Burn ISO File to Disc in Windows 10


I wanted to make a bootable Ubuntu 16.04 disc the other day for an older PC and I wasn’t sure how to burn the ISO image to a disc. It’s not that I’ve never done it–I’ve created dozens of bootable discs since the days of Windows 98–it’s just that I haven’t needed to burn a disc for so long that I’d forgotten whether I needed to install software to do it. I’ve been using bootable USB drives for a few years, but this old PC wouldn’t boot from a USB drive. I didn’t want to install software if I didn’t have to, but I couldn’t see anything obvious when selecting or right-clicking on the .iso file in Windows Explorer:

screenshot of .iso file with no burn context menu option
.iso files don’t show built-in Windows options for mounting/burning if they are associated with another program

As it turns out, Windows 10 does have ISO disc burning capability built into Explorer. All you have to do is select the .iso file in Explorer and a “Manage” tab should appear. In this tab there is a button to burn to disc (or mount). You can also right-click the file and select “Mount” or “Burn disc image.”

screenshot of .iso file with built-in burn/mount options in Windows Explorer
Windows 10 has built-in ISO burning and mounting capabilities

It wasn’t showing up for me because .iso files were associated with 7-zip instead of Explorer. All I had to do was set the file association for .iso files back to Explorer instead of 7-zip. I did this by right-clicking the file, selected the “Open with > Choose another app” option, choosing “Windows Explorer” and checking the box for “Always use this app to open .iso files” then clicking OK.

screenshot of settings dialog to always open .iso file with Windows Explorer
Use the “Open with” option to associate file types with a different program

Now I was able to burn the ISO image to a disc and set up the older PC with Ubuntu.