Getting flash drive to autorun

biwako_of_abiFebruary 19, 2014

Windows 7 Home Premium
Transcend flash drives

With my old Dell desktop, which was Win 7 Home Edition, when I inserted a flash drive, a box would automatically pop up with a list of possible actions, including to display its contents. That isn't happening with this new computer.

Can anyone suggest how to make it do that?

I have checked the Device Manager, but there seems no way there to get the flash drives to autorun. On the other hand, under "Autoplay" in the Control Panel, although there is a place for "Devices" at the bottom and it says that devices connected to the PC will be listed there, nothing is listed, even when a flash drive is connected.

Any help appreciated!

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Is it installing? do you see it at hidden icons?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:02PM
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A personal observation....

Nothing seems to auto run in Win 7 these days....but perhaps that's due to my personal settings. My security settings are high but I suspect that MS has elected to block this feature for safety sake in one of the past updates. may opt to do what I do and that is to go into Computer via the Start page and see the flash drive or whatever device you may be trying to auto run listed under Devices and Removable Storage. Open it there and it will behave accordingly. I've had to do this with all my storage disks, flash drives and now to download photos from my digital camera.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:26PM
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Right click on Start
click Explore (or Windows Explore) in the pop up
In the new window your flash drive will appear in the lower left side of the split screen.
Click on it to see the contents on the right side.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:56PM
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Aputernut: The flash drives usually show in My Computer, and I have been resorting to what Anne says she does, so I assume they are "installing," but where should I look to see the "hidden icons" you mention?

Reading the comments from the three of you (many thanks for bothering to answer my question), I get the impression that Microsoft has indeed done something to auto-run.

Strangely, in Control Panel>Autoplay, there IS a box at the top to check, which would cause "all media and devices" to autorun, but apparently no way to allow only flash drives to do so. For the sake of safety, I wouldn't want to let just anything use autorun, however. I wonder why they won't let us pick and choose. It's as if they are saying, "We'll let you take a big risk, but not a little one."

Guess I will have to keep getting at flash drive contents through My Computer. Too bad, because my old computer has trained me to be a bit lazy, lol! My husband and I do a lot of translating and passing flash drives back and forth, so this is a real pain, albeit a small one.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Two other ways to pass files back and forth with your husband would be by emailing them to one another or by accessing them over your home network by "sharing" the folders where they're located.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Richard (chuggerguy)

""... under "Autoplay" in the Control Panel, although there is a place for "Devices" at the bottom and it says that devices connected to the PC will be listed there, nothing is listed, even when a flash drive is connected. ..."

From this Autoplay FAQ on

What would keep a device from appearing under "Devices" in AutoPlay?

If you have connected a volume device to your computer (for example, a USB flash drive or external hard drive), that device will not appear in the Devices section of AutoPlay. AutoPlay only lists non-volume devices (for example, some digital cameras, video cameras, and phones). This is because these devices don't use a standard file system and AutoPlay cannot browse the contents of these devices to see what types of files they contain.

To browse the contents of volume devices, open the Computer folder.

Open Computer by clicking the "Start" button , and then clicking "Computer"

Although I don't know if that clarifies, or just raises more questions. :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 8:12PM
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Hidden icons are on your taskbar on the right at the tiny up arrow, next to speaker/clock etc. when you remove a flash drive, you should always go here and do a safe removal never simply yank it out.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Chuggerguy: Thanks, but I have always used Computer or My Computer to get at flash drives when they didn't open automatically. However, even though I can see a flash drive there or open its properties, and so on, there doesn't seem to be any way to make it use autorun. That's my real problem, not that I can't access its contents in some other way. But, as some here have remarked, it looks like MS has decided to make autorun impossible for flash drives.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:06AM
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Aputernut: Thanks, but I thought you were referring to something more "exotic," like a special kind of hidden files and hoping that *there* Microsoft had left the ability to make flash drives autorun, but evidently not. Sigh. I must resign myself to going through Computer to open these drives.

I know about the "safely remove" feature and am careful to use it for fear of doing damage, but thanks.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 12:53AM
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Win 7 and mine autorun every time I plug them in here and at work.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Millworkman, you must have the same version of Win 7 that my old computer has. My problem is with the new computer I recently bought so that my husband could get rid of his very old one that is running XP. I ordered this new computer with the same edition of Win7, but somehow some things have changed and this one is unable to enable autorun for flash drives.

I am now resigned to my fate, lol.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 1:21AM
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If you're that put out by how it works and this is a frequent step, you could set up a shortcut for windows explorer or put WE on the taskbar, with it being set to a default location representing the thumbdrive. That way, one click and you'd be looking at the thumbdrive and its contents.

I have my WE set to start with the C: root directory. That way I can quickly see and go to any "drives" or devices connected to my PC at that point in time. It's the easiest starting point for me.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:01PM
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That sounds good, as it would mean only one click was necessary to display the contents of the thumb drive. But how can I set WE to a default that represents the thumb drive? It won't show a thumb drive at all--much less its contents--unless there is actually a thumb drive in a USB port.

The problem is probably that I don't understand how to set WE to start with the "C: root directory." My WE always comes up with a listing to the left that starts with Favorites, Libraries, etc., and C: is a bit down the list.

I never used WE (from the Start button) much and have just realized that it is apparently the same thing as "My Computer," which I have been double-clicking on for a connection to the thumb drive. If I click on WE, which I do have pinned to the taskbar, and then one more click on the name of the thumb drive, that's two clicks to see the contents of the drive. One less click than if I click on the My Computer icon on my desktop.

So thanks to you, I now only have to make two clicks, instead of three. Perhaps that is the fewest clicks I can hope for.

Granted, the old autorun way only required one click, so I would only be saving one click anyway; but hubby and I are translators who both work on the same job, so we are constantly swapping thumb drives back and forth, and it gets old going through a series of clicks every time. If I had never known the convenience of autorun, I would be taking things in their stride and not be complaining.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 2:01PM
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If I remember correctly, some time back MS issued an update that did away with auto-start as a security feature. If so, that would explain why newer Windows 7 computers do not have the auto-start feature.

I must have had the update on my XP computer, because I always had to open the flash drive via Computer.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Put the thumb drive in, open Windows explorer to see what drive label is assigned. If you never connect anything else, it will usually be the same letter each time.

If not, you could set it to C:\ at the root level and go from there.

After you see what the assigned drive is, click on the link below and follow the instructions

Here is a link that might be useful: Assign Windows Explorer start folder

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:42PM
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Somewhat belated update.
Thanks, Snidely. I looked into that, but couldn't work things out.
I'm afraid I use too many different flash drives, and in different USB ports, too (When translating, sometimes I need more than one flash available at the same time.); so I'll just keep on opening them from Computer. It's not a big deal--just that I miss the convenience of the old way.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 1:05PM
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