Change settings for importing pictures and videos

You can change the settings Windows uses when importing pictures and videos from cameras, portable devices, scanners, or data CDs or DVDs. These import settings determine how pictures and videos are named and organized when you import them to your computer. For more information about importing pictures and video files from a digital camera, see How do I get pictures from my camera to my computer?

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Connect a camera to your computer by using the camera's USB cable, and then turn on the camera.

    • Connect a portable device that contains pictures or videos to your computer by using the device's USB cable, and then turn on the device.

    • Insert a removable flash memory card, such as a Secure Digital (SD) or CompactFlash memory card into a memory card reader.

    • Connect a scanner to your computer by using a USB cable, and then turn on the scanner.

    • Insert a data CD or DVD that contains pictures or videos into your CD/DVD drive.

  2. In the AutoPlay dialog box that appears, click Import pictures and videos using Windows.

  3. To change the settings that are used when importing pictures and videos, click Import settings in the Import Pictures and Videos dialog box.

  4. Change one or more settings in the Import Settings dialog box, and then click OK.

  5. Click OK to restart Import Pictures and Videos. Type a tag in the Tag these pictures (optional) box, and then click Import to import your pictures and videos using the new settings.

Note

  • Some devices are compatible with Device Stage. For compatible devices, Device Stage will open instead of AutoPlay when you connect the device to your computer and turn on the device. To import pictures from the device, click the import link in Device Stage.

    To import pictures from a device in Device Stage, the device must be compatible with Device Stage. This new feature allows you to import pictures and videos from some devices, as well as perform other device-related tasks.

View import settings

The following table describes the different settings for importing pictures and videos.

To
Do this

Choose the import settings for the current device or media

In the Settings for list, verify that the current device or media containing pictures and videos is selected.

You can change the settings for importing pictures (and in some cases videos, too) from cameras, portable devices, directly from flash memory cards, scanners, or data CDs or DVDs. You might choose to use the same settings, or you might use different settings for the different devices and media. The device you connected (or media you inserted for data CDs or DVDs) is selected by default.

Choose the imported pictures folder

Click the Browse button next to Import images to, choose the main folder for your imported pictures, and then click OK.

This lets you choose a folder that works best for you to keep your pictures organized. You might choose to store imported pictures in the My Pictures folder (the default), in another folder on your computer, or on an external hard disk drive (if you have one attached to your computer).

Choose the imported videos folder

Click the Browse button next to Import videos to, choose the main folder for your imported videos, and then click OK.

This lets you choose a folder to store video files that you import from a camera, flash memory card, or data CD or DVD that has video files. You might choose to store imported videos in the My Pictures folder (the default), in another folder on your computer, or on an external hard drive.

Determine how folders are named for imported pictures and videos

Click the Folder name list, and then click one of the folder naming conventions.

You can specify how the folder will be named using a combination of date and/or tag information. This lets you determine how you want your folders to be named and organized.

Specify the file naming convention for imported pictures and videos

Click the File name list, and then click one of the file naming conventions.

You might want your imported pictures and videos to keep their current file names. However, it can be difficult to find a picture or video by just looking at the file name. Therefore, you might choose to have each group of new pictures and videos renamed, so each file is named with the tag you enter followed by a number.

Be prompted to enter a tag when importing pictures and videos

Verify that the Prompt for a tag on import check box is selected.

If this check box is cleared, you won't be prompted for a tag when you're importing pictures and videos. Pictures and videos are then imported without any tags. However, you can add tags after the pictures are imported. For more information, see Tag pictures so they're easier to find.

Have pictures and videos erased from the device automatically after they're imported

Select the Always erase from device after importing check box.

After the pictures and videos are successfully imported, they're erased automatically. This can be helpful to free space on your flash memory card, so you can take more pictures or record more videos. However, it also means that your pictures and videos are erased from the memory card after import. If the pictures and videos aren't successfully imported, they won't be erased from the memory card.

Rotate pictures automatically on your computer

Leave the Rotate pictures on import check box selected.

If you had the camera turned sideways when taking a picture, the picture will be rotated automatically so it appears correctly when you view it on your PC.

View the pictures and videos in Windows Explorer after they're imported

Leave the Open Windows Explorer after import check box selected.

Windows Explorer will open automatically and show the pictures and videos that were just imported.

Change the default AutoPlay settings

Click Change default AutoPlay options, and then change the AutoPlay settings for a device, such as a camera, scanner, or media such as data CDs or DVDs.

For more information about changing the AutoPlay settings in different devices or media, see Change AutoPlay settings.

Go back to the default import settings

Click Restore defaults.

All the import settings that you selected will be reset to the default settings. This includes import settings that you changed for any device, such as a camera, scanner, or data CD or DVD.