It’s been 5 years now that Windows has included built-in support for mounting ISO files within the OS itself. Imagine my suprise, then, when I double-clicked on a Windows 10 ISO file and wound up inside 7-zip instead this morning. It seems that other programs can override default behavior, and take over the double-click role. That left me scratching my head, trying to remember how to mount an ISO using Windows Explorer. As with many such things, I found a Win10 ISO mount trick that works nicely. But first, I had to fumble through some trial-and-error to get it figured out.
On the vast majority of Windows 10 PCs, one need only right-click on an ISO file to provoke this pop-up menu:
On most Windows PCs, right click an ISO file, and the top entry says Mount, as shown here. Not on *this* PC, though. Sigh.
Playing the Win10 ISO Mount Trick
Here’s what I observed this morning on my problem PC. First, when I double-clicked the ISO file entry in Explorer, it opened in 7-Zip instead. Then, when I right-clicked the filename, the resulting pop-up menu did not feature Mount anywhere in its list of options. What to do?
It turns out that the answer is dead simple but a little counter-intuitive. If one selects the “Open with…” option (it appears in the foregoing list just below the first horizontal rule), a different menu opens. On the affected PC, that menu included 2 options: 7-Zip (first) and Windows Explorer (second). As it turns out, as soon as one selects Windows Explorer in that menu, the ISO is mounted as a virtual DVD drive. Admittedly, it’s not much of a trick, but it produces the sought-for result. To dismount the ISO, no such contortions are needed. The right-click “Eject” option works on all the various Win10 PCs I tried it on for testing purposes.