I have a folder to distribute. On Mac, I can put all the folder's contents into a DMG, which the user can just click to open and see all the contents.

What is the equivalent on Windows? Some have said ISO, but when I create one, Windows either sees it as a DVD image and opens Windows Disk Image Burner or sees it as a compressed directory, making the user extract all contained files before they can be used.

Isn't there something that can just be opened in the same way as a DMG?

  • Only recent versions of Windows (start from 8) can mount ISO files natively. There’s VHD, but its handling also only improved starting from 8. It’s also writable by default.
    – Daniel B
    Oct 21, 2016 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


If you're just trying to distribute a folder as a single object, just zip it. It's built in to all Windows versions from 7 onward, and will be perfectly usable on almost any other platform too.

To do so, right-click on the folder you're trying to distribute, go down to Send to, and select "Compressed (zipped) folder." It should create a zip file in the same working directory that you can then share. Users will be able to view most of the contents without having to decompress the zip file first, but I'm not sure if editing will be possible that way.

  • Explorer could open Zip files in XP too IIRC. However, it will choke on archives with lots of files (over 9000!, no really) and you can’t open files directly from it, although Windows somewhat tries to emulate this.
    – Daniel B
    Oct 21, 2016 at 18:41

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