Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11 can have the mount option for ISO files by default. You can just right-click any ISO file and select Mount from the context menu. Previously, it was done using third-party software, which would create additional virtual CD/DVD ROM drives in which the ISO files were virtually inserted. But now, Windows Explorer can create a virtual DVD ROM and automatically insert the ISO file.
Sometimes, a third-party application will mess up the default options, and the mount option will go missing in the Windows operating system. In this article, we’ll see how to fix the issue in Windows, which was messed up by a third-party app, or any file corruption.
Remember that the methods discussed in this post to add/restore the “Mount” option to the context menu work for both .ISO files and .IMG files.
Why is the Mount Option Missing in Windows?
There can be several reasons why the “Mount” option may be missing from an ISO’s context menu. First, check whether or not your Windows version supports mounting ISO files natively. For example, you need to use third-party software on Windows 7 in order to mount an ISO file, since it does not have the feature built-in.
However, operating systems released after Windows 7, like Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and 11, can mount the ISO natively. Windows 7 only included Burn Disk Image option, which could be used to create ISO files with the Universal Disk Format (UDF).
Another reason for the missing mount option is that perhaps the user accidentally changed the default mount ISO application when installing a third-party program like WinCDEmu, Daemon Tools, PowerISO, ImgBurn, or WinRAR.
If you do not have the mounting option in your context menu for an ISO file, you can follow the steps below to enable it. There are several ways to fix the issue.
Follow the steps below to select File Explorer as the default app for ISO and IMG files, which in turn will show the “Mount” option in the context menu when you right-click an IMG or ISO image:
Navigate to the following:
In Windows 11:
Settings app >> Apps >> Default Apps
In Windows 10:
Settings app >> Apps >> Default Apps >> Set defaults by apps
Click “Windows Disc Image Burner,” and then click “Manage.”
On Windows 11, you do not need to press the “Manage” button.
Now, make sure “Windows Explorer” is selected as the default app for .img and .iso files. If not, click on the option and select it.
You can now mount ISO files and use this Windows feature.
Another convenient method to restore the missing “Mount” option to the context menu for ISO files is through the command line. All you need to do is run the following command in an elevated Command Prompt and it will associate the relevant Windows Registry to the .ISO files:
Note that this method is valid for Windows 8 and onwards, and not for Windows 7.
Note: This method has been deprecated for Windows 10 and 11, as Microsoft has shifted the relevant controls to the Settings app from the Legacy Control Panel. However, it is still valid for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.
Follow the steps below to add the “Mount” option to the context menu using the Control Panel:
Go to the Start Menu and search for “Default program.”
Open the “Default program” and click on “Set your default programs.”
Then select ”Windows disc image burner” from the left pane and click “Choose default app for this program.”
Check the box with “Select All” and then click “Save.”
The “Mount” option is now enabled in your system. You can check it by right-clicking any ISO file.
Fix Mount ISO Option Missing using Windows Registry
You can also restore the missing option from the context menu using Windows Registry. Simply download the file below and run the Registry file to restore all default options.
Associate ISO/IMG Files With Windows Explorer (5.4 KiB, 114 hits)
Note: Incorrect configuration of key values in the system’s registry could damage your operating system. Please create a system restore point before continuing. Use our top selection of disk imaging and backup software to avoid losing data or your operating system.
This is a simple Registry hack that will associate .iso and .img file extensions with Windows.IsoFile file type. Alongside this, it will make the following changes in order:
- Link the “.iso” and “.img” file extensions to the “Windows.IsoFile” file type.
- Create a “Windows.IsoFile” file type, name it “Disc Image File”, and set its friendly type name to a Unicode string that points to “SystemRoot” in shell32.dll.
- Set the “Windows.IsoFile” file type icon to an icon resource in shell32.dll.
- Add a “mount” context menu option for the “Windows.IsoFile” file type.
- Set the “mount” context menu option to open explorer.exe with the file path as an argument.
- Set the “tabsets” key’s “selection” value to 0x704.
Although there are other file formats available on the internet, such as DMG, that are not natively supported by Windows. Thankfully, ISO and IMG files are very commonly used, and thus Microsoft decided to support these image files. For that reason, users can directly mount such images to their PCs and can use them, without any third-party applications.