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IMG (file format)
Filename extensions
Internet media type
application/x-ima [1]

IMG, in computing, refers to binary files with the .imgfilename extension that store raw disk images of floppy disks, hard drives, and optical discs or a bitmap image – .img.


The .imgfilename extension is used by disk image files, which contain raw dumps of a magnetic disk or of an optical disc. Since a raw image consists of a sector-by-sector binary copy of the source medium, the actual format of the file contents will depend on the file system of the disk from which the image was created (such as a version of FAT). Raw disk images of optical media (such as CDs and DVDs) contain a raw image of all the tracks in a disc (which can include audio, data and video tracks). In the case of CD-ROMs and DVDs, these images usually include not only the data from each sector, but the control headers and error correction fields for each sector as well.


Since IMG files hold no additional data beyond the disk contents, these files can only be automatically handled by programs that can detect their file systems. For instance, a typical raw disk image of a floppy disk begins with a FAT boot sector, which can be used to identify its file system. Disc images of optical media are usually accompanied by a descriptor file which describes the layout of the disc, and includes information such as track limits which are not stored in the raw image file.

Filename extensions and variants[edit]

The .img file extension was originally used for floppy disk raw disk images only. A similar file extension, .ima, is also used to refer to floppy disk image files by some programs. A variant of IMG, called IMZ, consists of a gzipped version of a raw floppy disk image. These files use the .imz file extension, and are commonly found in compressed images of floppy disks created by WinImage.

QEMU uses the .img file extension for raw images of hard drive disks, calling the format simply 'raw'.

CloneCD stores optical disc images in .img files and generates additional CloneCD Control Files (with .ccd extension) for each image to hold the necessary metadata. The CUE/BIN format stores disc images in .bin files, which are functionally equivalent to .img image files, and uses .cue files as descriptor files.


The file size of a raw disk image is always a multiple of the sector size. For floppy disks and hard drives this size is typically 512 bytes (but other sizes such as 128 and 1024 exist). More precisely, the file size of a raw disk image of a magnetic disk corresponds to:

Cylinders × Heads × (Sectors per track) × (Sector size)

E.g. for 80 cylinders (tracks) and 2 heads (sides) with 18 sectors per track:

80 × 2 × 18 × 512 = 1,474,560 bytes or 1440 KB

For optical discs such as CDs and DVDs, the raw sector size is usually 2,352, making the size of a raw disc image a multiple of this value.

Comparison to ISO images[edit]

ISO images are another type of optical disc image files, which commonly use the .iso file extension, but sometimes use the .img file extension as well. They are similar to the raw optical disc images, but contain only one track with computer data obtained from an optical disc. They cannot contain multiple tracks, nor audio or video tracks. They also do not contain the control headers and error correction fields of CD-ROM or DVD sectors that raw disc images usually store. Their internal format follows the structure of an optical disc file system, commonly ISO 9660 (for CDs) or UDF (for DVDs). The CUE/BIN and CCD/IMG formats, which usually contain raw disc images, can also store ISO images instead.

IMG as an Image file format[edit]

Also, .img is a planar bitmap graphics file using simple run-length encoding, originating with Digital Research's GEM. It was commonly used on the Atari ST line of home computers, but also with some GEM-based PC software such as Corel Ventura or Timeworks Publisher.

Other disk image files[edit]

In addition, .img is an Apple Disk Image used by the Mac OS X or macOS operating system.


Garmin .img is a hard-disk image file format which contains a header and many subfiles and used to store the maps for its GPS units.


The raw IMG file format is used by several tools:

  • RaWrite and WinImage use the IMG disk image format to read and write floppy disk images.
  • ImDisk and Virtual Floppy Drive can mount a raw image of a floppy disk to emulate a floppy drive under Microsoft Windows.
  • Nero Burning ROM supports reading IMG files for creating bootable CDs.
  • mtools allows manipulation of MS-DOS floppy disk images in Unix systems.
  • Programs such as dsktrans from the LibDsk[2] suite of command-line tools (available for Linux, MS-DOS, and Microsoft Windows) will convert between different raw disk image formats.
  • dd can be used in Unix to create raw disk image files of disks.
  • QEMU uses IMG files as its default format for hard drive disk images.
  • IrfanView with the plugin 'FORMATS' (formats.dll) supports viewing GEM vector graphics IMG.
  • Garmin MapSource or GPSMapEdit can be used to read Garmin hard-disk image .img format.


  1. ^ or empty title= (help)
  2. ^LibDsk suite of tools for accessing discs and disc image files
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These advanced steps are primarily for system administrators and others who are familiar with the command line. You don't need a bootable installer to upgrade macOS or reinstall macOS, but it can be useful when you want to install on multiple computers without downloading the installer each time.

Download macOS

Find the appropriate download link in the upgrade instructions for each macOS version:

macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave, ormacOS High Sierra
Installers for each of these macOS versions download directly to your Applications folder as an app named Install macOS Catalina, Install macOS Mojave, or Install macOS High Sierra. If the installer opens after downloading, quit it without continuing installation. Important: To get the correct installer, download from a Mac that is using macOS Sierra 10.12.5 or later, or El Capitan 10.11.6. Enterprise administrators, please download from Apple, not a locally hosted software-update server.

Img For Mac

OS X El Capitan
El Capitan downloads as a disk image. On a Mac that is compatible with El Capitan, open the disk image and run the installer within, named InstallMacOSX.pkg. It installs an app named Install OS X El Capitan into your Applications folder. You will create the bootable installer from this app, not from the disk image or .pkg installer.

Use the 'createinstallmedia' command in Terminal

  1. Connect the USB flash drive or other volume that you're using for the bootable installer. Make sure that it has at least 12GB of available storage and is formatted as Mac OS Extended.
  2. Open Terminal, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  3. Type or paste one of the following commands in Terminal. These assume that the installer is still in your Applications folder, and MyVolume is the name of the USB flash drive or other volume you're using. If it has a different name, replace MyVolume in these commands with the name of your volume.

    High Sierra:*
    El Capitan:
  4. Press Return after typing the command.
  5. When prompted, type your administrator password and press Return again. Terminal doesn't show any characters as you type your password.
  6. When prompted, type Y to confirm that you want to erase the volume, then press Return. Terminal shows the progress as the bootable installer is created.
  7. When Terminal says that it's done, the volume will have the same name as the installer you downloaded, such as Install macOS Catalina. You can now quit Terminal and eject the volume.

* If your Mac is using macOS Sierra or earlier, include the --applicationpath argument, similar to the way this argument is used in the command for El Capitan.

Use the bootable installer

After creating the bootable installer, follow these steps to use it:

  1. Plug the bootable installer into a compatible Mac.
  2. Use Startup Manager or Startup Disk preferences to select the bootable installer as the startup disk, then start up from it. Your Mac will start up to macOS Recovery.
    Learn about selecting a startup disk, including what to do if your Mac doesn't start up from it.
  3. Choose your language, if prompted.
  4. A bootable installer doesn't download macOS from the Internet, but it does require the Internet to get information specific to your Mac model, such as firmware updates. If you need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, use the Wi-Fi menu in the menu bar.
  5. Select Install macOS (or Install OS X) from the Utilities window, then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions.

Learn more

For more information about the createinstallmedia command and the arguments that you can use with it, make sure that the macOS installer is in your Applications folder, then enter this path in Terminal:



Image For Mac

High Sierra:

Img Format Files


Img Format Converter

El Capitan: