Copy files to a CD

Applies to

Microsoft Office System

Hand holding a CD disk

As more and more computers come standard with a CD-ROM drive, burning your data onto a CD makes sense and is replacing floppy disks as the removable media people use to create backup copies and to share files with other people. For example, you might want to burn a CD to preserve the digital photographs you took on vacation instead of taking up precious space on your hard drive. Or you might want to keep a digital record of your house inventory on a CD and store that CD in a safety deposit box. The reasons for putting your data on a CD are endless.

Important: Microsoft Windows 2000 does not have built-in CD-burning capability. This procedure applies only to Microsoft Windows® XP, which provides basic CD-burning capability. For additional functionality, you can use CD-burning programs available from third-party software vendors. For more information on these products, visit the Windows XP Catalog, click the Software tab, point to Utilities, and then click CD-ROM.

Copy files and folders to a CD

  1. Insert a blank, writable CD into the CD recorder. Use one of the following:

    • Recordable compact disc (CD-R)

    • Rewritable compact disc (CD-RW)

      With rewritable CDs, you can copy data to and erase data from the CD multiple times.

  2. Click Start, and then click My Computer.

  3. Click the files or folders that you want to copy to the CD.

    • To select more than one file, hold down the CTRL key while you click the files you want. Then, under File and Folder Tasks, click Copy this file, Copy this folder, or Copy the selected items.

    • If the files are located in My Pictures, under Picture Tasks, click Copy to CD or Copy all items to CD, and then go to Step 5.

  4. In the Copy Items dialog box, click the CD recording drive, and then click Copy.

  5. In My Computer, double-click the CD recording drive. Windows displays a temporary area where the files are located before they are copied to the CD. Verify that the files and folders that you intend to copy to the CD appear under Files Ready to be Written to the CD.

  6. Under CD Writing Tasks, click Write these files to CD. Windows displays the CD Writing Wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard.


  • Do not try to copy more files to the CD than it will hold. Check the CD packaging to see the capacity of each CD. For files too large to fit on a CD, you can copy files to a recordable DVD (DVD-R or DVD+R) or rewritable DVD (DVD-RW or DVD+RW). However, Windows XP does not support copying to a DVD, so you have to use DVD authoring software.

  • Make sure that you have enough disk space on your hard disk to store the temporary files that are created during the CD-writing process. For a standard CD, Windows reserves up to 700 megabytes (MB) of the available free space. For a high-capacity CD, Windows reserves up to 1 gigabyte (GB) of the available free space.

  • After you copy files or folders to the CD, you can view the CD to confirm that the files have been copied.

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