www.makeuseof.com How to Change the AutoPlay Settings in Windows 11

www.makeuseof.com How to Change the AutoPlay Settings in Windows 11

There are a variety of external storage devices and discs you can insert into Windows 11 PCs. USB storage devices are perhaps the most prevalent. DVDs aren’t as common these days, but many users still utilize disc drives. Photographers also need to insert camera memory storage cards in PCs.

Windows 11 has an AutoPlay feature that examines inserted storage devices and disc media. When you insert certain storage devices or discs, it will carry out an automatic default action. If you want to tweak this feature, you can enable AutoPlay and configure its default actions via Settings and the Control Panel in Windows 11.

How to Configure AutoPlay Options via the Settings in Windows 11

Windows 11's Settings menu includes the AutoPlay options for removable USB drives and camera memory storage cards. AutoPlay is enabled by default, but you can disable it in Settings.

Here is how you can open and configure the AutoPlay Options via the Settings in Windows 11:

Now you can configure the AutoPlay options in Settings. If you don’t want that feature, click the Use AutoPlay for all media and devices option to turn it off. However, it’s worth keeping this feature on because it can be useful.


To choose what AutoPlay does when you insert a USB drive, click the Removable drive drop-down menu. That menu includes four options for you to select.

Selecting Configure storage settings will configure AutoPlay to open Storage Settings when you insert a drive. The Open folder to view files option is perhaps the best one because that opens File Explorer when you insert a drive, which is something you’ll have to do to view a USB storage device’s contents.

If you select the Ask me every time setting, a pop-up menu with the above options will open when you insert a drive.

Photographers will be more interested in the Memory card drop-down menu. That menu includes six AutoPlay action options for inserted memory cards. Click that drop-down menu to select a setting.

The Import photos and videos and Open folder to view files options might be the best ones to choose there. If you select Import photos and videos, your camera memory card’s photos will be automatically imported into either the Windows 11 Photos app or OneDrive. That’s a handy shortcut option that will manually save you importing pictures.

However, some photographers might prefer to manually select specific photos to import. In which case, the Open folder to view files option might be a better one for some. That option will bring up your card’s folder in a File Explorer window whenever you insert a camera memory card.

Read also: What Is a TF Card and How Does it Differ to a microSD Card?

The Play option displays photos within Windows Media Player, which supports some image file formats. Thus, setting this option will make your PC automatically open and display pictures stored on a memory card when you insert one.

How to Configure AutoPlay Options in the Control Panel

You’ll notice that the Settings method doesn’t include any AutoPlay options for DVD or other disc types. That might be because discs have been going out of fashion over the last five years or so, with more and more users watching movies on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming services.

www.makeuseof.com How to Change the AutoPlay Settings in Windows 11

Furthermore, DVDs are no longer needed for installing software. Therefore, fewer and fewer new PCs come with disc drives.

However, the DVD isn’t dead just yet. If you have a PC with a DVD drive, you can still select AutoPlay options for discs. The Control Panel includes AutoPlay options for Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and CDs.

You can open and configure the Control Panel options as follows:

The Control Panel includes more AutoPlay options than Settings. There you can select the same USB device and camera card options on the Removable drives and Memory card drop-down menus.

You can also select a Choose what to do with each type of media checkbox for removal drives. By doing so, you can select AutoPlay action options for specific media on the Pictures, Videos, Music, and Mixed Content drop-down menus.

Scroll down the Control Panel a little to view the AutoPlay disc options. There you can select AutoPlay options for DVD, Blue-ray, CD, and software disc types. The DVD section includes DVD Movie, Enhanced DVD Movie, Blank DVD, and DVD-Audio drop-down menus. Those menus include options that you can toggle.

For blank DVDs, the Burn files to disc option might be the most convenient there. That option will configure File Explorer’s Burn to disc tool to open after you insert a blank DVD. Selecting the Open folder to view files option configures the DVD drive’s folder to open in File Explorer, from which you can select to play the disc.

If you have a lot of old CDs lying about, check out the AutoPlay CD settings. The Control Panel includes five CD drop-down menus for audio, video, enhanced, and blank compact discs.

To configure CDs to automatically play in Windows Media Center after inserting them, select the Play options for them. As there are quite a few CD options available, some users might prefer to select Ask me every time so they can select what to do after inserting discs.

Related: Microsoft Upgrades Windows Media Player, but Will Anyone Actually Use It?

Click the Software and games drop-down menu to choose what happens when you insert software discs. That menu includes the usual no action, ask, and Open folder AutoPlay options. You can configure games, and other types of software, to run automatically after inserting their discs by selecting the Install or run program from your media option.

The Control Panel also includes a handy option for resetting AutoPlay settings to their defaults. To find that option, scroll to the bottom of the AutoPlay applet. Then press the Reset all defaults button.

Remember to save the settings when you’ve finished changing the Control Panel’s AutoPlay options. Press the Save button to apply them.

Read also: How Long Do CDs and DVDs Last? The Truth About Lifespan, Mold, and Rot

Configure AutoPlay to Suit Your Preferences

Overall, there are numerous AutoPlay options for USB drives, camera memory cards, and disc media in Windows 11. With those options, you can select AutoPlay to automatically open the software needed to view the files within your storage media, no matter what it is.

It's a convenient feature that will save you from having to manually open File Explorer, media player software, and other pertinent photo and storage apps after inserting storage devices and discs.

How to Manage Autoplay Settings in Microsoft Edge Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorJack Slater(94 Articles Published)

Jack has been a freelance tech journalist for more than a decade. He has covered Windows Vista, 7, 10, and 11topics within a multitude of guides for Make Use Of and numerous other websites.

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