Step by Step Guide to Burning an ISO File to a Disc

01
of 11

Visit the Free ISO Burner Website

A screenshot of the Free ISO Burner home page
Free ISO Burner Home Page.

An ISO file is an "image" of what should be on a disc like a CD, DVD, or BD. The ISO file itself is generally useless until it can be written (burned) to a disc.

The disc burning software you already have on your computer may have a "write image" or "burn image" option designed specifically for writing ISO and other types of image files to optical discs.

However, if you have trouble getting your burning software to write ISO files or you would prefer a detailed guide using a freely available ISO burning program, this step-by-step, visual guide will help.

The instructions I've put together here walk you through the entire process of installing and using the Free ISO Burner software to write an ISO file to a disc. Feel free to look through the entire tutorial before you get started.

Free ISO Burner is a freeware program that burns ISO images CD, DVD, or BD discs so the first thing you'll need to do is visit the Free ISO Burner website so you can download the software.

02
of 11

Click on the Download Free ISO Burner Link

A screenshot of the Free ISO Burner Download Link
Free ISO Burner Download Link.

On the Free ISO Burner website, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Download Free ISO Burner (SoftSea Mirror) link.

03
of 11

Wait for the Download to Begin

A screenshot of the SoftSea.com Download Page for Free ISO Burner
SoftSea.com Download Page for Free ISO Burner.

This next screen is actually at a website called SoftSea. SoftSea physically hosts the Free ISO Burner program but all you have to do here is a wait a few moments before the download beings.

Warning: There are all sorts of "download" links on this page but most of them are just advertisements disguised to appear as download links for this or other programs. There's no need to click on anything here. Just wait, the Free ISO Burner software will begin downloading soon.

04
of 11

Download Free ISO Burner

A screenshot of the download for Free ISO Burner
Free ISO Burner Download.

After waiting on the SoftSea.com download page in the last step, the actual Free ISO Burner program will begin to download. It's small so it may finish downloading before you even realize it's started.

If prompted, choose to Save or Save As or Download the program - don't just run or open it from here. While that would probably be fine, sometimes it just complicates things.

Note: The screenshot above shows a completed download of Free ISO Burner in Windows 7, using the Internet Explorer browser. If you download this file using another browser or a different operating system, your download progress manager or indicator might look different.

05
of 11

Start the Free ISO Burner Program

A screenshot of Free ISO Burner v1.2
Free ISO Burner Program Interface.

After downloading Free ISO Burner, locate the file and run it. Free ISO Burner is a portable application, meaning it doesn't need to be installed - just double-click on it and the software runs.

Tip: If you're having trouble locating the FreeISOBurner.exe file you just downloaded, check your Desktop and Download folders, the two most common locations for storing downloaded files.

06
of 11

Insert a Blank Disc in the Optical Drive

A picture of a blank disc
Blank Disc for the Burning of an ISO Image.

Insert a blank disc in your optical drive for the burning of the ISO file.

Free ISO Burner supports all standard types of CD, DVD, and BD discs. However, you should use an appropriate size of empty disc per your ISO image. For example, an ISO file that's larger than a CD but smaller than a BD should be burned to a DVD, and so on.

You can reference this Table of Optical Media Storage Capacities if you think that information might be helpful in your decision.

07
of 11

Locate the ISO File You Want to Burn

A screenshot of the Free ISO Burner Open dialog box
ISO Image File Selection Dialog Box.

Back on the Free ISO Burner program window, click that Open button to the right of the long text box, under the heading ISO File. The Open window you see above will appear.

Navigate through your drives and folders, if necessary, to locate the ISO file that you want to burn to disc.

08
of 11

Select and Confirm the Chosen ISO File

A screenshot of choosing an ISO image in Free ISO Burner
ISO File Selection.

Now that you've found the ISO file you'd like to burn, left-click on it once and then click the Open button.

You should be returned back to the Free ISO Burner main program window with the path of your ISO file pasted into the ISO File text box.

09
of 11

Confirm the Selected Drive

A screenshot of choosing a disc drive in Free ISO Burner
Free ISO Burner Drive Option.

The next thing to look at is the Drive option... assuming you have one.

If you have more than one optical disc drive with burning capabilities, you may have more than one option listed here. Check to see that the drive that's selected is the one you actually have the disc in.

10
of 11

Click Burn to Start the ISO Image Burning

A screenshot of Free ISO Burner creating a new disc
ISO Image Burning in Free ISO Burner.

Click the Burn button to start the process of burning the ISO file to the disc in the drive.

You'll know that burning is taking place because the status will change from IDLE to WRITING, you'll see a percentage indicator increasing, and you'll see the progress bar moving.

Note: I skipped discussing the items under Options because they're not necessary to adjust unless you're troubleshooting a problem with your optical drive or Free ISO Burner.

11
of 11

Wait for the ISO Image to Finish Burning

A screenshot of Free ISO Burner
Free ISO Burner Image Write Done.

Free ISO Burner is done burning the ISO file when the status changes back to IDLE and you see Write ISO image done in the Progress box.

Once this happens, the disc will automatically eject from the drive.

Note: The time it takes to write the ISO image will depends mostly on the size of the ISO file and the speed of your optical drive, but the speed of your overall computer has an impact too.

Important: For help burning and using ISO files, please see the Tips section at the bottom of my How To Burn an ISO Image File to a Disc.