How to Convert ESD to WIM File on Windows 10?

In this tutorial, we will show you how to convert ESD to WIM file from the Command prompt, using the DISM tool, or PowerShell scripts. ESD file is a new highly compressed file-based image distribution format developed by Microsoft. The ESD (Electronic Software Download) image files are used to deploy the Windows operating system instead of the classical WIM (Windows Imaging Format) image. Unlike WIM files, you cannot open or mount an ESD file in Windows (unless you’re converting them). The ESD file is read-only. Instead, Windows uses them internally during the clean install or update process. The problem is that many admins using WDS/MDT/SCCM to deploy Windows 10 over the network and usually need to make the same changes to the Windows Image file. So today we will show you how to easily convert ESD to WIM image.

First of all, we’ll figure out what the install.wim and install.esd files are and how they differ.

Install.esd and install.wim are archives containing compressed operating system files, they can include several Windows editions (Professional, Home, Enterprise, etc.). During the installation of Windows, all files are extracted from the install.wim/esd image to the system drive of the computer.

If you compare the size of the wim and esd file, you can notice that the size of a file with the esd extension is smaller, because it is compressed more strongly (a new type of compression is used – Recovery). This compression type packs the Windows installation files even more and, as a result, the size of the install.esd file becomes less than the install.wim file by 30%.


Hint. To compress ESD files, a more efficient LZMS compression algorithm is used, instead of LZX compression used for WIM files.

Microsoft distributes the last Windows 10 builds in the install.esd format. It helps users to save network traffic during upgrading Windows 10 build.

The inconvenience of using the install.esd file is that DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool refuses to mount this Windows image. Accordingly, in such an image it is impossible to inject drivers, security updates, or modify some Windows deployment options. Therefore, in this situation, the easiest way is to convert the install.esd file to install.wim and then just work with the install.wim file.

Extracting Install.esd File From the Windows 10 Install ISO

You can create Windows 10 installation ISO image using the Media Creation tool or the Windows 10 Upgrade assistant.

The first thing you need to do is open your File Explorer. Right-click your Windows 10 ISO image and select Mount.

convert esd to wim

Go to C:\ drive and create a folder Win10. Copy all files from Windows 10 ISO image into it.

esd to wim

When you copied all files, go to the Sources folder, find the install.esd file and make a copy of this file.

install.esd vs install.wim

Now create another folder on your C:\ drive – name it ESD. Paste install.esd file into this folder.

esd vs wim


Hint. How to Open an ESD File? You can view the contents of install.esd using the archiver tools. For example, using 7 zip. Just open the esd file with the 7zip archiver and you will be able to browse the folders in the esd file.

install.wim vs install.esd

Converting ESD to WIM File on Windows 10 using DISM

The next thing you need to do is open Command Prompt as Administrator. We need to get into the folder we have just created. Type in:

cd c:\esd

convert install.esd to install.wim

As we said above, the install.wim or install.esd file can contain several Windows Editions. Each edition of the OS is stored in the file install.esd and has an assigned index (index 1, 2, 3, 4, …). You can get the list of Windows editions in your install.esd file using the DISM tool. Run the following command to list all Windows editions in your image:

dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:install.esd

esd to wim converter

As you can see, in the install.esd file there is an image of 4 versions of Windows 10 with the indexes: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool

Version: 10.0.16299.15

Details for image: install.esd

Index: 1

Name: Windows 10 Pro

Description: Windows 10 Pro

Size: 15,103,101,178 bytes


Index: 2

Name: Windows 10 Home

Description: Windows 10 Home

Size: 14,917,903,101 bytes


Index: 3

Name: Windows 10 Home Single Language

Description: Windows 10 Home Single Language

Size: 14,917,646,651 bytes


Index: 4

Name: Windows 10 Education

Description: Windows 10 Education

Size: 14,320,369,327 bytes

The operation completed successfully.

Find the index number of Windows 10 edition you need (we are choosing Index 1, since we are using the Windows 10 Pro edition).


install.esd to install.wim

The next command allows you to extract the specified Windows edition installation image from the esd file and convert it to the WIM file format:

dism /export-image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /Compress:max /CheckIntegrity

Hint. Four different compression formats can be used in DISM to compress a WIM image. For each of them there is a corresponding option in the DISM /Compress parameter:

  • /Compress:none — no compression used;

  • /Compress:fast — default WIM image compression type (XPRESS compressions);

  • /Compress:maximum — maximum compression (LZX compression);

  • /Compress:recovery — this type of compression converts WIM image to ESD format (LZMS compression). As a result, the size of the esd file can be 30 percent smaller than the size of the original wim file. For compressed archives, recovery Microsoft recommends using the esd file extension for images compressed with the recovery compression type.

The DISM utility allows you to use only three options for images in Recovery format: Dism /Export-Image, Dism /Apply-Image, and Dism /Get-WimInfo

Image exporting is started and the process can take a long time. Conversion is quite a resource-intensive task, during which the processor and memory of your computer will be heavily loaded. Depending on your computer hardware, it takes about 10-30 minutes to complete.

wim vs esd

Hint. You can extract several Windows editions from the esd to the install.wim file. For example, to create a WIM image file with Home (index:2) and Pro (index:1) Windows 10 edition, you can use the following commands:

dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /DestinationName:"W10 PRO version 1909" /Compress:max /CheckIntegrity

Dism /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:install.esd /SourceIndex:2 /DestinationImageFile:install.wim /DestinationName:"Win10 Home version 1909"

In the same way you can add any other Windows edition to your wim file.

how to convert esd to wim

Once ESD conversion is completed, you can copy your new WIM image file and go to Win10 original folder, then to Sources and replace install.esd file.


Convert ESD to Install.WIM with PowerShell

Also, you can use the PowerShell cmdlets to convert your ESD file to the WIM image format.

Run the elevated PowerShell console and execute the following command to get the Windows editions from the install.esd file:

Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath "f:\sources\install.esd"

extract wim from esd

Now you can use the Export-WindowsImage cmdlet to convert Install.ESD to Install.WIM with PowerShell:

Export-WindowsImage -SourceImagePath F:\sources\install.esd -SourceIndex 10 -DestinationImagePath C:\esd\install.wim -CheckIntegrity

Convert ESD to ISO Using DISM++ (GUI)

If you don’t like using command-line tools, you can use the graphical third-party tool Dism++ to convert your ESD file. This is a simple and free utility for convenient work with Windows image and WIM/ESD files. Download and run the Dism++ tool (

  1. Select File > WIM > ESD/SWM file;
    convert .esd to .wim
  2. Select your source esd file and target wim image path;
    install esd to wim
  3. Press Finish and wait until the converting process ends.
    install.esd to wim

Hint. With DISM ++ you can also convert ESD or WIM file to Windows ISO image ready for deploying on computers.

How to Convert Install.esd to Install.wim using NTLite Tool

NTLite is a popular tool for serving Windows images. You can use it not only to integrate driver files or updates into wim, but also to configure the automatic installation of Windows and applications. One of the NTLite options allows you to convert ESD files to WIM format.

NTLite is free for non-commercial use. You can download it here:

To convert install.esd from Windows 10 image to install.wim format, run NTLite, and follow these steps:

  1. Select Add > Image file (WIM, ESD, SWM);
  2. Select your install.esd file;
    dism convert esd to wim
  3. Select the Windows edition in the ESD image that you want to export to a WIM file;
  4. Select Export > WIM in the context menu. Or click on the heading Operating System and select Export all > WIM;
    install esd vs wim
  5. Wait for NTLite to finish exporting Windows image from ESD file to WIM format. In my case, it took about 10 minutes.

The resulting install.wim file can be mounted using the DISM tool. You can slipstream Windows security updates into a .wim file, inject drivers, change Windows features, and make some other changes to the image. Now, you can use it to create your own Windows installation images and then import them to the MDT, WDS, or SCCM.

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  1. In Windows 10 10240 and 1607 you can find Boot.wim and install.wim but for 1511image you will get only boot.wim and install.esd

    1. even with version 1607 you get esd file version. Did usb with both version x86 and x64 of 1607 both has esd instead of wim

          1. Thanks Andrius for the x86 information.
            If it’s .esd or .wim doesn’t matter
            If you are in trouble how to convert .esd to .wim
            you can user NTlite (Non -commercial and commercial versions are available) tool for completely modifying your Windows 10 Image.

  2. Initially had windows pro and upgraded to Enterprise…it is possible i can have install.wim for enterprise? i have install.esd then converted to wim but that is for professional

  3. It seems that DISM ended with an error on my computer:

    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: DISM Log Provider
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: FolderManager
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: WimManager
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Succesfully registered commands for the provider: WimManager.
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: VHDManager
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: GenericImagingManager
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Succesfully registered commands for the provider: GenericImagingManager.
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: Compatibility Manager
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Succesfully registered commands for the provider: Compatibility Manager.
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Attempting to add the commands from provider: FfuManager
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM Provider Store: PID=21892 TID=21728 Getting Provider WimManager – CDISMProviderStore::GetProvider
    2017-01-27 19:52:49, Info DISM DISM Provider Store: PID=21892 TID=21728 Provider has previously been initialized. Returning the existing instance. – CDISMProviderStore::Internal_GetProvider
    [21892] [0x80070057] ReadWriteDataInternal:(142): De parameter is onjuist.
    [21892] [0x80070057] ParseChunkRegionInternal:(1211): De parameter is onjuist.
    [21892] [0x80070057] ResNodesLoad:(790): De parameter is onjuist.
    2017-01-27 19:52:57, Error DISM DISM WIM Provider: PID=21892 TID=21728 onecorebasentsetupopktoolsdismproviderswimproviderdllwimmanager.cpp:1385 – CWimManager::Export(hr:0x8007000d)
    2017-01-27 19:52:57, Error DISM DISM WIM Provider: PID=21892 TID=21728 onecorebasentsetupopktoolsdismproviderswimproviderdllwimmanager.cpp:4821 – CWimManager::InternalCmdExport(hr:0x8007000d)
    2017-01-27 19:52:57, Error DISM DISM WIM Provider: PID=21892 TID=21728 “Error executing command” – CWimManager::InternalExecuteCmd(hr:0x8007000d)
    2017-01-27 19:52:57, Error DISM DISM WIM Provider: PID=21892 TID=21728 onecorebasentsetupopktoolsdismproviderswimproviderdllwimmanager.cpp:2223 – CWimManager::ExecuteCmdLine(hr:0x8007000d)
    2017-01-27 19:52:57, Error DISM DISM.EXE: WimManager processed the command line but failed. HRESULT=8007000D
    2017-01-27 19:52:57, Info DISM DISM.EXE: Image session has been closed. Reboot required=no.

    1. You have encrypted ESD the author of this post has decrypted ESD. Author of this post doesn’t seem to understand what is ESD and his ESD file has been decrypted with scripts that are not officially publicly available.

  4. if a .esd file contains 2 images (index 1 and index 2), how can I make a .wim file that contains both images?
    The commands you show only extract one image. Is there a way to simply convert the .esd to .wim (even if it contains 6 images)?

    1. Just run the command again, but switch the index number. It appends the .wim rather than overwriting it.

  5. Is it possible to convert the opposite way, from WIM to ESD file? And, if so, would you happen to have any information on how to perform this action?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. You can convert Wim file to ESD using DISM, for example:
      Dism.exe /Export-Image /SourceImageFile:c:\tmp\install.wim /SourceIndex:1 /DestinationImageFile:c:\tmp\install.esd /Compress:recovery /CheckIntegrity

  6. I think I found a new god, It was not possible to work with the Deployment workbench for windows 10 with a install.esd file. I needed to convert to it to install.wim for the WDS server.

    I thank you for this,

    I definitely found a new god

  7. I fell at the first hurdle:
    “The first thing you need to do is to open your File Explorer. Go to C: drive and create a folder Win10 and drop all files from Windows 10 ISO image into it.”
    Where exactly IS this “Windows 10 ISO image”?

  8. I have error.

    Error: 5

    Access is denied.

    The DISM log file can be found at C:\WINDOWS\Logs\DISM\dism.log

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