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How to mount ISO images on Windows 10

Windows 10 mount ISO file
Windows 10 mount ISO file (Image credit: Windows Central)

An ISO image is a container format designed to store the contents of a physical disk (CD, DVD, or Blu-ray). Software companies usually use this file format as a medium to distribute the applications and tools without the need to ship physical media, which can be costly and time-consuming. For example, Microsoft uses this format to distribute previews of Windows 10 to testers and many other products.

Although you can find a lot of tools to work with images, Windows 10 includes the ability to mount and mount ISO files natively without the need for extra software.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to mount and unmount the ISO images using File Explorer as well as PowerShell commands.

How to mount ISO image with File Explorer

On Windows 10, you can access the content of an image in at least three different ways using File explorer. You can double-click the file, you can use the content menu option, or the option available in the ribbon menu.

Mount image with double-click

To quickly mount an ISO file on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Browse to the folder with the ISO image.
  3. Double-click the .iso file file to mount it.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete these steps, the ISO file will open like any other folder, allowing you to access and extract the contents as necessary.

Mount image from context menu

To mount an ISO image with the File Explorer context menu, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Browse to the folder with the ISO image.
  3. Right-click the .iso file and select the Mount option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, you can access the contents of the image by selecting the virtual drive from the left navigation pane.

Mount image from ribbon menu

To mount an image with the ribbon menu, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Browse to the folder with the ISO image.
  3. Select the .iso file.
  4. Click the Disk Image Tools tab.
  5. Click the Mount button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you have a third-party tool to open compressed files (such as .zip, .tar, .rar, etc.), it's possible the tool may also be configured as the default application to open ISO images. When this happens, you won't see an option to mount images. However, you can still right-click, select the Open with submenu, and select the Windows Explorer option to mount the ISO.

Unmount image

Once you are no longer using the image, you can quickly unmount the file by right-clicking the virtual drive under This PC in File Explorer and selecting the Eject option.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Expand This PC from the left navigation pane.
  3. Right-click the virtual drive and select the Eject option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete these steps, the image will no longer be accessible until you mount it again.

How to mount ISO image with PowerShell

It's also possible to mount and unmount an image using commands with PowerShell.

Mount ISO image command

To mount an ISO image using a PowerShell command, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to mount an ISO image and press Enter:Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath "PATH\TO\ISOFILE"In the command, make sure to replace the "PATH\TO\ISOFILE" with the actual path of the .iso file.For example, this command mounts an image in the "E:\" virtual drive:Mount-DiskImage -ImagePath "E:\Windows10.iso"

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the ISO image will mount, and you will be able to access the contents to install the application or extract the image contents from the newly-available drive letter.

Unmount ISO image command

To unmount an image with PowerShell, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to mount an ISO image and press Enter:Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath "PATH\TO\ISOFILE"In the command, make sure to replace the "PATH\TO\ISOFILE" with the actual path of the .iso file.For example, this command removes the mount for an image in the "E:\" virtual drive:Dismount-DiskImage -ImagePath "E:\Windows10.iso"

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the virtual drive will be removed, and the image will no longer be accessible until you mount it again.

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

24 Comments
  • "It's possible for third-party tools to configure themselves as the default application to open certain files, including ISO images. If this is the case, you won't see an option to mount images on Windows 10." This is true, except you can still mount it by right-clicking the ISO file, selecting 'Open with' and then selecting 'Windows Explorer'.  The file mounts as a virtual drive, as mentioned previously, and you can access it that way.  Just the direct 'Mount' option goes missing in the context menu if you have, like me, installed an app such as PowerISO.   Also, you can unmount the ISO from Windows Explorer by right-clicking the virtual drive in 'This PC' and selecting 'Eject'.
  • You're correct. Thanks for the heads up.
  • Usually works, unless Mount used a drive letter which is assigned to a network share that is disconnected at the moment the mount is done, then you only have the network drive "Disconnect" option. Powershell saved me in that situation.
  • Very important features.  Loved this ever since Win8.
  • I got exactly what I was looking for.  Article title: "How to mount or unmount ISO images on Windows 10."  Answer: "double-click it."  Good for a smile! Great stuff, though, especially the powershell command.  I ran a help on it, as I've never used it before, and I can't see an obvious switch to mount an ISO as a specific letter.  I do see a -NoDriveLetter option, as with some others to mount as read-only or read-write.  I wonder if it's possible to edit an ISO using the read-write method?
  • Does W10 offer cloning feature?  Let said I have 5 identical PC and done setting up one, is there a feature in w10 that allow me to push a clone to the other unit?
  • yes it does, you can use command prompt (cmd) and use dism to make a .wim file then use that fike to deploy the image to another drive. It is best however to download the windows 10 adk and make a WinPE bootable flash drive that can be use to boot and capture and deploy the image. It's free and available for anyone running windows 10. To be honest however if your are only doing a few machines it's faster to take out the drive and buy a $60 hard drive cloner. You also may want to run sysprep before copying but you don't have to. YouTube will be your friend if your new to this. Just search for Windows ADK WinPE capture or deploy image. Let me know if you need help.
  • That is actually a very useful explanation! I've been trying to clone Windows Server 2008 R2 with little to no result. Before I try it, does your explanation still stand for Windows Server 2008 R2?
  • Yes it does, if you use WinPE and DISM from the windows 10 ADK you can use it to clone any machine running windows xp and up. Just since its server if your using raid this can make thing a bit complicated to accomplish but it is still possible. Before DISM you would use IMAGEX but I would use DISM.
  • If you want to have some real fun, download and install MDT. Follow the instructions to create a reference image and target image task sequence to capture (reference) and deploy (target) an image to machines from the MDT repository. This allows you to fully automate the build process and use a base image to deploy with other applications and drivers added through the target image. The target image can also handle the domain join. If you are going to capture an image using dism or imagex, make sure that the image you are capturing is not domain joined. In fact, you should also make sure that you run all phases of WinPE to prep and finalize the image. If you don't, it will create duplicate GUIDs in AD because it will literally be a clone and that isn't good for SIDs and GUIDs. You also don't want to capture drivers. That is why WinPE is designed to strip drivers and identifiers before you capture an image. MDT's built-in task sequences take care of that for you. So, the last thing you want to do is "clone" an image unless you are going to reapply it to the exact same machine and hardware. Windows system imaging is more robust for redeploying an image to other endpoints but it is also more complex.
  • Coz double-clicking is so hard.
  • Wow never knew that! Thanks ;)
  • Wow! I've always user Daemon Tools Lite up until today. Didn't know about this. Anyone know of any difference when using either methods?
  • Been years since I used Daemon Tools, so I couldn't tell you the differences. It was originally written for a time when that functionality was not built into Windows. Now that it IS built in, I would imagine most people wouldn't need third party software, no matter how good it is.
  • There is a light-and-day difference in speed. Using Windows Explorer is much faster than using Daemon Tools Lite.
  • Likewise, I wasn't aware that Windows had native support for mounting .iso files. That's one more third party app I can get rid of.
  • I still need to use Rufus if I want to put the ISO file in thumb drive.
  • That's what you do when you want to "burn" the ISO file to your thumb drive.
  • I have a machine with Win10 Home Edition installed, but I can't see this "Mount" function in the right-click context menu, however I have another laptop machine for work, installed with Win10 Professional Edition, it has this "Mount" function. Does it mean I happen to forget to install some certain features in Win10 Home? I really don't want to install any 3rd-party software to mount iso files in my machine, I don't quite trust them.
  • dbl click the iso file and it should be mounted... easy peasy :)
  • Well, the windows just asks me to choose which program to open iso files......
  • Use Windows Explorer
  • So how can I make Windows mounting option as default and remove the third party default settings?
  • Wow , Daemon tools and Magic ISO suddenly flashed onto my mind !