Quick Install

How to upgrade Windows 10 mounting an ISO file in File Explorer

You can install Windows 10 using an ISO file without creating a bootable media — Here's how you do it.

Windows 10 installation from mounted ISO file

When you choose to download the ISO file to upgrade or reinstall Windows 10, typically, you use a third-party tool like Rufus to create a USB bootable media.

However, if you only have access to the Windows 10 ISO file, you don’t need to use Rufus or Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. You can simply mount the ISO file using File Explorer to start the upgrade process.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to reinstall or upgrade to a new version of Windows 10 by mounting the ISO file without the need to create a bootable media.

How to install Windows 10 mounting an ISO file in File Explorer

Use these steps to install Windows 10 mounting the ISO file in File Explorer:

  1. Download the Windows 10 ISO without using the Media Creation Tool.

  2. Right-click the ISO file, select Open with, and click Windows Explorer.

    Mount ISO file on Windows 10
    Mount ISO file on Windows 10
    Quick Tip: If you don’t have a third-party application to manage file compression, such as 7Zip, you can simply double-click the ISO file.
  3. On the left pane of File Explorer, click on the mounted drive.

  4. Double-click the Setup file to begin the Windows 10 installation.

    Windows 10 install files
    Windows 10 install files
  5. (Optional) Click the Change how Windows Setup downloads updates option.

  6. Select the Not right now option.

    Disable updates before installing Windows 10
    Disable updates before installing Windows 10
  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.

  9. Click the Install button if you upgrading to a new version and you want to keep your files and apps.

    Installing Windows 10 using mounted ISO
    Installing Windows 10 using mounted ISO

If you looking to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 10 with the latest feature update, click the Change what to keep link, select Nothing, click Next, and then click Install.

Once you completed the steps, the setup process will take over, your computer will restart a few times, and after the installation you’ll need to go through the out-of-box experience (OOBE) finish configuring Windows 10.

Of course, you could download the Media Creation Tool to perform an in-place upgrade that doesn’t require to create a bootable media or using the Update Assistant. However, you’ll find this option particularly useful in those situations when you don’t have internet access, or the device you’re trying to install Windows 10 doesn’t include a disc drive and you don’t a USB flash drive to create a bootable media.