Best Free CD-DVD Burning Software

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When looking for the best free software program for either CD (Compact Disc) or DVD (Digitally Versatile Disc) I think it is worth the effort to consider your exact requirements.

Keep in mind that CD & DVD burning programs are designed for you to author CDs and DVDs for music, photos, movies, games, data or other digital files that will hopefully stimulate your creativity. As well as CD and DVD burning software, this category also includes Lightscribe software which enables you to produce laser-etched labels with text or graphics, as opposed to stick-on labels and printable discs.

With new free software, don't be afraid to experiment and try a few different options before you decide on the right one for you.


Rated Products


A very flexible burning application with advanced features

Our Rating: 
License: Free
A free tool that enables you to burn CD/DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray images with ease. Very flexible application with several advanced features not available in other tools.
Bundled with OpenCandy - see information link in review text. Probably more suited to advanced users who will appreciate the extent of its configurability.
Read full review...

BurnAware Free  

A simple program for your burning needs

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Private/Educational use)
BurnAware Free is a free CD, DVD, Blu-ray Disc burning software
Doesn't have the option of a floating window that features in programs such as CDBurnerXP.
Read full review...


A quick and easy solution for creating audio and video discs and ripping audio CDs

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Limited features)
Clean user friendly interface. Multi-session functionality.
Requires Microsoft .NET Framework.
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A respectable burning program with all common features

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Supports CD-R/CD-RW/DVD+R/DVD-R/DVD+RW/DVD-RW/DVD-RAM (double layer mediums included); burns discs from images or files, creates bootable discs, creates images from files or discs, copies discs to discs (does not seem to bypass copyright protection), adds sessions to multisession discs, fixates discs, burns on-the-fly, verifies burns, erases rewritable media; creates audio discs, creates video DVDs; command line version; multilingual; simple, easily accessible interface.
Does not support HD-DVD, Blu-Ray; lacks advanced features.
Read full review...

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This software review is copy-edited by Ian Richards. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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Average: 4.3 (483 votes)


I think out of 10,000 people, only one might turn out to need one of the advanced edit features that ImgBurn has to offer. Although I appreciate it being standalone (not dependent on .NET Framework) and light / fast (the simpler, more responsive interface), I think the drawback that the interface isn't that intuitive, in fact even cumbersome, and that it leaves room for errors from users that are not that technical (the other 9,999 people...) is what matters more. So, I and most people would use CDBurnerXP (or BurnAware Free), which beat even many commercial software I've seen in terms of usability, stability, and so on, and even come (very?) close to the reliability / stability of ImgBurn.

And don't forget, everyone, it is better to burn discs at lower speeds (I would recommend half the speed advertised on the disc), especially with discs of whose quality you are unsure of. The more the sensitivity of the data (the more you care about it), the slower the speed you should choose.

BurnAware Free.
I have used this and the interface is very good. Once MAJOR problem found. I had a faulty bluray burner. It was only after 40 odd discs that I needed to retrieve something. I then found all burns had failed.
Despite this program verifing that all was good.
I had used ImgBurn as well, and it failed to verify. I had dismissed this as the software hadn't had an update in 2years. My mistake.
Be very carefull with BurnAware Free !!!!


Thank you!

BurnAware Free 7.5 vs CDBurnerXP Review:

My focuses:
* Stable, reliable burns
* High-speed burns

I recently tried out the latest 2 versions of these free burning softwares and wanted to share my results.

I'd been using BurnAware Free 7.5, reliably burning data discs at 10x for a while and loved using the quick-verify feature it has to data-check after compilation burn completion. However the latest version has an issue with it.

I checked out CDBurnerXP to see if it could do faster burns. After my testing I can burn reliably much faster at 16x. I also like that it has a direct folder tree available and you don't need to have a separate Windows Explorer window open like for BurnAware Free.

I recommend people try out the latest version of CDBurnerXP as I've had great results. :D

Thank you!

I'm happy to report that Burn Aware Free 7.7 is very stable and reliable. Checksum file validation is working again and a test run of 10 DVD-Rs for me completed fine and files were verified :D

Try AnyBurn...small and simple yet powerful enough.

I recently had to get a new computer, which has caused the usual nightmares of installing, re-installing, re-registering, and learning some new programs from scratch.

"ImgBurn" was installed. You know, after many years of working with computer programs, you get to know good design from BAD design. Frankly, "ImgBurn" is the worst piece of S*** I've ever run across-- and I've been using "3D Studio Viz" for ages! For the life of me, I could not figure out how to use it, and it was driving me up a wall.

Similarly, the new version of "Windows Media Player" is EVEN WORSE than the earlier ones. That, ALLEGEDLY, is supposed to allow you to burn CDs-- but after many years, I have still not been able to figure out how. (That's not an exaggeration.)

I wanted to thank you for the list of recommended programs. I was looking for something SIMPLE. I downloaded "CDBurnerXP", and figured it out RIGHT, first time, easily. I might never have found it without your help. I give this MY highest recommendation.

I really don't get the problem with ImgBurn, especially why it should prompt such vitriolic feelings. I find it a breeze to use and it's easy to create a non-install version to avoid any bundling, or just download the PAF version.

I'm with you on Media Player though, I've never liked it and would disable it completely if it wasn't needed as the engine for a couple of third-party programs I use. Media Player Classic is excellent though.

I agree about CDBurnerXP too, it is very very good. Ususally my first choice for anything other than simple tasks with disk images. The integrated audio previewer is a nice touch.

I agree about interface of ImgBurn. That's one reason why I don't use it. You will find BurnAware free to be good and easy to use too, with a simple interface. I used to use CDBurnerXP before, but I use BurnAware free now.

Thanks. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my opinions of certain programs. Also good to get recommendations.

The one thing that seems to be missing from "CDBurnerXP" is, it doesn't tell you the total length for a CD before you run it off (something "RecordNow!" did). Unless I can't find that option yet...

I often assemble custom CDs, and more than once have gotten something down to JUST under 80 minutes.

Just installed BurnAware Free; chose it because it works with 64 bit windows.

The Open Candy avoidance tips worked great, no sign of it all.

I am a total newb with DVD burners. The write-up states "A launch window lets you choose the type of project you want and leads you through the process to completion"

Not quite true. Evidently the source video has to be in DVD video-format. Perhaps blindingly obvious to some, but worth noting for others.

Also, there appears to be a 2Gig limit on DVD burn files.


Long time fan of Gizmo - thank you for all your work and your trustworthy write ups.

And just for the record, Open Candy are, IMHO, slimeballs. A pox on 'em and a dope-slap for the otherwise awesome guys who write such great stuff for us. Time to come back from the Dark Side guys.

After installing ImgBurn I have a lot of unwanted popups (Firefox). I uninstalled ImgBurn but the popups remain, and I don't know how to get rid of them, but I sure would like to.

I recommend against installing this program.

You just have to download the program from the right place. Here's one you can safely use:

And yes, this is what Open Candy does to your PC:

Removal guide is also included.

Be careful next time, do a web search before installing anything and read other users' opinions about the legitimacy of the piece of software you are trying to install (do not download it blindly from DOWNLOAD.CNET because your PC will be automatically infected) and ways of circumventing potential issues.

Good luck!

BurnAware Free 7.1 is now bundled with OpenCandy. In their site's published EULA for BurnAware Free there's no mention of any OpenCandy license but in the installer's EULA OpenCandy's License is now included. Also, Malwarebytes did detect the presence of OpenCandy.

Thank you marxgyver for the information. Having just checked the program myself I confirm the presence of OpenCandy. I will make the necessary adjustments to our review. MC - Site Manager.

Can I just add that it's easy to use ImgBurn (which also has a bundled installer) as a portable program using the method detailed here -

This will avoid the installation process entirely and thus any unwanted bundles that might run with the installer.

BurnAware itself has a (old but still helpful) portable development thread over at the website -

VirusTotal reports 9/51 on ImgBurn.exe If you have Malwarebytes installed is withholds ImgBurn from installing.

As stated in the product details, ImgBurn is bundled with OpenCandy. See the OC information link in the review text. MC - Site Manager.

NEVER use IMGBURN! I just tried it based on this sites recommendation. It hijacks your home page and search engine with "White Smoke" and is a pain to remove. Completely UN-recommended!

As per the extensive details given for this program in the review, and as with a lot of other software, it contains bundled components, but these are easy enough to avoid if care is taken during the install process. More information at the link below. MC - Site Manager.

I have just read this review, and apparently the Ashampoo program is the only one that runs on Windows 8. Is that correct, and if so are there updates coming?

The programs will most likely work on Windows 8 too. You can confirm by going to their home sites, and looking for system requirements. Like, I use BurnAware, and it works fine on Windows 8.
This category currently has no editor so there will be no changes until someone volunteers to take it over. MC - Site Manager

I just used CDBurnerXP to erase a DVD+RW which was working fine and now Windows Vista says it can't detect it and it may be corrupt. other discs work fine.

Try cdrtfe. Seems to be good...

Wow, people whine a lot on this forum
about not being given enough good stuff for free.

Jeezus people.

These are GREAT PROGRAMS provided free.

I've done 25 years of HW/SW tech support and
some of this stuff still blows my mind.

Just think: You get a $40 program with OpenCandy.
You get a free Malwarebytes and remove OpenCandy.

You KEEP free $40 program!!! OR
You say, Christ Almighty, if I have to remove OpenCandy,
I'm tossing the program with it.... WTF???

I'd have loved ANY of these programs 6 years ago.
ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS would've been top of the line in 2009-10.
And they're freeware today. Blows my mind...

Anyways Gizmo's Freeware People, Keep up the good work.
No idea when, if, I'll be back here, but pulled all of these
programs to compare contrast to see which I like. They all
seem to have advantages today.

I still don't like the interface of Imgburn,
but that's nothing new...