How to mount disk image formats on Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 4, 2014
Updated • Sep 28, 2016

Disk image formats such as Iso, Bin or Img are also known as archive files of optical discs. They are made up of the sector contents of optical discs which makes them ideal for several purposes including backup and also mounting.

While the concept of backing up an optical disc, an audio CD, game DVD or video DVD for example, is fairly straightforward, mounting is not necessarily.

The idea here is to make available the contents of the disc as if it would have been inserted into an optical drive connected to the system.

Since you don't need an optical drive for that, you can make available contents of discs on systems that has not access to a compatible drive or lack the original disc.

One of the core benefits here is that you can mount multiple discs at once limited only by the number of drive letters made available by the operating system.

Additionally, access to virtual images improves the performance of the operation by a lot.

What disk images are used for

  • To backup optical discs, to keep the original save or make it available on systems without optical drive or access to the original.
  • To distribute content. Microsoft makes available copies of its Windows operating system as ISO images for instance that users can then burn to disc or Flash drive.
  • On the dark side of the Internet to distribute games, movies, music, and software as 1:1 copies.
  • To make available an archive of discs on a computer.


All programs listed below are meeting the following requirements at the time of writing:

  • A free version needs to be available.
  • It needs to be compatible with the Windows operating system, other systems are optional.
  • It needs to be compatible with recent versions of Windows.
  • It needs to support at least one common disk image format: ISO, IMG or Bin.

Disk image programs

As far as mounting techniques are concerned, they depend on the program that you pick for the job:

  1. Some let you do so from Windows Explorer's right-click menu.
  2. Some require that you run them and select images from its interface.
  3. Others may allow you to double-click supported formats to do so.

Tip: If you are using Windows 8, you can mount ISO images natively by right-clicking the disk image and selecting mount from the context menu.

You find a table with important information about all programs near the end of the article.

On to the list...

DVDFab Virtual Drive

virtual drive

You can start mounting image formats using Windows Explorer or the program's system tray icon immediately after installation of the program and driver have completed.

The application supports a variety of disk image formats as well as the mounting of up to 18 images. One interesting feature is its hotkey support which you can use to dismount all drives at once.

Other features include auto-mounting previously mounted images, unmounting all drives on exit, and to make miniso images.

The program supports CD, DVD and Blu-Ray images.

Gizmo Drive

gizmo drive

Gizmo Drive is part of a collection of tools that you can install as a separate program after you have downloaded the latest version from the developer website.

The drive component supports the mounting of disk images and virtual hard disk images, as well as burning ISO images to disc or creating RAM disks.

It requires a reboot of the system though before the driver can be loaded that is powering its functionality.

The downside is that you have to install a "central component" to use the drive feature.

ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver

mount virtual disk

The program installs itself to the Control Panel but can also be accessed via the command prompt. When you start it after installation, you see all currently mounted disks and get options to mount a new disk or dismount existing ones.

The mounting functionality of the program is not complicated to use, but its additional features that it makes available make things a bit complicated nevertheless.

To mount a disk simply select the image file and drive letter in the configuration menu and click ok. Alternatively, it is possible to mount disk images via the right-click menu of Windows Explorer.


mount disc image

ImgDrive is a free virtual disc mounter for Windows that supports up to seven disc images and all versions of Microsoft Windows starting with Windows 2000.

The program is easy to use, integrates with Explorer for quick mounting images with two clicks of the mouse button.

You may control it from its system tray icon which lets you add or remove drives, mount images, unmount them, or quickly access previously mounted images.

MagicISO Virtual CD/DVD-Rom


The program supports a vast number of image formats, probably more than any other application I have come across. You do need to install a driver to get started though before you can use it to mount or create image formats.

The virtual drive application adds a single drive to the system by default. You can increase it up to 15 drives which means that you can mount up to 15 different disk images at the same time using it.

Besides that, it allows you to create disk images on the system and configure features related to mounting such as auto-mounting.

Issues: Standard uninstallation using the control panel did not work. Revo Uninstaller did the job though.

Microsoft Virtual CD-Rom Control Panel

virtual cdrom control panel

Released by Microsoft in 2001 and re-released in 2013, it matches all requirements. While unsupported by Microsoft, it is straightforward to use after the initial configuration.

Note: The program is only compatible with 32-bit versions of Windows. It has a size of only 60 Kilobytes and does not require installation.

To use it, you need to run it with elevated privileges on newer versions of Windows. To do so, right-click it and select Run as administrator from the list.

Once done, click on Driver Control and select Start from the menu that opens up.



You can mount as many disk images as there are drive letters available. The program supports a wide variety of image formats and while it has been created for forensic purposes, works really well when it comes to mounting.

Some features that set it apart include creating read-only drives, configuring drive sizes and offsets, creating RAM disks, and loading image files in RAM. Especially the latter option can be interesting as it will improve the loading performance of mounted images further.

Virtual CloneDrive

virtual clonedrive

The free program installs a driver during setup. Once that is out of the way, it creates one virtual drive that is available at all times. This number can be changed to up to 15 drives.

Supported disk images can be mounted to each drive, with options to auto-mount the last drive automatically.

The main issue that some users may have with the application is the fact that virtual drives are present all the time on the system. Other programs such as WinCDEmu handle this in a different way as drives become only available when an image is mounted.



The program supports up to 23 virtual drives which it can create. All drives need to be created directly and are then accessible at any time on the system regardless of disk images being mounted or not.

The application can auto-mount disk images that were mounted previously, and supports the quick dismounting of all drives as well.

Note: The free version has not been updated since 2012. A pro version is available which is updated regularly.



This is one of the easier programs to use. While you need to allow the installation of a virtual driver, the program itself won't occupy any drive letters until you mount an image on the system and you don't need to restart the system after installation either.

To mount a disk, right-click a support image format and pick "select drive letter & mount" from the context menu that opens up.

The image becomes available under the selected drive letter until you right-click the drive and select eject.

One interesting feature of WinCDEmu is that you can create ISO images using it.

Did not make the list

The following programs did not make the list.

  1. Alcohol 120% is illegal in Germany.
  2. Daemon Tools Lite sends information about mounted disk images to a server on the Internet. Information include IP address of the user, image hash and name, name of the mounted disc, and times it has been mounted.
  3. Fantom DVD Virtual C/DVD-Rom has not been updated since 2007. While it may work fine still, there is little need for a tool that has not been updated for more than seven years.
  4. IMGMount for use in DOSBox is too limiting. While it can mount popular image formats, it is a command line tool.
  5. ISODisk because it does not support Windows 7 or newer versions of Windows.

Feature Overview

Program Name 64-bit Multiple ISO IMG Bin/CUE Other Information
DVDFab Virtual Drive yes yes yes yes yes Supports ccd, dvd, miniso, nrg and udf formats, create miniso images
ImDisk Virtual Disk Driver yes yes yes yes yes Supports vhd, vdi, vmdk, nrg, ima, raw, vfd, dmg and sdi, can be used to create other virtual disk types including Ram disk
Gizmo Drive yes yes yes yes yes Supports vhd, ccd, nrg, mds, mdf and Gdrive
MagicISO Virtual CD/DVD-Rom yes yes yes yes yes Supports ima, cif, nrg, ccd, mdf, mds, vcd, vc4, vdi, c2d, bwi, bwt, cdi, tao, dao and pdi, create ISO, Bin, UIF or NRG images, compress images images
Microsoft Virtual CD-Rom Control Panel no yes yes no no Supports udf, cdfs, jo and rock formats
OSFMount yes yes yes yes yes Supports dd, 00n, nrg, sdi, aff, afm, afd, vmdk, e01, s01, vhd
Virtual CloneDrive yes yes yes yes yes Supports ccd, dvd and udf formats
WinArchiver yes yes yes yes yes Supports mdf, mds, ashdisc, bwi, b5i, lcd, cdi, cif, p01, pdi, nrg, ncd, pxi, gi, fcd, vcd, dmg, bif, image, flp, uif and various archive formats
WinCDEmu yes yes yes yes yes Supports mds, mdf, ccd, nrg formats, portable version available, free for any kind of use, ISO creation


When it comes to disk mounting tools, Windows users have a lot of options. From the built-in ISO mounting capabilities of Windows 8 to powerful programs such as OSFMount or MagicISO Virtual CD/DVD-Drive which support dozens of image formats and ship with additional features that some may find useful.

As far as recommendations go, I really like OSFMount's feature to load a disk image to RAM. While that requires lots of RAM on a system, it speeds things up significantly.

Now You: Are you using a different program? Share it with everyone in the comment section below.

How to mount disk image formats on Windows
Article Name
How to mount disk image formats on Windows
The guide provides you with a list of tools to mount image formats such as ISO, IMG or BIN on Windows.
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  1. Klaas Vaak said on December 26, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    @Martin Brinkmann: with all due respect, this is now such a basic function, esp. for people reading your articles, that this article is like explaining to the readers how to calculate 1+1.

    1. Herman Cost said on December 26, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Yes, I have to agree with this. I can’t imagine that there are many spreadsheet users who are computer literate enough to even casually read ghacks, but don’t know how to use a SUM function.

    2. Malte said on December 26, 2020 at 4:05 pm

      @Klass Vaak & Herman Cost
      Ever thought that people might google it so this artice might show up in the search results. it’s not useless. I think it’s a good strategy explaining stuff even if it’s just basic things. Every day there is a new user on the internet searching for this kind of tutorial.

      1. Klaas Vaak said on December 26, 2020 at 6:55 pm

        @Malte: you make a good point, in principle. Nevertheless, nowadays telling people how to do a sum calculation, the simplest of the simple, in a spreadsheet is like teaching grandma to suck eggs.

        If say an elderly person would be sitting in front of a spreadsheet wondering how to sum a number of cells, that person is unlikely to look it up on internet, but would ask one of her/his children.

        And in any case, Ghacks is not a spreadsheet tricks and tips site, so it would not show up high in the ranking in a Google search.

      2. marty said on April 11, 2022 at 1:42 pm

        I`m an elderly person. 71.
        My experience in computers spans 50 years, focused on Unix internals, advanced degrees.
        I look to the internet for answers, since my children hate me and wouldnt tell me “jack”, even if they knew the answer.
        I dont know how to “suck eggs in principle”, or anything else for that matter. I’m retired and not interested in learning. Some other guy learned “the theory of sucking things.”

        Never needed spreadsheets, always too darn busy. Thanks for this info. Now I know how to sum two cells.

        Everyone starts somewhere.

      3. yanta said on September 10, 2023 at 9:34 am

        I am an elderly person and I can use sum, sumif, sumifs and so on. My kids come to me for knowledge on how to use excel and other programs ;)

        But then, I was in IT my entire career before I retired :)

        There are basic sites, and there are advanced sites. GHacks used to be more for people with technical knowledge. You can’t be everything to everyone though that seems to be the trend these days. Since it’s all about clicks and click bait the wider the topics the more you can remain “relevant”…

        However, that mentality tends to alienate the more technical people. I find myself spending less time here every month. It won’t be long before I stop coming here altogether.

        I have no mobile or wireless technology.

        Anything google or apple is insidious to me. And that accounts now for most of the content here.

        As to this article. Avast, and all of their products are untrustworthy. There has been much controversy and negativity regarding their products. I would think a reputable site would be more careful in what they publish… err, sorry, advertise.

    3. Peterc said on December 27, 2020 at 1:22 am

      @Klaas Vaak: In Martin’s defense, it’s the day after Christmas, and some eggnog recipes pack a *real wallop*. Maybe we’re lucky he could type at all. ;-) More seriously, I don’t use Calc super-often, I typically type in the =SUM() function manually, and I’d actually *forgotten* where the Σ button is located in Calc. (The last time I was a heavy spreadsheet user, it was in an older version of Excel and I’m pretty sure the Σ button was somewhere on one of the “regular” toolbars.) So, the article actually did have a small payoff for me. Plus, there might be other intermediate or advanced users of other types of programs (graphics, audio, video, word-processing) who have never used a spreadsheet in their lives. It’s kind of hard to imagine, I know, but it’s possible.

    4. pHROZEN gHOST said on September 5, 2023 at 2:47 pm

      You were not born with the knowledge you have now. You once had to learn too.
      So get down off your high horse, grow up and show a little respect for others who need details.

  2. SpywareFan said on December 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Overall LO has become a good SW, what prevents me to use it is:
    “it will not store the information about the data source once the data is imported”
    Until that functionality is implemented I’m forced to use M$ Office (2003).

    1. Klaas Vaak said on December 26, 2020 at 3:05 pm

      @SpywareFan: an interesting alternative for M$ Office is Softmaker’s FreeOffice.

      1. intelligencia said on December 26, 2020 at 10:02 pm

        @Klaas Vaak

        I have the Softmaker’s Free Office Suite in my computer – – and I LOVE IT!


      2. SpywareFan said on December 27, 2020 at 11:18 am

        In the FreeOffice manuals there is no reference to XML data mapping functions.

    2. Kent Brockman said on December 27, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      Another vote for Softmaker’s Free Office, a very nice alternative to MS Office.

  3. Anonymous said on December 26, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Yes, I use functions in Calc: Average, Min and Max. I use the mouse to select the cells.
    I don’t usually have to use Sum.
    Thanks for the info, and could we have more tips for LibreOffice?
    I find that the documentation does not keep up with the changes in LibreOffice.
    Also, it is hard to find info in the help documentation.

  4. Bart from Holland said on December 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks Martin for all your great work you put in to make our live easier. Have a nice and healthy 2021.

  5. ShintoPlasm said on December 26, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    To all those complaining about this being a simple ‘101’ function: it’s Martin’s blog, he can write a deep-dive review of Windows Calculator if he so wishes. Do you pay his salary or something?

    1. Klaas Vaak said on December 27, 2020 at 5:27 am

      @ShintoPlasm: yes, it is Martin’s blog, but it is a public blog with a comments section, which means he invites people to comment. And having been an avid reader for several years now, I am pretty sure Martin does not expect commenters to agree with him all the time.

      You do not help him with agreeing with everything willy-nilly and “honouring” him with praise. Martin, like everyone else in the world, is not perfect, therefore he can only learn from constructive criticism.

      Unfortunately you look at constructive criticism as a complaint. I do not agree with you on that and will keep making constructive criticism because I believe in keeping this website one of the best ones – refraining from constructive criticism won’t do that.

      1. Kent Brockman said on December 27, 2020 at 7:59 pm

        Absolutely. People could rather than leaving constructive criticism just stop visiting the site. How is that in the best interest of the site’s authors?

  6. Anonymous said on December 30, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    A new way to sum with the latest version is to place the cursor under the numbers to be summed, then press Alt-=, then ENTER.

  7. Pat said on April 19, 2021 at 6:23 am

    The SUM function doesn’t work. It just keeps putting the same total no matter what figures I enter.

  8. Mary said on March 23, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    I would like to know how to make the sum function work. I know how it should work and it works in excel. But when I put the sum function in, it will not make changes when I edit and change the data, the total remains the same

  9. will willows said on July 26, 2022 at 5:41 pm

    Ditto, Marty. Everyone starts somewhere. Thanks.

    1. Anonymous said on September 29, 2022 at 6:04 pm

      Instead of being snarky, maybe you could be helpful. I’d like to add two numbers in a cell;
      In Excel, it would be

      I try that in this piece of crap software, and get a message “Invalid value.”

  10. semce said on August 23, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    I used Excel a lot when I was working. Retired now seven years. Excel was great, especially for macros. I now use LibreOffice, which works similarly but the macros are difficult in comparrison to Excel. I couldn’t find anything on macros for Free Office, which was disappointing, so I uninstalled it. I find Zoho to be the most similar to Excel but there you’re stuck with your spreadsheets in the cloud which I didn’t like.

  11. Graham said on August 24, 2023 at 1:44 am

    Um… When was this article posted? The date says today (August 23, 2023), but I’m seeing comments from 3 years ago.

    1. Anthony said on August 24, 2023 at 5:04 am

      I was going to amuse myself and check out the comments for this Avast AV sponsored post since there were so many comments. I thought it funny since they have an article bashing the product in 2019.

      What do I see when I go to the comments? Ghacks pulled an “Amazon” and replaced an article on Excel SUM functions with a sponsored post to make it look like a good article.

      Anyone and everyone who even has a clue about tech knows that Avast is utter garbage and focuses on spying on you and spamming you with ads these days. Just check out the bad article from 2019 on this very site! If you run Windows 10/11, you already have better antivirus than Avast built-in to Windows.

  12. awf said on August 26, 2023 at 7:33 am

    surely more importantly is why an ad for dodgy anti-virus has the whole thread on office suites instead.. something in the db is messed up.

  13. Kirk said on September 1, 2023 at 5:33 am

    On a slight tangent, does foobar2000 have a built in lyrics plug in? I mostly used Linux and Deadbeef, the closest alternative to Foobar there has a very old(and kinda broke) plug in.

  14. News filter said on September 1, 2023 at 4:04 pm

    If you want news then add this line in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    1. owl said on September 2, 2023 at 1:27 am

      @News filter,
      >,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

      Thanks for the useful information.
      Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin.

      I was able to clean up “all articles” by other authors on the Ghacks site.

      It’s refreshing to be able to see only useful articles (instead of being buried among inferior articles) by clearing out the obtrusive articles.

  15. Anonymous said on September 4, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Important note: changing policies through the program doesn’t save them automatically. You need to hit Ctrl+S (or go to File > Sve Policies)

  16. Zaqzyp said on September 5, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    What silly click bait article. Even the actual article is ridiculous.

    “The launch of HarmonyOS for PC could pose a serious threat to Windows.”

    Who cares what people in China use.
    Don’t do drugs before working maybe.

    What’s next? Look up the biggest Android fork in China and write pointless long article about it how it’ll take over Google’s Android.

    1. Zaqzyp said on September 5, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      HarmonyOS and Excel comments are mixed up.

  17. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    HarmonyOS is not an open-source OS, only partially components.

    What is happening with these comments from other articles?

  18. awd said on September 5, 2023 at 1:14 pm

    this is funny. it looks like the same base article, comments and all has been repurposed and edited or something for 3 (or more) different articles.

    started off as something for some office suite… and then it was some antivirus thing.. and now it’s some iffy os.

    wtf is that writer doing? no one reads or comments on the ad articles and he has to reuse old ones to make it look like it’s getting traction? (though it shows up as 0 comments on the homepage, so that can’t be it?)

  19. dial said on September 5, 2023 at 2:34 pm

    “HarmonyOS does not have Google. Huawei’s HarmonyOS is a proprietary operating system..”
    “HarmonyOS is open-source, which means that it can be customized by developers and manufacturers.”

    Both are quotes from the article. So which one is it, open source or proprietary?

  20. Winnie said on September 5, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    Without windows-based videogames able to run, it’ll stay niche.

    Huawei better put serious money into a harmonyOS port of Wine, DXVK or Proton if it wants its machine being more than web browsing thin clients.

  21. John G. said on September 5, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    I won’t trust a foreign OS.

    1. John G. said on September 5, 2023 at 4:16 pm

      Deeply foreign, I meant. In so many ways.

    2. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 2:00 pm

      “I won’t trust a foreign OS.”

      You trust Microsoft Windows, Google Android and Apple operating systems just because they are from businesses in your country ? Talk about blind nationalism.

      Do not forget also that there is a world outside of USA and that for most of human beings, your favorite operating systems are also of a foreign origin, and as hostile towards them as they are towards yourself.

  22. wibble said on September 5, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    HAHAHAHA – did you really say “it could pose a serious threat to Microsoft’s Windows operating system”?

  23. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    It won’t run programs or real games, so it will be useless.
    I mean, there are some people who apparently love using tablets and phones for everything, but mostly are people who will barely do anything with their brain in life.

    I mean, even if Photoshop, and others are available for iPad, do people think iPad is a threat for windows? not really, maybe for useless consumers who will just, like with a phone, be happy and move on, but not for professional industries which are the ones who matter the most, because are the ones who generate more revenue, since they buy the most expensive hardware and software.
    Nothing consumer computing related really makes much money, unless it is data from users that get sold for AI or Ads.

  24. vanp said on September 6, 2023 at 6:10 am

    Who knows where this comment is going to wind up. It’s in response to the article about Huawei’s HarmonyOS (HOS) operating system.

    Two places in the article it says HOS is open-source. One place the article says HOS is proprietary. Uh, I’m pretty sure it can’t be both. Which is it? If there’s some fine distinction, somebody needs to explain it.

    1. Jody Thornton said on September 7, 2023 at 1:52 am

      After all of these issues with Ghacks articles and misplaced postings, I’m reminded of this

    2. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 8:22 am


      Note: I replied to you on September 6, 2023 at Around 2:20 pm, but it was still remain blocked after more than half a day, so I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and reposted.

      The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
      Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
      As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.

      By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
      RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

      Regarding “Huawei’s HarmonyOS” you asked about, the developer has stated that it is planning to open source, however the actual situation has been shelved (no such movement).
      HarmonyOS – Wikipedia
      Therefore, it is “proprietary software”.
      Moreover, both the company and its production base are in China. China, Russia, Israel, etc. are “Authoritarian state” and products and companies based in those countries are under state control, and privacy policies can become “famous and innocent.” Those products should be avoided.

      1. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Correction of sentence
        Before correction: “famous and innocent.”
        After correction: “nominal name only titular.”

      2. vanp said on September 8, 2023 at 5:29 am

        owl, thanks again for the great info.

  25. Dennis Faucher said on September 8, 2023 at 4:12 am

    HarmonyOS doesn’t run Windows apps. It is no threat to Windows.

    1. Glyde said on September 8, 2023 at 8:06 pm

      I agree.. i bet it cant even run wallpaper engine, it probably has the worst compatibility with software.

  26. hira said on September 9, 2023 at 9:24 am

    iam vary satisfied this work

  27. yanta said on September 10, 2023 at 9:36 am

    ah, wonderful, this message/article cross-posting hasn’t been fixed.
    Ignore my comments.

  28. Peter Louwen said on October 1, 2023 at 7:15 pm

    RIGHT F***ING NOW!!!!

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