How to Burn a CD-RW

by Kate Evelyn

A CD-RW, also known as a rewritable CD, can hold most any file type, including documents, images and videos. To transfer these files from the computer to the disc, you have to burn them onto it. If you are using Windows XP, it is really quite simple to burn a CD-RW. It does not require any extra software since it is included in the operating system. These steps will also work for CD-R discs.

Step 1

Boot your computer. After Windows starts, insert your CD-RW into your CD-ROM drive. Click on the "Start" button at the bottom of the screen. Then select "My Computer." Choose your CD drive from the list.

Step 2

Click on the "Start" button again and open a second "My Computer" window. This time click on the drive where the files you want to burn are saved. Click on each item you want to move to the CD, and drag-and-drop it into your first window. The files copy to the CD drive window automatically. They are not on the CD yet, though.

Step 3

Finish dragging and dropping all of your files. Then right-click on the CD drive icon and choose "Write These Files to CD" from the pop-up window. The burning process will take several minutes, so be patient. When the burn is done, the disc will eject automatically.

Remove your CD-RW from your disc drive and label it with a permanent marker. You are now ready to use the disc in other computers or play it in a music device that supports CD-RW.


  • It's illegal to burn and distribute copyrighted material without permission. Consider this fact before making your CDs.
  • CD-RWs are different from CD-Rs because you can copy over them multiple times. You may want to check if important files are on the disc before you burn new content.


  • If you're not using Windows XP, you must install CD-burning software, such as Nero. Once it's installed, click on the .exe file and go through the wizard to install it. Then simply launch the software and copy the files.
  • You must have a CD burner installed on your machine to copy to CD-RWs. If you have more than one CD drive, make sure you put the disc in the one with the CD burner in it.


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