Troubleshoot camera connection problems

Here are solutions to some common problems with connecting a camera to a computer.

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When I connect my camera to the computer, nothing happens.

There are several possible solutions to this problem:

  • Make sure that your camera is turned on, and if it has a special connection mode, be sure to switch to that setting.

  • If that does not solve the problem, and this is the first time you’ve tried to copy pictures from the camera to the computer, it’s possible that your camera needs a special driver to copy pictures. You can usually find the driver on the camera manufacturer’s website or on a disc that came with your camera. Install the driver and try again.

    You can also use the Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter to try to fix the problem. It checks for common issues and makes sure that any new device or hardware attached to your computer was installed correctly.

    Open the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Under Hardware and Sound, click Configure a device. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  • If you have successfully copied pictures from the camera before, your computer’s USB port might have stopped working. Try connecting the camera to a different USB port. If that doesn't work, restart your computer and try again.

My camera connects just fine, but Windows cannot find any pictures on my camera.

There are several possible explanations for and solutions to this problem:

  • Make sure that the flash memory card is in the camera.

  • The pictures and videos might have already been imported to your computer. Import Pictures and Videos will not import pictures and videos that have already been imported to your computer.

  • If your camera can store pictures in more than one location (such as both a disk drive in the camera and a flash memory card), make sure the camera is set to read pictures from the location that actually contains the pictures.

  • It’s possible that the memory card was accidentally erased or has become damaged. There are programs available that are designed to recover lost pictures from digital cameras.

  • You might need to install software provided by your camera’s manufacturer, especially if the camera is older. Check the manufacturer’s website for the latest driver software.

I can’t find the pictures I copied to my computer.

By default, Windows copies pictures to the My Pictures folder and opens Windows Explorer to show the pictures and videos that were just imported.

To find the pictures that were just imported, you can also open the Pictures library and search in there. For more information about sorting and finding pictures, see Managing your pictures.

When I plug in a camera, AutoPlay automatically opens a program I don’t want to use.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoPlay by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type autoplay, and then click AutoPlay.

  2. To never see the AutoPlay dialog box, select Take no action next to the device or disc. To choose an action each time you plug in a device or insert a disc, select Ask me every time. To have a program open automatically each time, select the program.

  3. Click Save.


  • If your camera uses a flash memory card such as Secure Digital (SD) or CompactFlash, consider plugging a memory card reader into your computer. When you insert a memory card into the reader, you can copy pictures to the computer without draining your camera’s battery, dealing with connection cables, or installing additional software.

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