How to Burn CDs or DVDs in Mac OS X Lion - dummies

How to Burn CDs or DVDs in Mac OS X Lion

By Bob LeVitus

With Mac OS X Lion, you can play, create, and publish audio and video on optical media. Depending on which type of optical drive your Mac is equipped with, you can burn some or all of the following types of discs: CD -R, CD -RW, DVD -R, DVD +R, DVD -RW, DVD +RW, and DVD +R DL (dual layer).

Burning a music CD is a different process that’s performed using iTunes.

One way to burn files to a CD or DVD is to simply insert a blank disc and select the files you want to burn. Just follow these steps:

  1. Insert a blank disc.


  2. Choose Open Finder from the Action pop-up menu.

  3. Click OK.

    Your blank CD mounts (appears as an icon) on the Desktop just like any other removable disc, but its distinctive icon tells you that it’s a recordable CD (or DVD).


  4. Drag files or folders onto the disc icon on your Desktop until the disc contains all the files you want on it.

  5. (Optional) If you like, you can change the disc’s name from Untitled CD (or DVD) the same way that you change the name of any file or folder.

  6. When you’re ready to finish (burn) your CD (or DVD), open its disc icon and click the Burn button in the top-right corner of the disc’s window, or click the Burn icon (which looks like the warning symbol for radioactivity) to the right of the disc in the Sidebar.


    Notice that the amount of free space remaining on the disc is displayed in the status bar at the bottom of the window. If you don’t see the status bar, choose View→Status Bar.

    Alternatively, you could

    • Control-click or right-click the disc’s icon and choose Burn Your Disk’s Name Here from the contextual menu.


    • Select the icon, and choose File→Burn Disc Name. If you choose Eject, from either the contextual menu or the File menu, you’re asked whether you want to burn the disc first.

    • If you drag the disc icon to the Trash/Eject Disk icon in your Dock, the Trash/Eject Disk icon turns into the Burn Disc icon (which still looks like the warning symbol for radioactivity). Drop the disc icon on the radioactivity icon in the Dock, and the burning begins.

  7. Choose a speed from the Burn Speed pop-up menu, click the Burn button, and you’re done.


    CD-RW and DVD-RW discs rarely (if ever) work in devices other than your Mac, including CD (audio) players and DVD (video) players. When you burn a music CD or a video DVD and plan to watch it on a device other than your Mac, you shouldn’t burn it on rewritable (RW) media.

    Select the Save Burn Folder To check box if you think that you may want to burn another copy of this disc someday.