Mounting of image files as virtual drives is a practice that has inevitably replaced the use of physical disks. 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.
Besides, mounting a disc image is a super-easy thing. The modern versions of Windows 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 on 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 our picks for 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 knowing 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 might suffice.
We’ve written guides for how to use the in-built ISO mounting functionality in Windows and Linux, while a macOS guide is currently in the works. If you’re looking for something a little more in-depth, then read on…
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 do something such as create a Windows 7 bootable USB flash drive using the Windows USB/DVD tool.
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
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 and then choose to create an ISO image. WinCDEmu doesn’t provide a lot of features, but it offers all that a casual user would require.
4. 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 lost 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.
5. Furious ISO Mount
Operating System: Linux
Furious 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 like 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.
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.
This article showed you the best ISO image mounting software for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Most of these tools are available in both free and paid versions. Some are super easy to use, while others might be a bit complex but offer additional features. We recommend that you try them all and settle with the one that best suits you.