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By mounting image files in Windows Explorer you can browse or explore an image and access all the files in a backup. The backed up data appears as a temporary drive in Windows Explorer that you can access, just like any other drive, mounted with its own drive letter. Individual Files and Folders can easily be recovered by using Copy and Paste.

If you mount an incremental or differential backup, the chosen folder must contain all the files required to load the image. Meaning an incremental backup requires all the previous files in the backup set to be present, and a differential backup requires the full backup to be present. For example, If your backup is split across multiple DVD's then it isn't possible to mount the backup.

If you restart Windows, all temporary mounted Images are detached.

Note: If you have a File and Folder backup (not image backup) Macrium Reflect also has a wizard to restore selected files and/or folders. You must use the File and Folder restore wizard to restore files greater than 4 GB in size. These files cannot be restored by mounting your backup as described in this article. Please see Restoring a file and folder backup


There are several ways to mount / unmount an image:


See also: Browsing Linux Ext File System Images

Mounting an image in Windows Explorer

  1. Navigate to the location of the image you wish to mount.

  2. Right click the image file and select Explore image.  

  3. Select the partition you wish to mount and Click OK.

    In this example, the image only contains one partition. 

    You can also select which Drive Letter you would like to be assigned.  


    The option Enable access to restricted folders mounts the image with full NTFS access rights to all folders in the image. This means you can browse images created on another PC without having to grant NTFS permissions. 

    The option Make writable makes the mounted file system temporarily writable. This is useful when accessing files in the image where the opening application is required to write to the file.  For example, Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (.vhdx) files can be mounted and files in the mounted backup can be recovered without having to restore the .vhdx file first. 

    Note: Changes made to the mounted file system are temporary and are discarded when the image is unmounted.

  4. You can now navigate through the image in Windows Explorer. 

Using Macrium to mount an image

  1. In the main window of Macrium Reflect, select Restore


  2. Select the image you wish to mount then click the Browse Image link.

Using Macrium Reflect Command Line Interface (CLI) to mount an image

  1. Open a command prompt and change the directories as necessary so the path to reflect.exe is shown. 
    See Running an elevated command prompt.

    Complete the command line as follows:

    reflect.exe ["Path to Image file"] [Add one or more switches] 

    Note: Instead of inserting Path to Image file you can also replace it with LAST_FILE_CREATED if you want the last Image created in the current Windows session to be mounted.

    Available CLI switches:   


    Browse Image, always needed to mount Image.
     -autoDo not show the Backup Selection dialog and automatically mount all partitions in the image file.

    A comma separated list of drive letters to use for the mounted image eg; -drives m,n  If no drive letters are specified then the next available letters are used.

    Note: To 'skip' mounting a partition use the Asterisk character instead of a drive letter
     -passUse for password protected Image files, add password in inverted commas. e.g. -pass "password"

     Note: If you do not use -auto you will be prompted with the Backup Selection dialog to assign the drive letters. 

Some examples of using the CLI to mount images: 

To mount an image and prompt for a drive letter:

C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe "J:\76FF71EBBB032A35-00-00.mrimg" -b 

To mount all partitions of an image using the next available drive letter(s):

 C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe "J:\76FF71EBBB032A35-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto  


To mount all partitions for the last image created in the current Windows session:

C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe "LAST_FILE_CREATED" -b -auto 

To mount all partitions in an image using drive letters p,q,r

C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe "J:\76FF71EBBB032A35-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto -drives p,q,r  


To mount the third partition only using drive letter 'R'

C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe "J:\76FF71EBBB032A35-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto -drives *,*,r  


To mount all partitions in a password protected image using drive letters p,q,r where pwd is the password,(the password is case sensitive):

C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe "J:\76FF71EBBB032A35-00-00.mrimg" -b -auto -drives p,q,r -pass "pwd"   

Unmounting a temporary mounted drive 

Using Windows Explorer:

  1. To detach a temporary mounted drive using Windows Explorer, right click the drive you wish to unmount.

  2. Scroll to Macrium Reflect, click Unmount Macrium Image.  



Using Macrium Reflect:

  1. In the Macrium Reflect application, select Restore in the top menu.

  2. Take the 'Restore' > 'Detach Image' menu option.

  3.  Select the drive letter you wish to unmount.

Using the CLI:

  1. Open a command prompt and change the directory as necessary so the path to reflect.exe is shown. 
    See  Running an elevated command prompt .

  2. Complete the command line as follows: 

    reflect.exe [drive letter to detach] [-u]

    (if no drive letter is included the switch -u will detach all temporary mounted drives).         

  3. Press Enter. 

Examples of using CLI to unmount an image:

To Detach all temporary drives: 

 C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe -u      


To Detach Drive J only:

C:\Program Files\Macrium\Reflect>reflect.exe J -u  



Problems mounting images

If you have a problem mounting your images, it is possible that the image mounting system driver has failed to load correctly. To resolve this issue it is recommended you reinstall Macrium Reflect. This problem can be caused by anti-virus software disabling features as a security precaution.