If you've ever done disk burning in the past, you're probably familiar with different disk image file formats. IMG is a file format typically used to compress applications such as operating systems, video games, and generic software. It's extremely useful as backup media, particularly if you're worried the original copy may someday be damaged. You can also use IMG files as mountable disk images, which is extremely helpful if you have an ultra-slim laptop with no built-in optical drive. In this guide, you'll learn how to extract IMG files and unpack the content in both Windows and Mac.

What is an IMG file?

An IMG file is simply a disk image file that may be burned to CD or DVD. Besides, operating systems, such as Ubuntu, are typically downloaded in the IMG format. In such applications, the IMG file is burned to a disk using ROM utilities. But in regular applications, the IMG file is just an archive, similar to ZIP files.

If you want to extract IMG files on your PC, you can do so using regular archiving utilities such as WinZip. WinZip opens and extracts IMG Files and many more formats, including RAR, 7Z, BZ2, LHA LZH, CAB, ISO and IMG, Uuencoded, XXencoded, MIME, and more.

How to extract IMG files in Windows

To extract IMG files in Windows operating system, you'll need to get a third-party file compression tool such as WinZip. While Windows 10 has the ability to mount IMG files, it cannot extract them, meaning that a third-party tool is your only choice.

That being said, WinZip is particularly useful due to its near-universal capability to manage multiple file formats. If you don't have it already, download it and install it on your computer. Besides helping you extract IMG files, WinZip offers the easiest and most practical file compression, encryption, protection, sharing, backup, and management.

Once you have your compression tool installed, download and save the IMG file to your computer. Typically, if you download your compressed file from the internet, it goes to the Downloads folder in your user directory or Documents.

With everything in place, follow these steps to extract your IMG files:

  • Launch WinZip and open your compressed IMG file by selecting "File > Open." If your computer has a compressed file extension linked with WinZip, simply double-click on the file. Select all of the files in your compressed folder or pick only the files you want to extract by holding down the CTRL key and clicking on them.
  • Now, click Unzip and select Unzip to PC or Cloud under the WinZip toolbar's Unzip/Share tab.
  • Choose a destination folder to save the extracted IMG files in and tap the "Unzip" button.
  • Next, find your extracted files in your selected destination folder.

How to extract IMG files in Mac

To extract IMG files on Mac, follow these steps:

  • Mount the disk image file
  • Open Finder
  • Head over to the folder with the IMG file
  • Now, double-click the IMG file to pin it as a virtual drive
  • Next, drag the contents of the IMG file to your desired location
  • Finally, unmount the IMG file


By following these steps, you can extract the contents of any IMG file quickly and effortlessly. While there are other third-party utilities that can extract IMG files, WinZip carries the day in terms of speed and the multitude of file formats it supports. Besides extracting IMG files, WinZip is a one-stop file manager that zips, protects, manages, and shares files quickly and easily. It also connects seamlessly to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and more. Click here to try WinZip for free!

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