Starting with Windows 7, Microsoft added the ability to burn CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs right from Windows Explorer. So if your computer is equipped with a CD, DVD or Blu-ray burner, you really don’t need any third-party disc burning software.
In this post, I will walk you through how to burn a disc and explain the various recording options. If your drive supports this, Windows can write a disc, which acts like a USB stick, meaning you can add and remove data from the disc.
Disk burning in Windows 7, 8 and 10
The easiest way to start the disc burning process on Windows is to insert the CD, DVD, or Blu-ray disc into your drive. Windows should automatically display a dialog box asking what you want to do with the disk.
Note that if you insert a CD, you will see an additional option to burn an Audio CD. If you insert a DVD or Blu-ray disc, you will only see the option to burn files to disc.
Burn Audio CD
Burn an audio CD
If you want to burn an Audio CD, select the Burn Audio CD option, which will use Windows Media Player to get the job done. If the pop-up dialog does not appear, just click Start, type Windows Media Player to open it, and then click Blank Disc from the menu on the left.
On the right-hand side, click the Burn tab, and then simply drag the audio files into the section labeled “Drag & Drop Items Here” to start creating your Audio CD. Please note that it is very important to check whether you are burning a data disc or an audio disc. A data disc can record hundreds of audio files, but may not be playable with regular CD players.
The audio CD will play with any CD player, but will be limited to 80 minutes of audio. You can change the setting in Windows Media Player by clicking the Recording Options drop-down menu to the right of the Start Recording button.
Once you have selected the settings and added all the files, click the “Start Recording” button and the recording process will begin.
That’s it when it comes to recording audio CDs. Be sure to check out my previous post on ripping audio CDs with Windows Media Player.
Burn data disc
Burning a data disc
If you chose Burn Files to Disc instead of Burn Audio CD, you will see another pop-up window asking you to choose how you want to use the disc: for example, a USB flash drive or using a CD / DVD player.
If you choose the first option, you’ll be able to add, edit, and delete files from the disk, but you can only use the disk on computers running Windows XP and later that support the Live File System. It also depends on whether your drive supports this feature or not. Finally, the disc itself must be rewritable. If you only have a CD-R or DVD-R disc, you cannot use this option.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear indication of whether the drive will support this feature or not, so you just have to try it out and see if it works. When you click Next, the drive will be formatted and then you will see another popup indicating that it is ready to use.
Now just drag and drop files and folders to the disk like a regular USB flash drive. The only difference is that you will find that adding, deleting or editing files on the disk takes some time.
Your disk is not ready at this time. If you try to extract it, you will receive the message “Preparing to extract. Please wait for this session to be closed so that the drive can be used on other computers. ”
Closing the session means Windows should write all added files and delete whatever you deleted, etc. To avoid this, you can also just go to explorer, click “This PC” and then right click on the CD / DVD / Blu-ray Drive and select Close Session after making any changes to the disc content.
If you selected With a CD / DVD player, when the How do you want to use this disc dialog box opens, a new explorer window appears where you can start dragging and dropping files onto your disc. P>
When you have added all the data you want to disk, click on the “End Burn” button, which will be located under the “Drive Tools – Management” section. Note that this will burn and finalize the disc, meaning you cannot delete or edit the data after it has been written to the disc. However, you can add more data to disk later.
The Burn to Disc Wizard pop-up window will appear, where you can name the disc and select the burn speed. Click Next and the burning process will begin. The time will depend on how much data you are recording and the writing speed.
When you put the disc back in, you can add other files and you will see two sections in explorer: the current files on the disc and the files to write to the disc. Click Finish to add new files to disk.
Burn DVD with video
Burn a DVD video
Finally, you can burn a video DVD on Windows, which you can do, but it will require a different tool. If you are using Windows 7, you can just use Windows DVD Maker program to burn videos to DVD Windows 8 and Windows 10 removed Windows DVD Maker, so you’ll have to use a third-party program like DVD Flick, which I also wrote about in the linked article.
You can also read my previous article on how to burn photo slideshows to DVD using DVD Maker for Windows 7 and another tool for Windows 8/10. Also, if you have a Mac, be sure to check out my article on how to burn DVD in OS X. If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments. Enjoy!