.ISO File: What It Is For and Where It Is Used


Speaking generally, a file with the .ISO extension is an image of a CD or DVD. However, it can originate not only from these data mediums. Thus, it contains all the information about the contents of the CD-ROM, whatever information it has, including music, boot distributions of operating systems, games or programs.

How You Can Open .ISO Files

First of all, we should note that it depends on what exactly is there on this disc image. If this is a program or a game, the best way is not to open the file itself, but to set the .ISO image in the operating system – i.e., to open it in a special program, which makes it appear that a new virtual CD appears in the Explorer. Then you can perform all the necessary operations with it – for example, install games and stuff. If you want to find out more in depth what is ISO file, and how to open it – click on the link and forget about the problematic issue with the opening of unknown files forever.

Another possible case is that the .ISO file contains the operating system distribution. In this case, for example, in order to install Windows on a computer, you need to burn this image to a disk or a USB flash drive, and after that the computer boots from this media and Windows installs.

This type of file can include different kinds of data:

  • Images of disks (Sony Playstation ePSXe)
  • CAD, 3D-graphics (Document Arbortext IsoDraw / Cimagraphi)
  • Raster graphics (Graphic raster file CALS ISO 8613)
  • Configuration files (InstallShield)
  • Games (CD games on Sega)


Examples of Use

Windows 7 includes a Windows utility to create a disk image that can burn an .ISO image to a CD and DVD. The utility is located in the \ Windows \ System32 \ folder and is called isoburn.exe. The binary .ISO image file is widely supported by many applications that are used to work with disk images, such as Nero and many others.

In fact, an .ISO image (also called an optical disk image) is an archive file and can be used to copy or store a backup of a CD or DVD because they reproduce each bit of data from the disc. It differs from copying all the files from the drive since the information about the title of the disc is lost during the copying process. Thus, they can be used to restore the disks to the original version.

Using an Archiver and Why You Might Need It

Any disk image file with the .ISO extension can be opened with almost any modern archiver – WinRAR, 7zip, and others. How can you do it? First of all, you can start the archiver separately, then select the file in the archiver menu – open and specify the path. Another way is to right-click on the file and select “Open with”, then find the archiver in the list of programs.

We hope that you have learned some useful information from the article that will broaden your outlook and knowledge about extensions as well as help you not to have any problem with the opening of unknown items in future.


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