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How to open ISO files on Windows 11

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An ISO file, also called an ISO image, is a type of storage file that came to the fore many years ago. Since Windows 8, fortunately, Microsoft has added support for ISO files on Windows, and in this new guide, we want to help you understand how to open ISO images on Windows 11 .

open image iso file on windows 11

How to open an ISO image on Windows 11

Initially, ISO files were designed to be exact copies of optical discs, such as DVDs or CDs, and after many years, they still do their job very well. When mounting an ISO image, your PC will treat the mounted file as if it were a CD, DVD or Blu Ray disc inserted into a computer disc drive.

Of course, there are several ways to open an ISO file with the built-in tools on Windows 11, and all of them are effective, so it's up to you to choose your favorite.

One piece of advice we want to give you, however, is to always be careful when mounting an ISO file on your PC because, especially if downloaded from the internet on torrent sites , they could contain malware or dangerous software. 

Another thing to say is that the first time you try to mount an ISO image on your computer, you may get a popup warning you that ISO files can harm your computer. Well, don't be scared, it's normal, but it doesn't mean that the file in question contains malware , it's a standard Windows message, but always check with a good antivirus .

Mount the ISO by double clicking on the file name

First, turn on your PC and open the folder where you have your ISO image, find the one you want to mount and double click on it (note that if you have installed a third party program to open ISO, double click may not work).

windows iso image

Once you double-click on the file name, the Windows message may appear warning you of the possible dangerous content of the file, if you are sure of the source click on the Open button .

At this point your ISO image will be mounted on your computer and you can access its contents from the File Explorer window by opening the virtual drive assigned to it.

Mount ISO file from the context menu with the right mouse button

To mount an ISO file on Windows 11 you can also use the context menu that opens when you right- click on the file name. 

Then, locate the file and click on its name with the right mouse button, then click on the "Mount" option from those listed.

mount an iso archive with the right mouse button

Open ISO images from the File Explorer ribbon

In the File Explorer window there are also some controls for managing ISO files. The ribbon, found at the top of the window, usually shows controls specific to the selected file type, so also when you click on an ISO file. Specifically, once you have selected an ISO image you will be shown the "Mount" option and the "Burn" option.

Then, click once on the ISO file you want to mount in order to select it, then click on the “Mount” option at the top of the window.

mount iso file

Note that if you have resized the File Explorer window and it is quite small, the “Mount” option may be accessible from the drop-down menu that you find by clicking on the three horizontal dots icon in the top right of the window.

How to unmount (or eject) an ISO file on Windows 11

Leaving an ISO image mounted on your computer doesn't cause any harm, but there's no reason to keep it mounted either. Once you have finished your work with the ISO archive, open File Explorer and go to “This PC”, then right click on the DVD drive where the file is mounted and click “Eject”.

unmount iso files on windows 11
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