How to Use an ISO File to Play a Game

By Editorial Team

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • ISO file maker

  • Hard copy of the game

  • ISO file reader

  • NO-CD crack (if necessary)

Get rid of CDs by using ISO files to play games.
i cd on cd image by Stephen Kirkby from

Keeping up with gaming CDs can be annoying, especially for avid players. With ISO files, it's possible for a person to play PC games without the original CD or DVD.

Create the ISO. Before an ISO file can be run, it must be created through an ISO file maker. ISO Recorder v2 is a great example of such a program. With this software, ISO creation is as simple as right-clicking and selecting "Create Image from CD." Other ISO file makers tend to work similarly, though there are those that don't. If this is the case, read through the documentation provided with the program.

Mount the ISO with an ISO file reader. Computers can't read from ISO files because they are only a copy of a CD's contents, not the CD itself. So, to bypass this problem, use an ISO file reader. These programs create virtual drives that view the ISO as a regular CD or DVD. Daemon Tools is an example of a common ISO file reader. It is also easy to use. Once the program is installed, it will insert an icon onto your desktop. This is what you use to initiate the mounting process. Right-click the icon, then select "Virtual CD/DVD Rom." From there, select the drive you want, followed by the command "Mount Image." Click next on the ISO file. When everything is done, Daemon Tools will place the ISO in a virtual CD/DVD drive. If you use something other than Daemon Tools, you may have to go through more elaborate selections, but the result is still the same; a virtual drive containing the ISO file.

Run the ISO from the virtual drive. To access the virtual drive, go to "My Computer" and click on the icon representing it. If the game has an "Autoplay" function, it will begin installing immediately. Otherwise, the virtual drive will simply reveal the contents of the folder. If this happens, look for any file that will help install the game. If the game is not encrypted, following this step should allow for immediate installation. If it doesn't, use a NO-CD crack.

Apply a NO-CD crack, if needed. Some gaming CDs or DVDs contain encryption that prevents play from a virtual drive. NO-CD cracks override this encryption. To find them, visit sites such as Game Copy World. After the NO-CD crack has been downloaded, it can be applied by pasting the NO-CD crack into the game's executable folder. In some cases, you may have to delete the original executable.

Run the game. After everything is installed, run your games through the cracked executables or the virtual drive (if the NO-CD crack wasn't necessary). The original CD or DVD is no longer needed.


Older games and games from independent publishers tend to not require the NO-CD crack.


It is illegal to use NO-CD cracks for pirated PC games.