3 Ways to Convert ESD To ISO in Windows


Key Points

  • To convert an ESD file to ISO, download and run DISM++, click File, and then select “ESD -> ISO,” then select the ESD file to convert, and enter the complete path and name of the ISO file to create.
  • Alternatively, you can also use ESD Decrypter and NTLite to convert ESD files to ISO images.

Windows 10 ESD files, also known as Electronic Software Download files, are used in Microsoft’s proprietary Windows update format. Files downloaded through Windows Update are saved locally in ESD format. However. Microsoft has now shifted to UUP-based formatting. People who still have ESD files need to use them from time to time.

ESD files are compressed and encrypted versions of WIM files and need to be decrypted before you can view and use the content within. Unlike ISO files, Windows does not natively support ESD files, and thus cannot be mounted.

A few methods are used in which you can convert an ESD file into an ISO file so that they can be used easily.

What is an ESD FIle?

Electronic Software Download or ESD files are mainly used to deliver Windows update packages or new operating system versions by Microsoft. You are likely to see a file with a “.ESD” file extension when updating your Windows operating system, or downloading an update from Microsoft.

ESD files store compressed and encrypted versions of Windows Imaging Format (.WIM) files, which may usually contain update packages or a full copy of a Windows OS. Note that an ESD file is capable of holding one or more OS images.

What is an ISO file?

An Optical Disc Image or ISO file is an exact copy of a physical disc, like a CD or DVD. An ISO image is an archived file format where one or multiple files are stored into a single file.

ISO files, or ISO images, are often used to deliver operating systems and back up optical discs since they are capable of copying the content one-to-one, which means exactly as it was on the disc.

An ISO file is an uncompressed copy of a disc, sector by sector. ISO images can be used to store an identical digital duplicate of a disc, which in turn can be used to burn another exact copy of the original disc.

The Windows operating system supports mounting an ISO file directly, so the content becomes readable and accessible. However, that is not the case for ESD files, and therefore, they need to be converted into ISO image files.

Convert ESD File to ISO


Dism++ is a tool that gives a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to the Windows DISM utility. DISM is a powerful command-line tool from Microsoft for different Windows operations like adding/removing Windows components, compacting the operating system, installing/uninstalling Windows updates, backing up and restoring the system, etc.

While DISM is a command-line tool, DISM++ uses a GUI to perform the same tasks. In addition to other useful tasks, DISM++ can also convert ESD files to ISO format. The process is simple and can be done by non-professional users.

Perform the following to convert an ESD file to an ISO image:

  1. Download DISM++ from here.

  2. Right-click the downloaded package and click “Extract all.”

  3. In the extraction wizard, click Extract.

  4. Navigate to the extracted folder using File Explorer and then run either “DISM++x64.exe” or the “DISM++x86.exe” file (depending upon your operating system architecture).

    Run the DISM++ tool
    Run the DISM++ tool
  5. Proceed by agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, and then click File from the top menu, then click ESD –> ISO.

    Convert ESD to ISO using DISM++
    Convert ESD to ISO
  6. Click the top Browse and select the ESD file to convert, then click the second Browse button and enter a name and location for the converted ISO file. Once done, click Finish.

    Convert ESD to ISO using DISM++
    Convert ESD to ISO using DISM++

The DISM++ tool will now begin converting the ESD file into an ISO file. The conversion process may take some time to complete. Once completed, you will receive your desired ISO file in the directory you selected.

ESD Decryptor Utility

You can also perform the same as above using the ESD Decryptor Utility. This is a command-line tool that will convert any ESD file into an ISO image in a few simple cmdlets. Here is how:

  1. Download ESD Decrypter Utility and extract the contents.

  2. Navigate to the extracted folder, right-click the file “1.ESDISO.bat”, and then click “Run as administrator.”

    Run the Decrypter batch file
    Run the Decrypter batch file

    The tool will now run using Command Prompt

  3. You will be asked if you wish to use a custom Cryptographic key. Select “No” by entering “N.”

    Reject using a cryptographic key
    Reject using a cryptographic key
  4. You will then be asked if you want to use a custom Destination path. Enter “N” again.

    Reject using a custom destination path
    Reject using a custom destination path
  5. Now provide the complete path to the ESD file along with the extension when asked by the tool, then press “Enter” twice.

    Provide the path and name for the ESD file to convert
    Provide the path and name for the ESD file to convert

The tool will now begin decrypting and converting the ESD file into an ISO image, which will be saved automatically in the same directory as the extracted folder.


NTLite is another tiny utility that converts your ESD files to ISO images. Follow the given steps to use this tool for conversion:

  1. Download NTLite (Free) and install the tool.

  2. From the utility, click Add at the top, and then click “Image file (WIM, ESD, SWM)” from the expanded menu.

    Add an ESD file
    Add an ESD file
  3. Now browse to the ESD file you want to convert and select it.

  4. Now click “Create ISO” from the top menu, and then select the name and location where you want to save the converted file.

Once selected, the tool will begin converting the ESD file into an ISO file, which can be found in the selected directory.

Closing Words

Once you have converted an ESD file into an ISO image, you should be able to use it like another ISO file. You may then directly mount ISO images to your system on Windows.

There are other tools available online that we have not discussed in this post, such as ESDtoISO and ESD Toolkit. This is because ESDtoISO does not officially work, and the latter (ESD Toolkit) is basically a renamed version of the ESD Decrypter utility.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are ESD Files and Their Role in Windows?

ESD files, or Electronic Software Download files, are used by Microsoft primarily for delivering Windows updates and new OS versions. They are compressed and encrypted, containing Windows Imaging Format (WIM) files.

What Common Issues Might Arise During Conversion?

Users may encounter issues like cryptographic key errors or conversion errors due to corrupted ESD files. Ensuring the integrity of the ESD file and following the correct procedures can mitigate these issues.

Is the Converted ISO File Bootable?

Yes, the ISO file converted from an ESD file is typically bootable. This means it can be used to create bootable media for Windows installations or repair discs.

Why has Microsoft shifted from ESD to UUP in Windows?

Microsoft has shifted to UUP (Unified Update Platform) format for a more efficient update process. However, ESD files are still prevalent and often need conversion for various uses.

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Usman Khurshid is a seasoned IT Pro with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. He has experience in everything from IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. He is also certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.


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