Burn an ISO File to CD or DVD in Windows 7 for Free

Last Updated Jun 30, 2010 9:46 AM EDT

For centuries, Windows users have been frustrated because the disc burning tools in Windows were so limited; you needed buy additional software, for example, to burn an ISO file into a CD or DVD. Windows 7 changes all that; now it's built in-- though you might run into a small snag. I've got the scoop for you.

I'm not sure why there isn't a little more fanfare around this feature. At long last, making a complete CD or DVD from an ISO file that you downloaded from the Internet is actually a snap. Just download an ISO file, double-click, and you'll see this dialog box:

Check the box to "verify after burning" and click Burn. That's it.

I ran into an odd little quirk, though. I've installed Windows 7 on three computers, and on one of them, Windows doesn't know what to do with an ISO file. If you have a similar problem, don't worry. If you see this message:

Just choose "Select a program from a list of installed programs," and then choose Windows Disc Image Burner. Be sure to select the option to always use that selected program, and click OK. From now on, you'll be all set.