Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I recently downloaded software in an .iso format.

Do I need to download any special software to run this file?

share|improve this question
You might want to state your operating system--the answer is different depending on the OS. – CarlF Dec 15 '10 at 22:48

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer: An ISO is an optical media (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.) image. Normally you would use some sort of burning software (ImgBurn, CDBurnerXP, Nero, Roxio, etc.) to burn this ISO to a disc, then use the disc to install from.

Alternatively, there is software available like Virtual Clone Drive, DVDFab Virtual Drive, or Daemon Tools (among others) that will let you create a virtual CD/DVD drive and mount the ISO to a drive letter.

share|improve this answer
+1 for Virtual Clone Drive, – Svish Dec 15 '10 at 2:05
+1 for DaemonTools – Iszi Dec 15 '10 at 3:50

Most decompression programs can also simply extract an ISO file to a folder. You can then run the setup executable directly from the extracted files.

share|improve this answer

An iso (short for ISO 9660) is a CD image. On most desktop operating systems other than Windows, you can access its contents by mounting it through FuseISO (e.g. Ubuntu: fuseiso Install fuseiso).

share|improve this answer

If you are using Windows consider using PowerISO. There are plenty of reviews on CNET and I consider it one of the better shareware versions. It is not only capable of reading ISO formats but it can also mount them as virtual CD/DVD drives.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.