How do I get AutoPlay to import photos from a flash drive?

Normally when you plug in your camera or the memory card the AutoPlay program on your PC will automatically start the photo import routine. If you use an USB drive or adapter this might not happen.

This article provides detailed instructions for checking your PC and setting it up so that the import routine will start when you plug in a USB device or memory card that has photos on it.

This will work on PCs running Windows 7 and earlier versions. This will not work on Windows 8.1 – just forget about AutoPlay on Windows 8.1, it isn’t ready for prime time yet.

First make sure that the external media is recognized.

  • Plug in your USB device or memory card. Listen for the sound that tells you that the PC has recognized something being plugged in.
  • Check Windows Explorer to make sure that the device is listed under Computer.

If this part does not work you have a problem beyond the scope of this article.

Second make sure that AutoPlay is properly set.

  • Click the Start button and type autoplay
  • The AutoPlay program will show up in the start menu already selected (highlighted). Press Enter to start it.
  • Take a look in the AutoPlay window near the top. There is a checkbox with this text: “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices”. If this box is not checked, click it so that it is checked.

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  • Click the Save button.
  • Now try and see if your external device is recognized and causes AutoPlay to start.

Chanced are that the PC will behave just as it did before and the media does not start AutoPlay.

To get your PC to start AutoPlay for an USB device or memory card you will need to do a bit of “brain surgery”. What we will do next is to modify a setting in the “registry”. Read this article through first. If you are reluctant to dig this deep into the inner workings of your computer don’t feel bad. Things can go wrong and it is possible to do harm. This is brain surgery on your PC. Just get an expert friend to help you, or take your machine to your friendly computer shop.

If you feel that you can handle the process go ahead and “scrub in”.

Setting your PC to start AutoPlay for USB or other devises

imageHere are step by step instructions with illustrations along the way to guide you.

  • Click the Start button and type regedit
  • In the Registry Editor window click the Edit link.

  • In the dropdown menu click Find…

There will be an additional Find dialog window.

  • In the text entry box type NoDriveTypeAutoRun

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  • Click Find Next

You will see a message “Searching the registry” – it will take a while to complete this search. When the search is finished you will see something like the illustration below.

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There will be an entry that we searched for and it will be selected (highlighted).

  • Double-click on the highlighted entry.

A new little dialog window will come up.

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The “Value data:” will likely be “ff” as shown in the illustration. The value will be selected so you can cjange it by just typing the new value.image

  • Type 91 as the new value.
  • Click OK

The change dialog will close and the new value, 0x00000091 (145) will show in the registry data area.

  • Close the Registry Editor

That’s it. You have completed the brain surgery. You can take of your mask now, smile at the nurse and go on to the next details.

Final details

  • Restart your computer
  • When the computer has come up, plug in your device

imageNow momentarily after the beep you should see the AutoPlay dialog.

  • Cheer, clap your hands
  • In the AutoPlay dialog click the checkbox “Always do this for pictures:”
  • Then click Import pictures and videos using Photo Gallery

There may be a number of other option as illustrated here. Yours will be different from mine. The important thing to remember is that the Photo Gallery importer is the very best one available. None of the others do as good a job, give you the variety of options, or make it as easy.

After you click Import pictures and videos using Photo Gallery the normal import process will start. It will start that way in the future whenever you plug in your device.

If this solves your problem, do me a favor and let me know with a comment below.

.:.

© 2013 Ludwig Keck

How do I include items in my Windows 8 Photos library?

You might have photos in a folder other than “My Pictures” or on a drive other that “C:”. Those photos will not be displayed in the Photos tile on the start screen and will not shown in Photo Gallery. Rather than moving the photos or their folder around on your PC, the proper way is to include the folder containing those pictures in you Pictures library. Here is the procedure for doing that:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • In the navigation bar on the left, locate the folder you wish to include in the Pictures library.
  • Right-click the folder name.
  • In the next menu click Include in library
  • This provides a list of your libraries, click the one to use – in this case Pictures

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That’s it. You have now included the folder in the Pictures library. Yes, you can include a whole drive. You will get the same menu when you right-click a drive name.

Your photos from the included folders will show up in all programs and apps that use the library, like Windows Photo Gallery, Picasa, of course, File Explorer. They will also be displayed in the Start page Photos app.

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.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

How do I import just certain photos from my camera to my computer?

Microsoft Photo Gallery provides a very flexible import tool. For the easiest way to use this tool, first set up your computer to launch it when you connect your camera. Check this post for instructions on setting up your computer: How do I import photos from my camera to my Windows 7 computer? 

To specify just the photos that you wish to import use the options in the import dialog. When the dialog opens the photos on your camera are shown in groups by the time/date the photos were taken. Import-09The groups that you have not yet imported are checked. Note the Select all option above the listings.

Click this several times to select all or to unselect all. You want them all unselected.

If you do not want the imported photos to be placed into multiple folders, adjust the Adjust groups slider all the way to the right. You will see the results in the main area.

Click the View all xx items link on the right of the listing to show thumbnails of all photos.

Now proceed through the thumbnails and select the photos you wish to import. Selecting works just as you expect. Click to select, click again to unselect.Import-14 

Note that the number you have selected is shown. You may have to scroll down and up if there are a lot of photos on your camera.

When you have made your selections click Import to complete the task.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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How do I make a new SkyDrive photo album?

There are a number of ways of making a new photo album or folder in SkyDrive. Here are several of the procedures.

Create new folder in SkyDrive

imageWhen you are in your SkyDrive online, that is, viewing it in a browser,  there is a “New folder” link above the main pane. Click it to make a new folder or album. Instantly a new folder tile will be added in the main pane. The folder name will be highlighted indicating that you can just type the folder name. Type the name you want to assign to the folder or album.

imageThis folder will initially be set to Folder type Documents. You can see that when you expand the Information section in the pane on the right. There will be a Change link there. You can change it to Photos, or you can just leave it as is. When a photo is uploaded to the folder it will change to Folder type Photos by itself.

Create a new SkyDrive photo album from Live Photo Gallery

Sometimes the easiest way to add a new SkyDrive photo album is to do it as you upload photos from Live Photo Gallery. In Photo Gallery sign in to your Microsoft account (upper right). Then select the photos you wish to upload to a new SkyDrive photo album. Click SkyDrive in the Share section of the ribbon. A dialog pops up with the first option being the defining of a new SkyDrive photo album. Type in the name you wish to assign to the album and click Publish. Note the Publish button is not enabled until an album name has been typed. The SkyDrive photo album will be created and the selected photos will be uploaded to the album.

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Creating a SkyDrive photo folder in the desktop app

If you have the SkyDrive desktop app installed you can create a new folder for photos just the way you would create any other new album using Windows Explorer. Open Windows Explorer, click SkyDrive in the left navigation pane. Then click New Folder.

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Using the SkyDrive desktop app allows you to create the new folder anywhere in the folder hierarchy in your SkyDrive. Keep in mind that you cannot upload from Photo Gallery into any sub-folders.

.:.

© 2012 Ludwig Keck

How do I prevent creating sub-folders when importing photos?

When importing photos from a camera, Windows Live Photo Gallery, in the default mode, creates a sub-folder for each group of photos on the camera. imageThe import dialog looks like the illustration here. The photos on the camera are presented in groups, ordered by date and time, usually one group per day. The grouping is adjustable. There is an “Enter a name” box for each group, see the red pointer in the illustration. If a name for the group is entered, the import procedure will create a sub-folder by that name. image

If no group name is specified, a sub-folder is created with the date when the photos were taken as the name followed by a number. For most of us, this is just fine. But what do you do if you don’t want sub-folders, but all the photos imported into one folder? Can that be done?

The process described above is for the default setting in Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can change the way photos are imported in the Live Photo Gallery Options menu.image

Click the blue File tab, then Options. Click the Import tab in the options dialog.

Click on the Folder name: selection, it is probably “Name”. The last item in the drop-down menu is (None). Click on this, then click OK.

When folder name “(None)” is selected, no sub-folders will be made and all photos will be imported into the folder specified in “Import to:”. Note the Browse button which allows you to specify any folder on your system for storing your imported photos.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

What is the difference between albums and folders on SkyDrive?

Windows Live SkyDrive has a long history and carries a legacy of features. Currently the primary purpose is for storing and sharing files and photos.

SkyDrive in the root location, the first one you come to when you click SkyDrive in the top bar, can contain documents and folders. Folders in the root location have a Folder type parameter. Sub-folders, folders inside other folders, do not have a Folder type.image You can see the Folder type in the information pane under Information.

In the root location the Folder type may be fixed for some folders (legacy Documents, Favorites). Other folders, and all newly added ones, can be of Folder type Documents or Photos and the Folder type can be changed.

When you click Documents in the left pane, only folders of Folder type Documents (and Favorites, if you have any of those) will be shown in the main area.

When you click Photos, only folders of Folder type Photos will be shown in the main area. These are the albums.

There is one other distinction: Only albums, i.e. folders of Folder type Photos, will show in Windows Live Photo Gallery in the upload dialog. So you can only upload photos to “albums”.image

You can change the Folder type of folders in the root location. In the information pane, under Information, you can see the Folder type. There is a Change link.image

Click on Change and a new page allows you to change the Folder type.

The two options are:

  • ● Documents – Store documents, spreadsheets, and other files
  • ● Photos – Store photos to show on your Photos page

To summarize: Albums are folders of folder type Photos. They are located in the root of your SkyDrive. They will be shown in the main display area when you click Photos. These albums will also be shown as album options when uploading from Live Photo Gallery.

Other folders and subfolders may contain photos – by moving individual photos or folders into them. imageWhen a folder, or subfolder, contains a photo, the folder icon will show that photo. When a folder contains more than one photo, the folder will play a continuous little slide show of the photos inside on the folder icon. You can see this by clicking the folder illustration here.

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© 2011 Ludwig Keck