Mac Essentials: Burning Files to a CD or DVD

Updated to include macOS Sierra.

Though thumb drives and cloud-based services fill a lot of our external storage needs these days, many of us still need to burn files to a disc from time to time. Fortunately, OS X makes this a simple process:

  1. Switch to the Finder, if necessary.
  2. Choose FILE, NEW BURN FOLDER. This will create a burn folder on your Desktop. Note: NEW BURN FOLDER will only show if the Mac has or is connected to an optical drive (CD/DVD drive).
  3. Type the folder name, then press Return. The name of the folder also becomes the name of the CD or DVD.
  4. Drag any files or folders into the burn folder. This creates aliases of the files and folders in the burn folder, and the original items do not move. This is handy, because it makes it easy to just throw the burn folder into the trash when you are done.
  5. Double click on the burn folder to open it, then click BURN near the upper right of the burn folder window.
  6. Insert a blank disc when prompted.

The contents of the burn folder will be burned to the disc. When it’s finished, like mentioned above, just drag the burn folder to the trash.

There is a second way to burn files or folders to a disc, which can be a little faster if everything you are burning is in the same folder. Just select all the items you want to burn to the disc (hold ⌘ while clicking to select multiple items), right click one of the items in the selection, then choose BURN (file name or x items) TO DISC.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant

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