Mounting image files as virtual drives has largely removed the need for physical disks (along with all the other tech that’s deprecated them – like cloud storage and USB sticks). One advantage of using disc images is that they are not limited by the space provided by a DVD or CD because they are stored on your computer’s hard drive. Aside from that, running images from within an OS is faster and more convenient than from physical disks.
Windows 10 comes with built-in capability to mount ISO images. Even if you are using macOS, you can easily mount a disc image by simply double-clicking it. However, at times you may need to use a third-party software, especially if you are using an older version of Windows. Here are the best ISO mounting software for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
1. Integrated OS Software
Operating System: Windows, Linux and macOS
Before moving onto the more comprehensive and more complex third-party software, it’s worth noting that all the big platforms have decent ISO mounting functions onboard already. Sure, they don’t have the advanced functionality you’ll find in stuff like PowerISO, but if you just want to create a virtual drive to access your ISO images, then they will suffice.
2. Virtual CloneDrive
Operating System: Windows
Much simpler than some of the more advanced options on this list (like PowerISO and Daemon Tools), Virtual CloneDrive gives you exactly what you want: a dummy Blu-Ray (and CD and DVD) drive that you can use to mount all kinds of common and obscure disc image types.
Supported formats include ISO, CCD, IMG, BIN, CCD, DVD and UDF. There’s a virtual eject button which is handy, as well as the option to quickly mount and boot up recently used image files.
It’s completely free and doesn’t come with ads or bloatware or any of the stuff you definitely don’t want.
Operating System: Windows, Linux, and macOS
When it comes to utilizing ISO images, PowerISO is the ideal choice and my personal favorite. This powerful tool can mount virtual ISO images. It also supports all the world-known standard image file formats such as ISO, BIN, CDI, NRG, and DAA. One of its salient features is the ability to create bootable USB flash drives. This comes in handy when you need to create a Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive.
PowerISO is a multi-purpose tool that goes way beyond its primary ISO mounting role. It can rip audio CD to MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC or BIN files. You can also use it to burn audio CDs from MP3, as well as burn ISO files to CD, DVD, or Blu-Ray disc. What’s more, Power ISO can convert all the other image file formats its supports to a standard ISO image file.
Operating System: Windows
If we had to pick a favorite, it would be this. WinCDEmu is a free, open-source tool that lets you mount optical disk images by simply clicking on them in the Windows Files Explorer. If you want a simple and straightforward tool to mount your ISO images, WinCDEmu is the way to go. It supports an unlimited amount of virtual drives and allows you to mount ISO, CUE, CCD, MDS/MDF, NRG, and IMG images with just a single click.
Creating an ISO from CD/DVD/Blu-ray is also simple. It only requires you to select the drive from Windows Explorer, then choose to create an ISO image. WinCDEmu doesn’t provide many features, but it offers all that a casual user would require.
5. DAEMON Tools for Mac
Operating System: macOS
Daemon Tools for Mac is more than just a disc imaging software. It lets you play FLAC and APE audio images, unzip archives, and create and mount CD, DVD, and HDD disc images. It has a long list of supported formats, including ISO, BIN/CUE, and CCD. Besides mounting, Daemon Tools for Mac allows you to use system hotkeys for mounting and ejection as well as view history of the recently opened images. What’s more, Daemon Tools for Mac version 5 lets you create bootable USB drives for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
6. Furius ISO Mount
Operating System: Linux
Furius ISO Mount is a simple, user-friendly Gtk+ interface ISO mounting and burning software that can also check SHA and Md5 sums. It’s a very easy-to-use tool that does its job without any issues. Besides ISO images, Furious also supports other image formats, such as BIN, IMG, NRG, and MDF. Its simplicity of use is what sets it apart. For instance, it supports drag-and-drop automatic mounting of images. It not only allows you to easily retrieve the previously mounted images but also automatically creates a mount point in your home directory.
While Furius ISO Mount has not been updated for years, it still works well on most Linux distros.
Operating System: Linux
AcetoneISO is a freeware for Linux which specializes in the handling of ISO files. It can create, mount, extract, rip, encrypt, and decrypt CD and DVD images. It supports ISO, BIN, NRG, and MDF formats. Apart from mounting disc images, AcetoneISO comes with other excellent features, including the option to download videos from YouTube. Additionally, it can extract audio tracks from a video and play DVD images using the chosen media. Even though AcetoneISO is enabled to perform many functions, it’s simple to use and has a clean interface.
We have shown you the best ISO image mounting software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Most of these tools are available in both free and paid versions. Want to explore more software? See our list of the best Android emulators for Mac, as well as the best mobile apps to help you study.