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Adjusting AutoPlay

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized, Windows Explorer

Daniel from Kentucky asks:

For some reason, AutoPlay no longer works on my computer. Also, when I connect a thumb drive, the computer recognizes that it’s connected, but I can’t access it. Any idea what’s going on?

The simplest explanation for why AutoPlay no longer functions on your computer could be that this feature has been disabled. This could have happened by accident when other adjustments were being made. The method used for enabling AutoPlay is fairly similar on most Windows operating systems, but the following steps are how AutoPlay is enabled in Windows XP. The steps can be used in the same order for any drive in your computer. You may also right click on the drive associated with the flash drive you just plugged into the USB port and follow the steps below.

Step 1 – Click on the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen

Step 2 – Double click on My Computer. This will bring up a list or show icons of various drives found on your computer.

Step 3 – Right click on the flash drive. A drop-down box will appear.

Step 4 – Click on Properties in this drop down box. A brand new window will open up with the name of the drive at the top. There are 3 tabs to choose from within this window.

Step 5 – Click on the tab labeled AutoPlay. From here the settings for music files, pictures, video files, mixed content, and CDs can be adjusted. Choose the type of file you wish to adjust by clicking on the blue arrow. Once the drop-down box opens up, click on the desired file.

Step 6 – In the section below the file to be adjusted there is a box labeled Actions. In this box, there are different actions from which to choose. To be able to make a selection in this box, you will need to check the circle next to the phrase Select an action to perform. The box will lighten and you will be able to click on an action that will be performed automatically.

Step 7 – After the desired action has been selected, click on the button labeled Apply in the bottom right corner of this window for the flash drive.

Step 8 – Click on the OK button at the bottom of this same box and the window for the flash drive will close. The AutoPlay should now be enabled for your operating system.

You will need to close all windows and restart your computer before the changes will be completely set in place. If you need to make adjustments to any other files, these same steps will need to be followed and the computer will have to be restarted. If you are making changes to multiple files, then click on Apply and then OK, but don’t restart the computer until you are finished adjusting all of the files. This will save a bit of time and it is only necessary to restart your computer when you’ve finished adjusting files.

The thumb drive could have also been recognized but did not run because the AutoPlay was off. Try enabling the AutoPlay feature and see if this fixes the problem with your computer not allowing you to access files on the flash drive.

If the thumb drive still doesn’t work, you will need to check to see if your flash drive supports the operating system your computer uses. For instance, U3 flash drives support Windows XP, Vista, and 2000 SP4 and up. Even if you aren’t using an operating system that is supposed to recognize your flash drive by name, it should still detect and run it as a normal USB flash drive.

It sounds like the icon for your flash drive isn’t even appearing on your computer monitor, so you might need to try starting the flash drive automatically. This takes a few simple steps and generally works for an external drive that is being detected, but not automatically started.

Step 1 – Go to the Start button in the bottom left corner of your monitor and click on it

Step 2 – Click on My Computer

Step 3 – When the new window opens, right click on the drive associated with the flash drive you just connected to the computer

Step 4 – In the menu that appears next, select Explore to look at the contents in the drive on which you double clicked

Step 5 – Once you locate the flash drive, double click on it

Depending on the flash drive being used, an icon might appear in the system tray after completing the 5 steps described above. Some drives also allow you to install a launcher so you won’t have to manually display the contents of your thumb drive. The automatic launching will begin even if AutoPlay is disabled, but this launching feature isn’t available with all flash drive brands.

~Cory Buford

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