Someone sent me software as a single ISO file. How do I install this?


You need a tool that creates a virtual CD/DVD drive and "mounts" the ISO as a virtual CD.

Some famous tools are:

  • 3
    +1 for Virtual Clone Drive. I'm not a big fan of Daemon Tools, though; they seem incredibly spammy at the moment... – alex Oct 24 '09 at 21:06
  • 2
    +1 for not mentioning Alcohol 120% :) – Kaiser Advisor Nov 17 '09 at 21:00
  • Just curious, why not Alcohol 120% ? – Albert Jun 18 '10 at 19:06
  • Thanks for the Virtual CloneDrive. No internet installer and works like a charm! Plus cool logo. – Erwin Rooijakkers Aug 28 '14 at 8:02

An ISO is an image of a CD or DVD disc. It contains all the data, and is often used to make multiple copies of an optical disc. You can install the software on it in one of several ways:

  • You can burn it to CD/DVD using tools like ImgBurn or Nero, and then use the CD like normal;
  • You can mount it in a "fake" CD drive using Virtual CloneDrive or Daemon Tools; or
  • You can use a program such as MagicISO to extract files from it.
  • 2
    Most comprehensive answer. – Nathaniel Oct 24 '09 at 20:18
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    Note that most of the popular archive tools such as WinRAR can extract files from ISO images. – Sasha Chedygov Dec 1 '09 at 1:16

WinCDEmu is an open-source software that allows mounting CD/DVD images by clicking at the image files in Windows Explorer. It supports both Windows XP and Vista

it doesn't get much easier :)

WinCDEmu is open-source and freeware.


You need to install something like Virtual CD or the Microsoft Virtual CD Control Panel (direct link to exe)

This will then allow you to read or "mount" the ISO file as though it were a real CD or DVD.


Use Daemon Tools/PowerISO or, if you want to look inside the ISO, use 7-Zip or WinRAR.

  • Consider adding links to your answers. This makes it easier for all of us. – alex Oct 24 '09 at 21:07

Virtual Clone Drive is the easiest to use in my opinion. It has the added benefit of being completely free.

Once you've installed it you'll see a new "virtual" CD drive appear on your machine. You'll also get a small icon in the notification area of your start menu near the clock that will look like a small silver CD. Right clicking on that will let you choose the ISO file from a location on your hard drive to your virtual CD drive. From there the virtual drive will behave just like a real disc drive.

  • I know your response is old, but Virtual Clone Drive is no longer FREE. It is only good for 21 days. – ThN Sep 16 '14 at 19:15

Install the free utility http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html then right click the ISO file to mount it as a drive like E: and then it functions just like a physical read-only drive.

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