Directions for Burning Music to a CD Using Windows

Here's how to use Windows' built-in tools to burn a music CD.

Close-up of a senior man holding a CD and a CD Case
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In this age of Spotify, USB sticks and smartphones, not many people feel the need to burn music to a CD, but there are times when only a spinning disc will do. That's especially true for teachers or anyone else who needs to distribute a recording to a group as cheaply and easily as possible.

There are numerous ways to burn a CD in Windows thanks to third-party programs like iTunes, not to mention Microsoft's own programs like Windows Media Player.

However, there's also a way to burn CDs using Microsoft's built-in utility that is independent of any specific program. Before you start, you'll need a CD burner connected to your computer (either a built-in component or an external device) and a blank, writable CD.

Depending on the speed of your machine and the amount of content you need to burn, this process can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. The good news is that it's not very difficult and in fact pretty self-explanatory.

How to Burn a CD of Music

Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7

  1. Open the folder that has the music files you want to be burned.
  2. Choose the songs you want on the CD by highlighting/selecting them.
  3. Right-click one of the selections and choose to Send to from the right-click context menu.
  4. Click your CD burner from the list. It's most likely the D: drive.
  5. If a CD is already in the disc drive, you'll be given a dialog box asking how you want to use this disc. Choose With A CD/DVD player. At the top of the window, there's also a text entry field where you can give the disc a name. Once that's done click Next.

    If the tray is empty, you'll be asked to insert a disc, after which you can return to Step 4.
  1. A Windows Explorer window will appear with your selected files.
  2. In the Share tab (of Windows 10 and 8), click Burn to disc. Windows 7 should have this option at the top of the screen.
  3. In the next pop-up window, you'll have the option to edit the title of the disc again and set the recording speed. Click Next when you're ready to move on.
  1. You'll be notified when the music is finished burning to the CD.

Windows Vista

  1. Open the Start menu and then click Computer.
  2. Go into the folder that has your music files you want on the CD.
  3. Select the songs you want to be included on the disc by highlighting them with the mouse or using Ctrl+A to select all of them.
  4. Right-click one of the songs you've selected and chosen the Send To menu.
  5. In that menu, pick the disc drive you have installed. It might be called something like CD-RW Drive or DVD RW Drive.
  6. Name the drive when the Burn a Disc dialog box appears.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Wait for the CD to be formatted if it's needed, and then the audio files will be burned to the disc.
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