Here are solutions to some common problems with AutoPlay.

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The AutoPlay options only appeared once: the first time I plugged in a device or inserted a disc. How can I find them again, so I can choose a different action?

To see the options one time, right-click the device or drive, and then click Open Autoplay. If the device isn’t plugged in, hold down SHIFT and plug in the device. You can also hold down SHIFT while inserting a disc to see the list of options.

To see the options every time you plug in a device or insert a disc, follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoPlay by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking AutoPlay.

  2. In the list next to the device or type of disc, click Ask me every time.

I set a default action, but the AutoPlay dialog box continues to appear.

AutoPlay must review the types of content on the storage device or disc before it can assign a default program to open with. If there is a lot of content, the dialog box appears while AutoPlay is finishing its review. This is normal, and the AutoPlay dialog box closes by itself.

How can I turn off AutoPlay so it will stop asking me what program I want to use?

Follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoPlay by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking AutoPlay.

  2. Clear the Use AutoPlay for all media and devices check box.

How can I stop AutoPlay from automatically opening a program when I plug in a device or insert a disc?

Follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoPlay by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking 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.

AutoPlay doesn't start when I insert a disc or plug in a device.

There are several reasons for this problem. AutoPlay might be restricted by Group Policy, it could be canceled by a program that is running, or the service that AutoPlay needs to start might not be running.

Here are some things to try:

  • Ask your network administrator if AutoPlay is restricted by Group Policy, and if so, what to do instead.

  • Close other programs that might be interfering.

  • Follow these steps:

    1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then right-click Command Prompt.
    2. Click Run as administrator.

    3. At the command prompt, type net start shellhwdetection, and then press ENTER.

    4. Restart your computer.

In the past, I held down SHIFT to prevent the AutoPlay dialog box from appearing. Why doesn't that work now?

Holding down the SHIFT key opens the AutoPlay dialog box regardless of the default setting. To prevent the AutoPlay dialog box from appearing for a specific storage type (such as a disc or device), follow these steps:

  1. Open AutoPlay by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking AutoPlay.

  2. Select Take no action next to that storage type.

The "Always do this" check box does not appear for mixed-content media.

Since mixed-content media can contain all types of content, there is no way to choose a default action for them.

Why does it take so long for AutoPlay to discover the types of content on my storage device?

The device probably contains a large number of files or a deep folder structure.