An ISO file Image or Disk Image is a file that contains all the data contents of an optical disk (CD, DVD or Blu-ray disk). This file contains also the file system of the optical disk and can be created by using a burning software like Nero, ImgBurn, etc. The advantages is that you can always have the digital copy of your original optical disk inside your hard drive or removable media, without the need to have the physical optical disk.
One of my favorites freeware utilities to mount an ISO file is called “Virtual CloneDrive” by “Slysoft” company. Using this utility you can mount .ISO, .CCD, .DVD, .IMG, .UDF and .BIN files very easily in all Windows versions. (Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Server 2008 & Server 2003)
Related article: How to Burn an ISO file to DVD or CD (Create DVD, CD from ISO)
(Watch this tutorial in YouTube)
How to Mount (Open and Explore) ISO image files.
Step 1. Download and Install “Virtual CloneDrive”.
1. Download “Virtual CloneDrive” from here. (Scroll down to “Freeware” section.)
2. Choose “Run” in the next screen.
3. Choose “I Agree” in License Agreement.
4. Leave the default setup options and choose “Next”.
5. Leave the default setup directory (unless you are using a different directory to install programs) and choose “Install”.
6. Choose “Install” at windows security pop-up window.
7. When the installation is complete, choose “Close”.
Step 2: Using “Virtual Clonedrive” to mount & explore ISO image file’s contents.
How to mount .ISO, .CCD, .DVD, .IMG, .UDF and .BIN files with “Virtual Clonedrive”.
After installing “Virtual Clonedrive” you should be able mount images files easily.
1. Just select the image file you want to mount, right click on it and select “Mount (Virtual CloneDrive x:)” from the menu.*
2. Then open Windows Explorer, find the virtual drive’s letter (x:) and explore your image file contents. *
* If you want to unmount the ISO image, right click on the virtual drive letter it and select“Unmount”.
Notice*: Windows 10 & 8 operating system has built in features to mount .ISO files. Just double click the .ISO image file you want and the .ISO is mounted as a virtual drive in your computer.