How to Open or Access the Contents of an ISO in Windows

This guide will show you how to open an ISO file in Windows so you can access its contents or even extract some of the files stored in it.

The process to open an ISO file in Windows depends on the version of Windows that you’re using. If you’re using Windows 8 or 10, you don’t need to download anything – just double-click the file. That will automatically mount it as a volume (drive) which you can access the same way you would a hard drive or CD/DVD. When you’re done, right-click on that newly created ‘drive’ and select Eject

ejecting an opened ISO file in Windows

If you’re using an earlier version of Windows (XP, Vista, 7) – the fantastic 7-Zip has got your back. 7-Zip is a small, open source (free) app used to open compressed files (like .zip files, .rar files etc). It also happens to open .ISO files. Download and install 7-Zip from their website. They offer the app in both 32bit and 64bit versions – if you need help determining which version you want, check out this short guide.

Once you have 7-Zip installed, launch the 7-Zip File Manager from your Start menu.

7-Zip in the Start menu

Use the ‘down arrow’ (see screenshot below) and the main panel to navigate to your ISO file.

navigating to a file in 7-zip

Once you’ve located your ISO, double-click it from within 7-Zip.

opening an ISO file with 7-zip in Windows

The contents of the ISO file will now be displayed. If you’d like to copy some of the files from the ISO, select them and then click the Extract button.

extracting a folder from an ISO file

Choose a folder to copy them to and then click the OK button.

a copy files panel

Open a Windows Explorer/File Manager window and those copied files will be in the folder that you specified. That’s it!

windows explorer displaying a file and a folder

If you need help creating your own ISO, we have a guide for that too.

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13 thoughts on “How to Open or Access the Contents of an ISO in Windows”

  1. thank you so much for your steps, i was having problems left and right until i found your website thanks so much

  2. Thanks a bunch! You really saved a lot of time. Your instructions are very simple and straight forward.

    I really appreciate your post.

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