Have you downloaded an ISO file but don't know how to use it? Do not worry. For those who, like you, are new to the computer world, this is quite normal.
Let's start with the basics. To simplify the discussion as much as possible, we can say that i file ISO they are uncompressed archives that contain all the contents of a CD, DVD or other original medium. They are used to distribute programs, operating systems or games without compromising the integrity of the original files and without forcing users to perform numerous separate downloads. They can be used in various ways. Now I'll explain how.
ISO files can be opened as normal Archives to consult (and use) its content; they can be burned to CD and DVD in order to create exact copies of the original disks; can be copied to USB sticks (operation necessary, for example, to install Windows or Linux on those computers without a DVD player) or you can mount them in drive CD/DVD virtuali in order to "fool" the PC and make it believe that you are using a floppy disk and not an ISO file (very useful procedure for those games that still require the floppy disk in the computer). In short, there are various ways to open ISO file on PC and today I'm here to illustrate them all in detail: enjoy your reading and have fun.
Open ISO Files to View Their Contents
If you want to open an ISO file to view its contents, you can use any archive management program. I personally recommend 7-Zip which is completely free, open source and supports all major archive formats, compressed and uncompressed: 7Z, ZIP, RAR, ISO, UDF, DMG etc.
To download 7-Zip on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the item Download relative to the version 32-bit x86 of the program if you are using a 32-bit or version-related version of Windows 64-bit x64 of the program if you are using a 64-bit version of Windows. Once the download is complete, start the 7-Zip installation package (ex. 7zxx-x64.exe) and fai clic prima sul pulsado Yes and then installe Close to finish the 7-Zip installation process.
Once the installation is complete, all you have to do is select the ISO file to open using the right mouse button and select the item 7-Zip> Open give the menu to compare.
A 7-Zip window will open with all the files present in the ISO file inside. To open a single file from those in the ISO file, you can simply double-click on it. If you want to extract all the files inside a folder, select them with the mouse and drag them into it.
If you want to associate the ISO files to 7-Zip, so that they automatically open with the program by double clicking on their icon, go to the menu Tools> Options, select the scheda System in the window that opens and click on the field next to the item iso so that the name of 7-Zip in it. Then click on the buttons Apply e OK to save the settings and that's it.
Please note: if you have already installed archive management software on your PC, such as WinRAR o WinZip, you can safely use those to open ISO files. All you have to do is click with the right mouse button on the icon of an ISO file and select the name of the program you want to use to open it from the menu Open with.
Open ISO Files to Burn Them
After seeing how to open ISO file on PC using an archive management program, let's see how to copy the contents of an ISO file onto a CD or DVD in order to obtain an exact copy of the source disk. There are various solutions you can rely on.
Windows Burning Function
If you are using a version of Windows 7 or later, you can burn ISO files using a feature included “standard” in the operating system. If you don't believe it, try right-clicking on the ISO file you want to burn and select the entry Burn disc image give the menu to compare.
A window will open for direct burning the ISO file to CD or DVD, through which you can select your burner and start writing data to the disc with a simple click on the button Burn.
By placing the check mark next to the option for disk check, you can also have the written data checked after burning.
If you are using a version of Windows older than 7 or want more control over the ISO images to burn, you can rely on ImgBurn: an excellent free burning program compatible with all versions of Windows. During its installation it proposes the download of some additional software, such as Dropbox, but these are options that can be easily deactivated.
To download ImgBurn on your PC, then connected to the official website of the program and first click on the item Mirror x – Provided by MajorGeeks and then [email protected] in the center of the page. Then open the installation package named SetupImgBurn_xx.exe and, in the window that appears on the screen, first click on the button Yesand then Next.
Now you have installed the program but you need to translate its interface from English to Italian. Therefore, download the ImgBurn Italian translation package, extract the contents into a folder of your choice and copy the file italian.lngin the folder C:Program Files (x86)ImgBurnLanguages Of computer.
After this step too, start ImgBurn, select the Italian language from the menu Tools > Settings (if necessary) and start burning your ISO file by clicking on the button Burn an image. In the window that opens, click the icon of folder related to the function Select a file, choose the ISO file to burn and click on the icon with the sheet and disk to start copying the data to the diskette.
Open ISO Files to Copy Them to USB Sticks
More and more computers are supplied without an optical drive, therefore without a CD / DVD player. If you also have a PC of this type and you need to "burn" an ISO file on a USB stick, I suggest you use Rufus: it is a small free application for Windows that allows you to create self-starting USB sticks with Windows , Linux, and various types of tools that can be run live. It also supports UEFI systems (the new BIOS).
To download Rufus on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the item Rufus xx Portable. In this way you will get the portable version of the program, which does not require installations in order to work. Once the download is complete, open the program rufus-xxp.execlick on your button Yes and proceed with the creation of your self-starting USB stick.
In the drop-down menu Device / unit you have to select the drive of the USB stick on which you want to "burn" your ISO file, in the menus File System e Partition scheme and target system type you have to choose the file system and the type of system with which to create the key (eg for UEFI or BIOS) and so on. To select the ISO image to copy on the stick, however, you have to click on the icon CD. In short, it's all very intuitive.
If you need more information on how Rufus works and / or want to discover other programs that allow you to copy ISO files to USB sticks, check out my tutorial on how to create bootable USB sticks.
Open ISO Files in Virtual Drives
Do you want to know how to open ISO files on PC in order to simulate the existence of a real disk in the computer? Nothing easier. All you need is a tool for creating virtual CD / DVD drives.
Utility Di Windows
If you are using a version of Windows 8 or later, you can "mount" the ISO images in virtual drives without resorting to third-party software. All you have to do is click with the right mouse button on the icon of the ISO file you want to “mount” and select the item Monta give the menu to compare.
A virtual CD / DVD drive will be created with the contents of the ISO file inside, which will then be usable as if it were a real disk inserted in the PC. If you do not find the “Mount” item in the Windows context menu, try to restore it by downloading this .reg file from the Ten Forums site, opening it and answering affirmatively to the request that appears on the screen.
If you still use Windows 7 or can't mount your ISO file using the feature included with Windows, you can turn to Virtual CloneDrive.
If you have never heard of it, Virtual CloneDrive is a free software compatible with all versions of Windows that allows you to create up to 8 virtual drives at the same time and mount as many image files in them: not only ISO files, but also BIN files and CCD. To download it to your PC, connect to its official website and click on the button Download placed next to his name (at the bottom of the page).
Once the download is complete, launch the executable SetupVirtualCloneDrive.exe and, in the window that opens, first click on Yes and then Accept, forward, Install for two consecutive times e Close to finish the Virtual CloneDrive installation process.
Now right click on the ISO file you want to “mount”, select the item Monta (Virtual CloneDrive X:) from the menu that opens and that's it. The ISO file you selected will be installed on a virtual CD / DVD drive.
To manage Virtual CloneDrive virtual drives, open the program and use its menu Number of units to select the number of virtual drives to use.
To "unmount" the previously "mounted" ISO files, instead, open theFile Explorer Windows, go toComputer / This PC, right click on the virtual drive to disable and select the item Eject give the menu check if you press.