When was the last time you used a CD or a DVD? We recently asked ourselves this question, and the answer was: a long time ago. In order to replace physical discs, the idea of mounting images as virtual drives is quite appealing. In addition, disc images are not limited by the space provided by a physical CD, DVD or Blu-Ray, because they are stored on your computer's hard disk and they are also faster and more convenient to use than physical discs. If you are a fan of disc images, like ISO files, here's a roundup with the best free programs that you can use to mount them in any version of Windows:
1. Virtual CloneDrive
Virtual CloneDrive is extremely simply to use. It allows you to mount up to eight different disc image files simultaneously, it keeps a history of recently mounted images for easy access, so you can mount them again very fast and it supports many different file extensions for disc images, like ISO, IMG, UDF, BIN, and more. It is adware-free and we highly recommend it to all Windows users.
Download page: Virtual CloneDrive
2. Daemon Tools Lite
Daemon Tools Lite is the most complex and probably the most popular program in this list. Using it you can mount up to 4 disc image files simultaneously. It supports a huge number of image formats and you can use it also to create an image from a physical CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc or to burn an image to physical disc. One very important downside is the installation process: if you don't pay attention, Daemon Tools Lite will install a lot of adware. Pay attention and uncheck the checkboxes for installing the adware you don't want on your Windows computer.
Download page: Daemon Tools Lite
3. Magic Disc
Magic Disk works a bit different from the other apps presented in this list, because it has no main application window. You can access all its functions from the right click context menu found on the the system tray icon. It allows you to mount up to 15 disc images simultaneously and you can also create disc images with it. In the page that we provided you in the download link, make sure that you download the correct version for the operating system that is installed on your computer. Otherwise, when you will try to install the program you will receive an error.
Download page: Magic Disc
WinCDEmu is small disc image mounting application that requires less than 1MB of storage space. It doesn't provide a lot of features but it offers the most used functions that a casual user would require. You can mount almost anything with just one click, as long as it is stored in a popular format for disc images.
Download page: WinCDEmu
ISODisk is another free disc image mounting tool that is very easy to use. With this application you can only mount ISO images to virtual disks or you can create an ISO image from your CD-ROM, nothing more. It doesn't work with other disc image formats like IMG, UDF or BIN. Its simplicity is what brings ISODisk to our list.
Download page: ISODisk
These are some of the best free programs of mounting disc images in Windows. As usual, we recommend that you try them all and keep the one that you prefer using. After you decide on the program that you want to keep, please help other users by sharing your favorite program for mounting disc images, using the comments form below.