Windows 8 Hardware and Sound – AutoPlay

You are probably going to be connecting all types of external data devices like pen drives, external hard disks, memory cards, optical discs etc to your PC. This will in turn enable you to to access all kinds of data like music, videos, documents, images, etc.

Windows has the ability to perform a desired action depending on the device that you connect, as well as the data that resides in the device.

It can autoplay the device for you in a pre-configured way. This applet manages all those actions that can be set by you for each device and the data that it contains.

How to Launch It

  • Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
  • Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
  • Select “Hardware and Sound” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
  • Select “AutoPlay”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.

AutoPlay Actions

Depending on the connected device and the data that the device contains, one of the following autoplay actions could be chosen.

  1. Open folder to view files in Windows Explorer
  2. Ask me every time
  3. Take no action
  4. Import pictures
  5. Play music or video
  6. Burn files to disc
  7. Install program from the device

Out of these, the first three are common to all the devices.

Devices

The first option this applet gives is whether you want Windows autoplay at all or not. If you disable this, then Windows will do nothing and just sit back, waiting for you to do something with the connected device.

The next section contains settings for removable drives like pen drives, external hard disks, etc. As removable drives are the most frequently used external devices, they enjoy the luxury of specific configurations depending on the type of data that the devices holds – pictures, videos, music or mixed content. For example, if you have a pen drive that exclusively contains music, then you can configure it to autoplay a removable drive that contains only music as data.

There is another section that lets you choose an action when you connect a camera storage device like a memory card. The most appropriate action would be to let AutoPlay import the pictures and videos stored in the card.

The next sections deal with the optical drives – CD, DVD, Blu-ray Discs. One might configure the applet to autoplay “Burn data on disc” option when a blank drive is inserted. In case of a movie DVD, the autoplay option to play the video can be configured.

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