Explorer and follow the steps below.
- Locate the .iso file you want to mount.
- Right-click it and select ‘Mount’
- That’s it. It’s that simple. The mounted file will appear as an inserted disc and you can now access all of its contents.
Method 2: Mounting Using Windows Powershell
Powershell is essentially a more complex and advanced version of Command Prompt (cmd). It allows you to automate different administrative tasks that cannot be accessed through the command prompt. However, you access Powershell controls through cmd. This method of mounting is a little more complex but gets the job done. It will require you to know the file path of the .iso image before you begin. Follow the steps below:
- In the taskbar search for Command Prompt
- Right-click and run as administrator
- When the command line opens enter the command: PowerShell Mount-DiskImage
- A few preset lines will appear. Firstly, stating the Mount command was requested at pipeline position 1. Additionally, to “Supply values for the following parameters:”. It sounds complicated but all it’s asking for is the location of the .iso file you want to mount.
- Hence, enter the file location next to “ImagePath”. Then, press enter.
- Now open File Explorer and the mounted image will appear as an inserted disc.
Best Free Mounting Software
If you’d rather use a third-party tool to mount your ISO’s here is a list of the top free mounting software available on the web today. Additionally, if you’re not on Windows 8 or above, this can come in handy. Because Windows 7 actually doesn’t have an in-built mounting tool and you need to use a 3rd party software.
1. DAEMON Tools Lite
I have personally used this software quite a bite for mounting game .iso files. It is inferior to its paid pro version. Nevertheless, its mounting feature is quick, fast and easy to use. Moreover, it also has a great burning utility and creates disc images with ease. It’s great for gamers and users who want to create bootable iso images.
2. Virtual CloneDrive
Virtual CloneDrive is an easy to use mounting software which can allow up to 15 virtual drives. It supports a wide variety of formats including ISO, CCD, UDF, and BIN. However, Virtual CloneDrive doesn’t allow you to burn images to disks. It’s solely for the purpose of mounting. Thereby making its interface the most simplistic of all. It works by adding a context menu to File Explorer when you right-click a .iso image.
ISODisk is another freeware image mounting utility and can have up to 20 disks active at a time. It has two basic functionalities, mounting ISO images and creating ISO images from an inserted CD-ROM. The user interface is very simplistic and makes mounting an easy process. Although, this mounting software does lack other features, such as burning images and extract ISO files.
4. MagicISO Features
MagicISO was probably one of the most common image mounting tools used pre-Windows 8. It had a small installation size, never crashed and performed fast mounting operations. Moreover, features of MagicISO included, creating, editing, extracting, burning and mounting ISO Files. All of the features that a paid mounting software would have. That’s not all, it has absolutely no adware.
5. Alcohol Portable
Alcohol Portable is a great tool developed by Alcohol Soft, especially if you’re on the go. It is a standalone executable file, meaning it can be launched from virtually anywhere. A cool feature is that you can simply drag and drop a .iso image and it will automatically mount it. Additionally, it allows up to four virtual drives, which is less than the previous software mentioned but gets the job done. A downside is that adware gets installed with Alcohol even though the website mentions it doesn’t.
Mounting an ISO image in Windows 10 couldn’t be easier due to its in-built mounting feature. If you prefer automating tasks through command line or PowerShell, we hope you found our step-by-step method easy to follow.
If you’re using Windows 7 or earlier, the list of ISO mounting software will definitely come in handy. Likewise, for Windows 10 users who want to continue using 3rd party mounting software, be sure to check them all out. There are virtually no downsides to the software mentioned above and most of all, they are all free.