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How to Open and Work With a DMG File in Windows

Though MacOS and Windows [1] are pretty similar when it comes to performing basic tasks like web browsing, watching Netflix, and writing up documents, there are some major differences in how each operating system reads, writes, and installs files and applications.

While Windows devices use .exe files in order to “execute” an action, MacOS has its own special file types that allow it to perform all sorts of tasks. For example, a .pkg file can be installed to your MacBook or iMac, while a .dmg file allows you to clone existing drives in order to move information and other content around between machines.

How to open a DMG file in Windows3

Of course, if someone gives you a .dmg file and you work primarily within Windows, you may be concerned about how to actually open these drive images on your computer. While Mac OS allows you to navigate to the drive within Finder in order to mount the file like a removable drive, Windows may run into some issues—especially since Windows wasn’t designed to read and use .dmg files in the first place.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at how to use .dmg files with Windows so that you’ll be able to, at the very least, view inside the drive to gain and possibly retrieve information. Let’s dive in!

How to Open a DMG file in Windows 10

To open a .dmg file in Windows 10, we turned to 7-Zip [2], an open-source tool that can be used to extract files on Windows. Alternatives like DMG Extractor should also be considered if 7-Zip doesn’t work for you.

How to open a DMG file in Windows2

Follow these steps to open a .dmg file with 7-Zip:

  1. Download and install 7-Zip or an alternative extractor.
  2. Right-click the DMG file in Windows Explorer and select Extract.
  3. Extract the file to a safe location and wait for it to complete.
  4. Open the folder 7-Zip created to browse the contents.

Although this won’t help you do much with the content within the drive, you can use 7-Zip to view the content within the disk image itself. If 7-Zip struggles to extract your file, try right-clicking and using the Open Archive option.

How to Convert a DMG file into an ISO

If you absolutely need to be able to access the contents of a .dmg file on your Windows computer, you’ll need to convert it into an ISO file. This allows you to mount it as normal using the ISO program of your choice.

To do this, you’ll need a conversion tool like AnyToISO [3], WinArchiver [4], or PowerISO [5]. Most ISO converters aren’t free, so be aware that you may need to use a Lite version of the app or upgrade to a paid version in order to access the file contents.

AnyToISO

First, let’s take a look at how to convert files with AnyToIso.

[6]

  1. Download and install the converter.
  2. Right-click the DMG file and select ‘Convert to …iso’. The filename will depend on what your DMG file is called.
  3. Tell the program where to store the ISO and select Start.
  4. Allow the program to convert the file. It can take as little as 10 minutes or much longer depending on the size of the file and speed of your computer.

PowerISO

PowerISO is another effective application for converting DMG files to ISO files.

[7]

  1. Download and install PowerISO.
  2. Open it, select Tools > Convert.
  3. Set the DMG file as the source and set a destination.
  4. Select OK to begin the process.

Once the process completes, you should be able to see what the file contains and check file sizes and properties. However, you won’t be able to do anything with the contents as they will not work in Windows.

Final Thoughts

You won’t often come across DMG files in Windows unless you’re trying to create a hackintosh or Apple virtual machine. However, if you do happen to come across one of these files, you now know what to do with it!

Have any other techniques for working with DMG files on Windows? Share them with us below!