Mount ISO Images in Windows 8

Well, it took a long ass time but Windows users can finally do what Linux and Mac nerds have been able to do… for about as long as I can remember: mount ISO images without third-party tools.

That’s right. Mounting ISO images in Windows 8 is as simple as right-clicking the ISO image file, then clicking Mount.

ISO images are commonly used when downloading programs that you would typically install via CD or DVD. For example, after recently installing Windows 8, I downloaded the Office 2010 ISO image from Microsoft. Normally I’d have to do one of two things to this file before I could actually use it to install Office on Windows 7 and any earlier versions:

  1. Use a third-party tool to mount the ISO image, which then makes all the files it contains available for use.
  2. Burn the ISO image to a DVD and install it like it’s 1995.

Since downloading the correct third-party tools is a hassle, and since 1995 was 17 years ago, you can imagine how happy I was to see this when I right clicked on the ISO image file:

Windows 8: Right Click on ISO Image to Mount
New to Windows 8: right click ISO image files to mount.

As you can see, after clicking Mount Windows assigned the next available drive letter (in my case, E:) and switched to the file browser. All that was left to do was double-click setup and install Office.

Mounted ISO Image
Once mounted, Windows allows you to browse through the files contained within the ISO image.

I like it.