Getting to know your Mac: How to write CDs and DVDs

How to write CDs and DVDs in Mac

Are you using a Mac at work and you are not sure how to write files onto a CD or DVD? Or do you have to duplicate a CD or DVD in your Mac for a client and the copy does not work in their computer running on Windows?

In this article we explain how to write CD/DVD in Mac. Do not worry, it is easier that it may seem.

Method 1: Writing a folder directly onto a CD or DVD.

If you already have inside the same folder all you want to burn onto a CD or DVD, just proceed as follows:

  1. Insert a blank CD or DVD disc into your drive.
  2. By using the Finder, browse to where your folder is.
  3. Right click on the folder (or click while you are pressing Ctrl key).
  4. In the menu which appears, click on “Burn (folder name) to Disc...”.
  5. Type in the name you wish to give to the disc.
  6. 6. Click on the “Burn” button.

Wait while the disc is being written. It may take several minutes. And that is all, the CD/DVD will work both in Mac and Windows.

How to write a folder onto a CD/DVD in Mac

Method 2: Writing a CD or DVD by using a “Burn Folder”

If the files that you want to write onto CD/DVD are spreaded around your hard disk, you can just create a new folder and copy the desired files into it. Then, you will only have to burn that folder onto CD/DVD as we told you in the previous section.

But if your files are big and you do not want to be making copies of them in your hard disk, then you can use a Burn Folder.

  1. Go to the Finder, or just click on any empty location of your desktop.
  2. Being in Finder, click on the “File” menu.
  3. Click on “New Burn Folder”.
  4. 4. Drag the desired files and folders into the Burn Folder. Note how the file and folder icons have a small arrow in the corner. Can you see it? This means that what you are putting into the Burn Folder are aliases for the files and folders. That is, you are not making copies, you are just pointing at the original files. This way, you can rearrange them as you like, and create new sub-folders, without changing how the original ones are.
  5. When you have got everything just as you want it, just right click on the “Burn Folder” (or click while pressing Ctrl key).
  6. Click on “Burn (folder name) to Disc”.
  7. Give a name to the disc.
  8. Clic on the “Burn” button.

Wait while the disc is being burnt. It may take several minutes. That is all, the CD/DVD will work both in Mac and Windows.

Burn Folder in Mac

Duplicating CDs and DVDs

If you already have a CD or DVD and you have to make one or several copies of that disc, you can create a disc image. Then, you will be able to make more identical copies of the CD/DVD from it

Creating a disc image

To create a disc image, you have to use the Disk Utility application that already comes with your Mac. You can launch the application in different ways:

a) Open the Launchpad and begin typing “Disk...”, you will quickly see how the “Disk Utility” icon appears. Click on it to launch it.

How to launch Disk Utility from Launchpad in Mac

b) You can also do it from Finder:

  1. Click on the “Go” menu.
  2. Click on “Utilities”.
  3. Now you will have a Finder window with the list of applications in Utilities.
  4. Double click on “Disk Utility.app”.
Launching Disk Utility from Finder in Mac

Now that you are in the Disk Utility, creating a disc image is very simple:

  1. Insert the CD or DVD into the drive.
  2. Select the CD or DVD from the list on the left.
  3. Click on the “New image” icon at the top side.
  4. A new window will open allowing you to type in the name for the image file, and to select where you want to save it.
  5. In “Image Format”, choose “DVD/CD master”, this is the most important thing.
  6. 6. Click on “Save”.

You now have the disc image. You will have a new “.cdr” file. This file has a special format, not only including all the CD/DVD contents that you saw, but also information about the disc structure. This way, you will be able to make identical copies of the original CD/DVD.

Creating a disc image in Mac

Can't you find the .cdr file you have just created? Well, if you did not pay attention to the folder that you chose when you created it, note that the disc image also appears in the list on the left of the Disk Utility. Right clic on it (or Ctrl + Click) and click on “Reveal (file name .cdr) in Finder”.

Burning a CD or DVD from a disc image

If you already have a disc image from a CD or DVD, that is, a .cdr file, and you want to burn a new CD/DVD with it, it is very easy:

  1. With Finder, browse to the folder where you have the .cdr file.
  2. Right click on the .cdr file (or Ctrl + Click).
  3. Click on ““Burn (file name .cdr) to Disc”.
  4. Type in the name you wish to give to the disc.
  5. Click on the “Burn” button.

Wait while the disc is being written. It may take several minutes. And that is all, you now have an identical copy of the original CD/DVD which you had made the disc image from.

And what if my Mac does not have a CD/DVD writer?

If you have a recent Mac, it does not come with a CD/DVD writer (optical drive). Nowadays, probably you are using pendrives, external hard disks, storage in the cloud, or you just send big files by email. But if you often find yourself having to use CDs or DVDs, you can buy an external optical drive for less than 25 euros, you do not have to buy the SuperDrive from Apple. You will be able to plug it into a USB port of your Mac, the drive will be recognized automatically and you can use it as if it were an internal drive.

The CD or DVD disc cannot be ejected, what can I do?

First, try to eject the CD or DVD normally, in either of these ways:

a) If you see the disc in the desktop, right click on it (or Ctrl + Click) and click on “Eject (name)”.

b) In Finder, the disc name should appear on the left. Clic on the eject icon.

Ejecting a CD/DVD with Finder in Mac

c) Launch the Disk Utility. The CD/DVD should appear in the list on the left. Click on it to select it, then click on the “Eject” icon at the top of the window.

Ejecting a CD/DVD with Disk Utility in Mac

If the above does not work, then do this:

  1. Restart your computer (clic on the apple icon and click on “Restart”).
  2. Keep the mouse (or trackpad) button pressed while the computer is restarting and until the CD/DVD is ejected.

If you have doubts or suggestions about how to write CDs or DVDs in your Mac, feel free to leave your comments. And if you have found this article useful, we encourage you to share it in your social network using the buttons below.

And if you still do not feel comfortable with your Mac, you can ask us. We will write articles about the most frequently asked questions.

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