How-To Geek

Windows 8 Will Support Native ISO Image Mounting

One of the most popular searches for Windows 7 on this site is how to mount an ISO image in Windows, and now Microsoft has announced that it will be a native ability in Windows 8.

So how does this work in Windows 8? It’s quite simple – just “mount” the ISO file (you can select mount from the enhanced Explorer ribbon or double-click or right-click on the file), and a new drive letter appears, indicating that the contents are now readily accessible. Underneath the covers, Windows seamlessly creates a “virtual” CDROM or DVD drive for you on-the-fly so you can access your data.

Accessing data in ISO and VHD files [MSDN]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/30/11

Comments (24)

  1. Aether

    Yessssssssss. I’ve wanted this for a long time. Good on Microsoft for finally including it.

  2. berocent

    oh not bad

  3. dima


  4. Two Replies

    IMO, standard/common functions of standardized file-types should be included by default in all OSs.

  5. Tangmeister

    Time for a little fortune-telling:

    I think the Mount button will get an arrow at the bottom in future builds that allows users to select options (I’m a fortune teller, so I’m a little vague XD)

    And a horizontal dropdown menu on the right to select a drive letter.

  6. Michael

    I gave up on the Mac when Jobs came back and dropped the clone strategy for the architecture, but… What is this, about 20 years after they allowed disk image mounting in MacOS? Duh, what a major innovation for Windows.

  7. Ali

    I wonder what will happen to VirtualCloneDrive

  8. Rino

    so pathetic of M$ to include a minor improvement to Windows after the ability to mount ISO’s have been around for years. fish bait for an OS that has hit the wall.

  9. eitan

    Linux supports native iso mount for years.

  10. Hogar the Wise

    Now the real thing is that, they will only provide ISO and VHD, and I can mount with WinCDemu more disk images than windows 8 would, even better with daemon tools lite, you could mount a whole bunch of stuff. -.- I mean seriouslly ….just ISO and VHD, what were they thinking?? I mean why is it always that besides installing the OS, I have to install a whole bunch of things just to upgrade the functionallity of windows. (from power iso to registry cleaners etc.) If they plan to copy this drive mounting technology from (hmmm….my guess…Linux & Mac), they could at least offer more different file image types for mounting. Windows always comes last with new stuff, always been and will always do…there’s no hope for them… Their engineers are great and I believe they work very hard, but c’mon hire a guy with some vision, somebody who has a vision of his own. Do something new and unexpected. Something that wasn’t already made by other companies. I mean after all, they do charge us $150 – $250 for their new OS which doesn’t bring soooo much new things, and which other operating systems aready got.

  11. Jack


    Took their bloody time but they have finally done it!

    But at the moment i doubt win 8 will be worth however much they charge for it. This is so far the only decent feature imo. And seeing as this has been available for a very long time on other OS’s , thats not that impressive. And it depends on how good this mounting actually is, or i’ll stick with daemon tools

  12. mysterchr

    I’m with Jack, it’s about time but it still depends on how good the mounting is.

  13. Mista Awesome

    I just use Virtual Clone Drive. But this is pretty cool.

  14. Josh

    I am still skeptical about the ugly ribbon. I’m sorry for the troll drop, I am just curious what everyone else thinks…

  15. Stuart

    Actually MS had a tool for XP to mount CD images. I have never used it but you can find it at, MS never really talked about it.

    If you want that functionality now I suggest you try filedisk. It does many types and there is even a good cousin HTTP disk which… I haven’t had a need for yet.

    Lastly it doesn’t matter who has had this ability since when or not, its a good change to see. You also have to remember that everytime MS wants to do something they usually end up in the courts about it. See IE and the EU and MS and Adobe over PDF in win 7.

  16. Jack


    I am also sceptical about the ribbon. If they added a way to turn it off it would be good.

  17. Will

    Finally Microsoft is promoting piracy!!

  18. Anonymous

    Hasn’t anyone heard of virtual machines?!

    Sure, it can be a PITA to “mount” an ISO in Windows but not impossible. The trick is loading/booting Windows virtually and then letting the VM client also handle the ISO. Most VM clients can already switch ISO’s on the fly too.

    So what I’d like to know from the Linux crowd is why can’t any Linux distro mount a VHD (virtual hard drive) like you can in Windows? Humm?! Check it out! Windows XP to 7, maybe even 2000, have always been able to create and mount VHD’s. And in case you didn’t know, a VHD is pretty much the same thing as an ISO except that a VHD can also be written to when mounted.

    Oh well. Seems like cutting edge ideas from Microsoft will have to wait and be adopted by Apple-tards or something. Sort of like tablet computing was. (About the only thing Microsoft forgot to do ten+ years ago with their tablets was cut the keyboard – heck! nobody’s perfect).

  19. Henry

    Now one can actually have an entire cd-rom collection on harddrive without dealing with crazy utilities!

    MS you are starting to become great again
    (first zune then wp7 and now windows 8)

  20. Graeme Jackson

    Nice one Microsoft, there is hope you will one day catch up with Linux.

    Never has so little been done by so many for so few….

  21. Trolololol

    Mac’s are so gay. Almost as gay as Rino.

  22. Rochan

    See ya Daemon Tools. It’s been a while buddy.

  23. dlgn

    Wonder how they’ll make that as a web-based app?

  24. Teiji

    About time…goodbye Daemon Tools.

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