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How to Play ISO Files on Windows

Last Updated: October 20th, 2023By Categories: Play Blu-ray

“I have an ISO file that I download from a movie site. What do I need to play this ISO file and watch the movie inside? Will it be tough and what do I need?”

An ISO file is a disc image duplicated from a DVD or Blu-ray. This .iso extension is abbreviated from the International Organization for Standardization. Depending on the original disc, an ISO file may contain disc content like video and music, software (like PC games, Windows OS) installation, and others.

The data type inside an ISO file differs from the program and step to open the disc image. To open an ISO file copied from a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray, we need an ISO player. And when we want to install the software from an ISO file, we need an ISO mounter.

How to Play ISO File on PC

Method 1: How to Play An ISO on Windows 10

If this is a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray ISO file, we can use echoshare Blu-ray Player to play the video or audio on a PC.

This powerful ISO player can process and play ISO files copied from a CD, DVD, and Blu-ray. With this ISO player, you don’t need to go through a complex setup or demanding operation. Simply click on the Open File on the interface of the program, and your music or movie ISO file will start running on this computer. Two clicks only and we can stream the ISO file on the PC without hassle. Let’s download this ISO player software and start to play an ISO on Windows 10 or others!

Blu-ray Player

Ultimate Blu-ray Player

Best All-in-one Blu-ray, DVD, and Media Player Software

  • One-click Play Blu-ray disc, BD Folder, & BD ISO
  • Decrypt DRMs like BD+, AACS, Cinavia, etc
  • Supports 3D, 4K UHD, 8K, AVCHD, and more

*Works on Windows 11 & macOS Ventura

Step 1: Download the ISO Player

On the computer, finish the installation of echoshare Blu-ray Player. Launch the program.

Blu-ray Player To Play DVD, BD, ISO

Step 2: Play ISO on the Program

On the interface of this player software, hit Open File. Then, browse and select the target ISO file from the computer’s hard drive. Hit Open to play this ISO with this player software.

Open File with Blu-ray Player

If this movie ISO file contains multiple audio or subtitle tracks, you may right-click on the frame and choose:

  • Audio – Audio Track.
  • Video –  Subtitle Track.

To play a specific chapter or title, right-click on the streaming interface and hit Chapter or Title to select the right clip to play.

Method 2: How to Open An ISO File on Windows with VLC

VLC media player, a free and open-source media player program, can also be used to play ISO files on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. This free ISO player is not only compatible with most digital formats but also eligible to play disc image files.

Compared to most third-party ISO player software, VLC is 100% free. You can use it to play ISO images on your computer for free.

Step 1: Install VLC media player for ISO

Download VLC

Go to VideoLan and get the right version of VLC software on your computer: Windows (this is for 32-bit OS) or 64-bit.

Follow the instructions to install this free ISO player correctly with the installation wizard.

Launch the program as VLC finishes loading on your computer.

Tip:

For Windows 10 and 11 PCs, VLC will ask you to download some firmware when you start it. Do as it says to launch it.

Step 2: Play ISO on VLC

On VLC, click on the Media option from the top menu bar. Select Open File. Then browse the ISO file from the Explorer window and click Open. VLC will start to play this disc file.

VLC Open File

You can also locate the ISO file on your computer. Long-press your cursor and drag the ISO file to the VLC interface. This will enable VLC to play the disc image file too. Or right-click on the ISO file and choose “Open with”. Browse and select VLC from the ways of running this ISO file.

Open File With VLC

Note:

Be aware that VLC cannot play ISO files with DRM protections. These disc images are possibly ripped from commercial Blu-rays and DVDs without removing the protection. As freeware, VLC cannot handle the protection and play the ISO files on a computer. Luckily, VLC is an open-source program and we can install plugins to make it play these protected ISO files. Check on these VLC plugins and play DVD or Blu-ray ISO on VLC.

After you get one or multiple VLC plugins, move the file(s) to the VLC software directory (right-click on the VLC icon and click Open File Location).

Blu-ray Player

Ultimate Blu-ray Player

Best All-in-one Blu-ray, DVD, and Media Player Software

  • One-click Play Blu-ray disc, BD Folder, & BD ISO
  • Decrypt DRMs like BD+, AACS, Cinavia, etc
  • Supports 3D, 4K UHD, 8K, AVCHD, and more

*Works on Windows 11 & macOS Ventura

Method 3: How to Mount ISO on Windows 10

If this is a disc image that saves a game or other software, you can choose to mount the ISO file to make it accessible on a PC. When there’s no built-in mounting feature on Windows 7, Microsoft has added one for Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and 11. We can mount ISO files on our Windows PC for free.

Step 1: Mount ISO Files on Windows

On your PC, locate the ISO file in an Explorer window. Double-click the ISO file (You can’t have any default ISO player on this PC. Otherwise a double-click will play this ISO file directly). Then, right-click on the ISO file and choose Mount.

Windows will mount this ISO file and make it accessible in seconds.

If there’s an ISO player program like VLC on your computer, you can right-click on the ISO file directly and hit Mount.

Mount ISO

Step 2: Open the Mounted ISO 

After the ISO is mounted on the Windows PC, this file can be opened by a double-click like a regular folder. You can access the content inside the disc. Copy the data inside or open them directly.

Step 3: Unmount the ISO

Target achieved! You can unmount the ISO file on the Windows for free. Open This PC and locate the disc drive panel. Locate the name of the ISO file and right-click on the icon. Click Eject to unmount the ISO.

Unmount ISO

Method 4: How to Run ISO Files on Windows with WinRAR

A .iso file is similar to a .zip or .rar file that compresses and, contains data and information. We can try to change the extension name of the target ISO file into RAR or ZIP. We can then run the ISO file with an unzipping program like WinRAR. This is a file archiver of Windows that helps us open ISO files (converted to an archived file) for free on a PC.

Step 1: Change An ISO File to an RAR/Zip File

Navigate to the ISO file and right-click on it. Choose to rename the file and change the .iso extension to .zip or .rar.

When you can’t change the file extension name on Windows, locate the ISO file and hit the View tab from the top menu bar. Tick the File name extensions option. You can change the .iso to .zip now.

File Name Extension

Hit the Enter key on your keyboard to complete the change. Windows will prompt you that changing the file extension may damage the source and make it corrupted. You may click Cancel to withdraw the change. Right-click on the ISO file and make a copy. Then, change it to ZIP.

Change File Extension On Windows Prompt

Step 2: Open the Archived ISO File

Right-click on the ZIP file and choose to open with WinRAR. Access and browse the content inside. You can locate a specific file and choose to export it to the computer.

Bonus: Convert ISO to Play on Windows/Mac

Besides playing or mounting the ISO file, we can convert the disc image format to a more common format like a video or audio file. After that, we can easily play the ISO video or audio with easier methods and tools. Besides, a digital file works also on phones and tablets.

To convert the ISO and play it on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone, download an ISO converter app like echoshare Blu-ray Converter. This is an all-in-one disc format converter that can generate digital files from a Blu-ray disc or DVD as well as Blu-ray & DVD ISO files. With easy setup, you’re able to convert an ISO file to 180+ video and audio formats. As for a movie ISO file, you can decide the title, chapter, audio channel, and subtitle track of the movie.

Download this ISO converter and start to make ISO easier to play on a PC.

Step 1: Import the ISO file to the ISO converter

On your computer, launch echoshare Blu-ray Converter. On its interface, hit the Load Blu-ray and select Load Blu-ray ISO. Browse and select the ISO file to load the disc image to the converter.

Load Blu-ray Disc, ISO, Folder to Blu-ray Converter

Step 2: Configure the ISO conversion

When the loading is complete, you can decide to convert the main movie or all videos inside the ISO file.

Convert Main Movie on Blu-ray Converter

Then, select the audio channel and subtitle track.

Locate Rip All to or Rip to Video/Audio to decide the output format and resolution for the output file.

Setup for Blu-ray Converter

Step 3: Convert the ISO

Hit the drop-down icon of Save to and choose a directory to save the converted ISO file.

FAQs

We can burn an ISO file to a DVD or CD to make it play on a media player program like VLC or Windows Media Player. If you don’t have a blank disc or a compatible disc drive, we have two options to play the ISO file on the computer.

We can download an ISO player program to run the disc image directly without burning. VLC or echoshare Blu-ray Player will be good for this task.

Or we can try to convert the ISO file to a common file format like MP4, MP3, WMV, and others. In this way, the file can be easily loaded on any media player software.

Windows Media Player is the default and built-in media player and disc player software on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and early 10. It can play digital files like MP3, MP4, WMV, and discs like VCD, CD, and DVDs. However, the disc format – ISO is not on the supported list of Windows Media Player. So, you can’t play ISO files on Windows Media Player directly.

Still, there are other ways to make the disc image play on the program, you can either burn the ISO file to a DVD or CD or convert the ISO file to a digital file like MP3 or MP4.

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