How to Use CD-RW Discs

By Alexander Abbott

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Computer

  • CD burner

  • CD-RW

Use a CD-RW to write, erase and rewrite files from the same disc.
i cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

Although the recordable CD is slowly being replaced by other storage devices such as USB flash drives, MP3 players and portable hard drives, there are still several applications where CDs can be useful. Burning a CD-R or CD-RW is not a difficult task and can be accomplished by most computer users. A CD-RW is different from a regular CD-R in that it allows you to write, erase and rewrite files onto the same disc multiple times.

How to Use CD-RW Discs

Turn on the computer and open up the CD drive. Place a CD-RW disk onto the tray and close the drive. Wait for the computer to recognize the disc.

Open up a CD burning and ripping application. If you do not already have a program capable of writing, deleting and rewriting files onto a CD-RW, then download and install a program like Nero InCD, Roxio Creator, or Windows Media Player.

Add files to your CD-RW. Import audio, video or data files into the CD burning application using the program's "Open" or "Import" menu. Use the "Preferences" or "Options" menu to make sure the "Multi-Session Disc" feature is enabled. Arrange the order of the files as you see fit and click the "Burn" or "Start" button to begin the burning process. Wait for the files to completely finish burning before ejecting the disc.

Delete files from your CD-RW. If you wish to completely erase all files from the disc, right-click the CD icon on your computer and select "Erase," "Erase All Files on Disc," or words to this effect. If you wish delete individual files from the dick, use the software burning application to drag the individual "session" files off of the CD-RW.

Rewrite files to the CD-RW. Use the CD burning application to write new files onto the disc or to replace old files that you no longer need. Import the new files into the burning program and select the "Multi-Session Disc" option before starting the burning process.