Burn a CD or DVD

If your computer includes a CD or DVD recorder, you can copy files to a writeable disc. This process is called burning a disc. By default, Windows burns discs in the Live File System format, but you can also choose to burn discs in the Mastered format.

Note

  • You can use Windows to burn a data disc, which is useful for storing, archiving, and sharing files among different computers. If you want to make a disc that will play in a music or video player, you should burn the disc using a music or video program.

Show all

To burn a disc using the Live File System format

  1. Insert a writeable CD or DVD into your computer's CD or DVD recorder.

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click Burn files to data disc.

  3. In the Burn a Disc dialog box, type a name for this disc, and then click Next.

    It might take several minutes for the disc to be formatted in the default Live File System format. When the formatting is complete, an empty disc folder opens.

  4. Open the folder that contains the files you want to burn, and then drag the files into the empty disc folder.

    Illustration showing how files are copied to the disc folder by dragging them
    You can copy files to the disc folder by dragging them to the disc icon or to an open disc folder

    As you drag files into the disc folder, they are copied automatically to the disc.

To burn a disc using the Mastered format

Choose the Mastered format when you need a highly compatible disc that will play in computers with an older version of Windows or in media devices such as CD and DVD players that can read digital music and video files. For more information about choosing a disc format, see Which CD or DVD format should I use?

  1. Insert a writeable CD or DVD into your computer's CD or DVD recorder.

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click Burn files to data disc.

  3. In the Burn a Disc dialog box, type a name for this disc, and then click Show formatting options.

  4. Click Mastered, and then click Next.

    An empty disc folder opens.

  5. Open the folder that contains the files you want to burn, and then drag the files into the empty disc folder.

  6. On the toolbar, click Burn to disc.

    The selected files are copied to the disc. When the disc burning is complete, the disc burner tray will open and you can remove the disc. You can now use the disc in another computer or media device. This type of disc does not need to be closed.

Tips

  • To burn a Mastered disc, you need free space on your hard disk equal to the capacity of the disc. For a typical CD, this is about 650 megabytes (MB).

  • If you select files to burn but decide not to copy the files to disc, you can delete the temporary files to recover hard disk space. To delete the files, open the disc folder, select the files, and then, on the toolbar, click Delete temporary files.