How to Play ISO Files From a Memory Stick

An .iso is an optical disc image file, normally read by first burning the file to a physical CD or DVD and then inserting the disc into your computer's CD/DVD drive. Popular video games, software and video files sometimes come in .iso format, especially when downloaded from the Internet. If you have an .iso file stored on your memory stick, but you don't have the resources or patience to burn the image to physical media, you can still play the file using additional third-party software.

Things You'll Need

  • Disc image emulation software


    • 1

      Download and install disc image emulation software. This software works by creating a virtual disc drive that you "load" your .iso file onto so that your computer can play it. There are a number of popular applications available to do the job, including pay-for tools (Alcohol 120% and PowerISO) and free software (DAEMON Tools Lite). The rest of this tutorial will use DAEMON Tools Lite, but other software applications involve similar processes for loading and playing .iso images.

    • 2

      Once you've installed DAEMON Tools Lite, plug in the memory stick that holds the .iso file you want to play.

    • 3

      Open DAEMON Tools Lite, using the program's Start menu or desktop icon. Click the "Add File" icon, which looks like a DVD with a small plus sign on top.

    • 4

      Navigate to the .iso image file stored on your memory stick. Select the file and click "Open."

    • 5

      In the "Image Catalog" area, select the .iso file you just opened and click the "Mount" icon, which looks like a DVD paired with a small, triangular play sign.

    • 6

      Using Windows Explorer, navigate to the "My Computer" or "Computer" area of your machine (naming depends on your operating system's version). You should see a new DVD drive, emulated by DAEMON Tools Lite, which includes the name of your .iso image file in its title. Double-click the drive to open the file and play it.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your .iso is an image of a video file and you're having problems getting traditional media players to accept it, try downloading VLC media player. VLC is free to download, and plays just about every video file format imaginable.
  • In many countries, downloading movies, software or games for free from the Internet is illegal. Know the rules in your region and abide by them.
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  • Photo Credit usb stick image by Slobodan Djajic from

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