How to Copy Photos to a CD to Play on a TV

PC and Mac OS X users will find that copying their photos to a blank CD-R or CD-RW is an easy process using their computer's default browser: Windows Explorer or Finder. You can format a data disk to play back on a television; however, the DVD, Blu-ray or other device connected to your television must be able to read data CDs. Windows Vista and Windows 7 use the "Mastered" format to customise disks for playback on these devices, while Mac OS X systems automatically burn data disks for devices and computers using its default settings.

Insert a blank CD into your disk drive and wait for Finder to recognise the device or double-click the CD's icon on your desktop to enter the blank CD window. Leave this open.

Click the File tab and select "New Finder Window." Browse your computer for the desired photos. Drag and drop their icons from their window into the blank CD Finder window. Repeat the drag and drop process for all photos. Select multiple items by holding down the "Apple" key on your keyboard while clicking their icons.

Click the CD Finder window and make sure all desired photos have been added. Click the "Burn" button next to your CD's icon in the "Devices" column of the Finder window.

Name your disk and choose a disk burning speed. For best quality, choose a slower burning option. Click "OK" or "Burn" to initiate the burn process.

Insert a blank CD-R or CD-RW into your computer's drive. Click "Burn Files to Disk Using Windows Explorer" when prompted by the Windows Autoplay screen. If Windows does not recognise the disk, click the Start button in the bottom-left corner of your screen, select "Computer" and double-click on your disk burner drive.

Name your disk in the "Burn a Disk" pop-up screen and choose the "With a CD/DVD Player" button (This is the Mastered format option). Click "Next" and leave this window open.

Click the Start button and select "Pictures" or navigate to your photos' location. Find the desired pictures. Drag and drop them from their current window to the empty CD drive window. Select multiple files by holding down the "Ctrl" key while clicking their icons. Repeat the drag-and-drop procedure for all files you want burnt to disk.

Press the "Burn to Disk" button at the top of the window to initiate the copy and burn processes. Wait for your computer to complete the burn and eject your CD.


Mastered disks in Windows will burn faster and require less free space if all your photos are on the same drive on your computer.


Burning Mastered disks in Windows may require up to twice the size of your blank CD in free space on your hard drive to store temporary copied files. Since blank CDs are generally 700MBs in size, make sure you have 1400MBs, or 1.4GBs, of free space.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank CD-R or CD-RW
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About the Author

Andrew Schrader has been a professional writer and filmmaker since 2004. He works as a writer and director, holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies from UC Santa Barbara. Schrader specializes in writing about technology and computer software.