Extract Files From An ISO Without Burning To CD or DVD


Some downloads from the internet have an ISO extension.  These are CD or DVD image files.  You can't read the contents of these files directly.  Instead, you have to burn them to a CD or DVD disc, which you can then read in order to look at the files within the ISO image. 

Typically, operating systems such as Linux are packaged as ISO files, as are some downloads from Microsoft.  To install the product you have to burn it to a disc first.  Also, some items that you might have downloaded from web sites are, again, ISO images, because they were originally available as a disc and the ISO format allows the precise disc layout to be preserved.

If you have an ISO file and you want to examine its contents without burning it to a CD or DVD, help is at hand.  A free Windows utility called ISO Opener is all you need.  It works like a standard unzip program, extracting the contents of the ISO image so you end up with a collection of standard, recognisable files that you can then deal with as you please.

ISO Opener is available from www.isoopener.com and is free of charge.  It's less than 1 MB to download, runs on all recent versions of Windows (I used 8.0 for my tests), and is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.  Definitely one for the toolbox.




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If the ISO file is greater than 4.7 Gb can it be burned to 2 discs, and still function, if I am unable to get a double layer disc??

It depends. If it's an installer disc, probably not as it will look for files not present and the install will fail. If it's a movie disc, the movie will fail at some point. You'd want to use a video editor and spit the content first. But if it's just a large image of files, those can be easily split into 2. But you'd want to extract the files first, then burn them.

I don't think it will work.

I used Virtual Clone Drive (Elaborate Bytes) for years. It can read the contents of ISO files directly. Works with Windows 8.1. VCD is a jewel.

I usually use [commercial software edited] to view ISO files but this one is a keeper - thanks!

I've enjoyed Virtual Clone Drive by Elaborate Bytes, for years. It mounts the ISO like a disk drive. You can even run files directly from the assigned drive letter. Windows Explorer sees it as just a, read only, disk drive. Works with XP, Win7 and I presume Win8.

I get the best results by extracting the ISO to a virtual drive and then take what I want.

Rob, both PeaZip and 7-Zip support extracting ISO. ISO Opener seems a tad redundant to me. :)

Hi Grimbles. Thanks for that bit of useful info! I didn't know 7 zip could open and extract files from an ISO file. Thanks for sharing.

Hasn't Windows 8 got a built-in ISO viewer?

If you have 7zip you can view the contents of or extract isos