Jan 14, 2008
My Digital Life Editorial Team

AutoPlay/AutoRun Not Working or Missing Not Open in Windows Vista

An AutoPlay dialog window will be displayed and shown whenever users put in a CD or DVD disc into a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW or DVD-RW optical drive, or when insert and plug in a USB/FireWire removable storage device such as USB Flash memory key stick or portable and external hard disk drive into computer port, or when insert a memory card such as SD, CF, MS, xD into memory card reader.

AutoPlay (or AutoRun) dialog box allows users to select a action to perform on the contents on the drive from a series of menu options such as import pictures, play music media files, transfer videos, open folder to browser files or configure ReadyBoost caching on the device to speed up system. AutoPlay provides a convenient shortcut to directly access or run many frequently used functions.

However, the AutoPlay dialog may ‘disappear’ or ‘missing’ sometimes. When place in a CD or DVD, connect a USB Flash drive (memory stick or USB key or memory card) or insert a removable mobile hard disk, the AutoPlay does not working and does not open or show up as usual. Not only is automatic AutoPlay dialog option window is not activating, the “Open AutoPlay” shell extension on right click contextual menu which associated with supported drive type to manually start AutoPlay dialog has vanished as well.

Trying to resolve AutoPlay not working issue and restore AutoPlay option by resetting all settings to default via Play CDs or other media automatically link in Control Panel’s Hardware and Sound section does not help to fix the missing AutoPlay problem.

There are many reasons that can cause the Vista AutoPlay (or AutoRun) not working and does not pop up. If you’re facing the AutoPlay not appearing issue, the guide below will point you to the possible cause and where to check for the error.

Ensure that Shell Hardware Detection service is running

Type “service.msc” in Start Search to run Services console. Locate Shell Hardware Detection, and ensure that the “Service Status” is Running, and “Startup Type” is Automatic. If not, start the service and change the Startup Type setting accordingly.

Ensure that CD-ROM AutoRun is not disabled in registry

For users facing AutoRun/AutoPlay doesn’t work when insert a disc into optical drive, run Registry Editor (regedit), and navigate to the following registry subkey:


Locate the AutoRun registry value in the right pane, and check that the value data for AutoRun is set as 1 (one), which is enabled. If it is 0 (zero), which mean disabled CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive AutoRun process, re-enable the AutoRun by changing the value to 1.

Ensure that correct NoDriveTypeAutoRun and/or NoDriveAutoRun policy value is set

NoDriveTypeAutoRun registry key is used by Group Policy to configure whether to disable the Autoplay feature on all drives of the type specified. To check this setting, run Registry Editor (regedit), and navigate to the following registry key:


or (note that above registry value, if exists, will always supersede the below user-specific key),


Locate the NoDriveTypeAutoRun registry entry on the right pane. The registry key is in DWORD hexadecimal value, which each bit determines which type of drive to disable or enable AutoPlay feature. There are many possible value for NoDriveTypeAutoRun, some possible wrong value that disable AutoPlay are:

0x000000B5 (181) disable AutoRun on CD-ROM drives, plus default unknown drive, removable drive (meant for floppy or ZIP), network drive and reserved drive type.

0x000000FF (255) disable AutoRun/AutoPlay on all drive types.

The best bet is to set NoDriveTypeAutoRun to default value as set by Windows Vista, which is 0x00000091 (hexadecimal) or 145 (decimal). Previous Windows version such as XP uses 0x00000095 (hexadecimal) or 149 (decimal). To enable AutoPlay on all drive types, set NoDriveTypeAutoRun to 0 (zero) or 0x00000080 (128) which only disable AutoPlay on unknown reserved file type.

Other possible NoDriveTypeAutoRun registry value data includes:

  • 0×00000000 (0) enable all AutoPlay and AutoRun.
  • 0×00000080 (128) disable AutoPlay on unknown reserved file type.
  • 0×00000091 (145) default in Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • 0×00000095 (149) default in Windows XP.
  • 0×000000B5 (181) disable AutoRun on CD-ROM drives, plus default unknown drive, removable drive (meant for floppy or ZIP), network drive and reserved drive type.
  • 0×000000FF (255) disable AutoRun/AutoPlay on all drive types.

NoDriveAutoRun registry key, which stored at the same registry location, meanwhile determine whether a particular connected drive should run AutoPlay function or not. When AutoRun is enabled on the drive, media is automatically started when it is inserted in the drive.

By default, Windows Vista does not add any NoDriveAutoRun registry subkey. And you probably don’t want to block any drive from AutoPlay too. So remove and delete all NoDriveAutoRun key in the registry.

Uninstall conflict software

Some software application, especially disc imaging or image editing program such as Nero, PowerISO, MagicISO, and even some other programs such as Rhapsody and various VMWare virtualization products such as VMWare Server and VMWare Workstation has conflict with AutoPlay and will cause the AutoPlay functions to be not working.

If you’re facing the drive won’t Auto Play or Auto Run issue after installing certain software, try to uninstall the software to see if it fixes the problem. Better still if it’s possible to roll back the system using System Restore to earlier Restore Point when the software is not yet installed.

Update: The article has been updated for Windows 7.

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  • Jeremy Aldrin Velasco

    It still doesn’t work 🙁 I’ve done everything but nothing happened. Please help

  • kbord

    After days of trying to find a fix, the Shell Hardware Detection service procedure mentioned at the top of the article worked!! Mucho thanks. This web site will become my go-to resource for Windows problem solving.

  • soup

    Thanks, this is a lifesaver. The registry hack was the one that worked for me. It was set to FF (255) which means disable all autoplay. Changed it to 0 and it worked perfectly! Oh and you need a reboot for it to take effect.

    The key wasn’t in the place specifed (W7x64 here) but a search found it it.

  • sng

    very good solution
    now, my autoruns start works again

  • G Snyder

    Worked for me, too! Thanks for this. The reboot step does seem to be important.

  • Erick

    thanks a lot it helped me a lot.I had the problem after instaling vmwear player

  • Vangelis

    I’m also running Win 7 32bit ultimate and at some point lost all autoplay functions. I did a ton of searches, but none had a solution, even those that had me changing registry values like those Step 4. However, the combination of registry change and deleting one key described in Step 4 fixed my problem. Thank you very much for the info and help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    I am extremely grateful to whomever wrote this article because as one other commenter put it I have been pulling my hair out for months trying to figure out why the autoplay feature on my Windows 7 Professional, 32 bit, stopped functioning one day. I install and remove many programs on my computer because of my coursework in online college and find it impossible to track all the changes made to the thousands of files involved.

    I deleted the NoDriveTypeAutoRun entry in the Registry, rebooted, and have regained the Autoplay functionality with CD’s, DVD’s, and flashdrives. As usual I could not find anything to help with this problem in the Windows Help files, onboard or online.

    Thank you folks

  • Brian

    I just spend 4 hrs pulling may hair out trying everything. I finally noticed that NoDriveTypeAutoRun was set to 0x00000095 S/B 0x00000091. I changed and rebooted now Autoplay works properly. This is a Windows 7 machine not a XP Machine.
    Thanks !!! Christmas isn’t ruined after all.

  • Tbird

    Hello! I am such a happy girl today! Used Vista and (regretably) upgraded to Windows 7. Obviously they disabled the auto-play registry settings to NOT auto-play….this and a reboot worked GREAT for me! Thank you guys so very very much!!!! Like most people here, I had tried to fix this problem myself and even my guru hubby (bless his sweet heart) couldn’t fix this until a thought came to my mind, hey girl, you had Vista before you upgraded to Windows 7 and that would be the CD/DVD drive you should be updating/fixing/repairing! KAZAM and it works even though the auto play settings were set to auto-play!!!!The regedit did the trick!

    “The best bet is to set NoDriveTypeAutoRun to default value as set by Windows Vista, which is 0×00000091 (hexadecimal) or 145 (decimal).z’
    I just typed in 145 (decimal) and the hexadecimal auto-magically appeared!!

    Happy Girl thanks “Mydigitallife.info”

  • mizzou72

    Awesome! Works now!!! Thank you!!

  • minoo

    really useful! thank you……..:)

  • Mazrim Taim

    The autoplay/autorun problem occurred after installing VMWare.

    Changing the NoDriveTypeAutoRun registry entry to 0×00000091 (145), followed by a reboot, fixed the problem.

    Thanks! Wouldn't have been able to figure this out myself.

  • Lana

    Thanks alot I've just followed your guide and it works with me. I've tried many solutions on other websites but unfortunately nothing solves my problem. You're the best thanks alot!

  • Filippo


    my situation is here:

    >If you’re facing the drive won’t Auto Play or Auto Run issue after installing certain software, try to uninstall the software to see if it fixes the problem. Better still if it’s possible to roll back the system using System Restore to earlier Restore Point when the software is not yet installed. <

    should I to give up VMPlayer or could I to try modifying the keys as you described above?


  • funny man

    thanx dude

    your idea of changing the value of "NoDriveTypeAutoRun" to 0 worked wounders

    Again many many thanx to you.

  • Jesse

    You are great, have tried a hundred other so called fixes, but yours was the one. Finally someone who has some brains


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  • Really Thankful

    Thank You guys!! I had this problem really freaking me out. I even re-installed Windows 7 Ultimate (x86) on my machine in vain. The "Ensure that correct NoDriveTypeAutoRun and/or NoDriveAutoRun policy value is set" thing worked. I set the value to 145 (decimal) and updated the Adobe Flash thingy and everything went back to normal.

    Thanks-A-Lot. :))

  • Pat K

    I wanted to say thank you for the great info. My PC hasn't run auto anything since the Geek Squad 'fixed' it last year. My card reader didn't work, CD's wouldn't launch and even when I plugged the extra card reader in to the usb, it wouldn't auto launch—all things that were working before they did the annual 'clean-up'!!!!! My brother found your site and helped me make sense of stuff I didn't understand. We changed two of the values and now it is all working like it was brand new. Thank you again!!!!!

  • rachel

    I tried all of your suggestions but still can not get autoplay to pop up with my iphone or my canon camera. My iphone doesn't appear in the Autoplay Devices section at all when it is plugged in, only in the scanners and cameras section on the control panel. Any other suggestions?

  • Amey Kelkar

    Problem solved after almost one year of research on this topic…..

    Uninstalled VMPlayer…………

    now AutoPlay works fine…….

    Windows 7 Ultimate x86

    You Rock MyDigitalLife Team 😀

  • saxo

    yes i fixed my auto play, " Vista ", works now by resetting the registry to 145 in NoDriveType auto run in both sections …. Hkey _local.. and Hkey_current …sections as your instructions said. it was my first time using " regedit" this saved me a few dollars and a trip to a computer store,, thank you !!!!

  • LakerFan!

    ok, client of mine comes to me, his laptop which he uses constantly for his mobile business is no longer recognizing any removable media ie: sdcard, camera etc..
    After lots of troubleshooting, i landed here! Thank God for this Site!!!
    Turns out his Shell Hardware Detection service was NOT running. He was in a Verizon Store and a tech there was setting up his external mifi type device and disables the feature. He likely did this when he connected the device to the laptop to configure it. Windows 7 prompts you in such cases he clicked on the DON'T BOTHER ME NO MORE option.
    Once i enabled / automatic the setting under the services page, it was all GOOD!
    thanks again!!

  • s2k

    I'm running Win 7 Professional and at some point lost all autoplay functions. I did a ton of searches, but none had a solution, even those that had me changing registry values like those Step 4. However, the combination of registry change and deleting one key described in Step 4 fixed my problem. Very grateful for the help!

  • anonymous

    I tried to do this but I don't have an explorer folder in the policies one…. any way I can fix that?

    • Candi

      Same problem here. I made it through every step but do not have an explorer folder under policies in USER or MACHINE. 🙁 Any further suggestions?

      • Quist

        The NoDriveTypeAutoRun-key can be located under HKEY_USERS”User ID”SoftwareMicrosoft…
        Do a search for NoDriveTypeAutoRun in Regedit.

  • ugg

    I just extra th is feed to my favorites. I really like reading your posts. Thank you!

  • Appzalien

    Security companies are prone to suggest disabling autorun because usb flash drive infections are on the rise. As a matter of fact, I read that the Iranian centrifuge fiasco was caused by someone picking up a seemingly lost usb drive and taking it into work and plugging it into the network. Its been suggested that the CIA left the drive just for that purpose.

  • Ángel

    AutoRunFix or Microsoft AutoRuns and solved problem.

  • Miloje

    Thank's very much, registry tweak did the job.

    One velue correct was in HKEY current user

    and the wrong one as you predicted was in HKEY local machine.

    Anyway thank you very much….

  • Rauls

    Thanks! This worked! The crapy solution in MS website didn't…

  • anonymous

    Thank very much! My OS is Win7 Ultimatex64 and I tried so much possibilities, but none of them worked! this is my first succes!! This is great!!!

  • George

    This man is an absolute GENIUS

  • coki

    That hint was great! I had been searching for possible reasons why my autorun didn't work anymore AT ALL and finally, after quite a bit of work and time that I spent, you had the answer. Thanx a lot!!!

    You see a happy me!

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  • kozloz


    It worked on me in Vista by changing the registry value.Thanks a lot!

  • Pabon

    Great!! I resolve the problem with the option NoDriveTypeAutoRun = 145

    Thanks a lot!

  • Rick

    hahah thanks:) it works fine for me in Windows 7 home premium

  • Anthony

    Good Article. Worked for me, local group policy set poissibly by vmware.

  • jp

    worked for me! thanks a lot! 😉

  • anonymous2345

    hi, i followed the instructions to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer and i could not find the key NoDriveTypeAutoRun. the only thing in the Explorer was NoActive Desktop, NoActiveDesktopChanges, ForceActiveDesktopOn, and BindDirectlyToPropertySetStorage, and the Default. do i create that key and set the value to decimal 145?

  • John


    I was battling against this problem of Autoplay not working. I chose the Default you suggested for Vista: 0×00000091 (145) default in Windows Vista and Windows 7

    GREAT! Keep the great job!

    You are blessed!

  • Anonymous

    Setting up the NoDriveTypeAutoRun to 0 fixed it for me too in Windows XP. Thanks a ton. I know the culprit is that VM ware

  • dunld

    Hi, everyone.

    I was having the same issue (autorun wouldn't start, but right clicking the camera icon was fine) and when I checked the registry, all entries under local machinesoftwaremicrosoftwindowscurrent versionpolicies had disappeared. I backtracked all of my steps and realized that Norton 360 had run a registry cleaner. I am assuming that because the camera was not plugged in, it looked like a broken link. In any case, I booted into safe mode, used system restore to revert to prior the registry cleaning, and everything is back to normal. Autorun is working great again. I have had issues with registry cleaners before, so be careful.

  • Molten Ice


    The link above will solve another problem I had… If you have Kaspersky Anti-Virus it might be the culprit! Look at the thread if you have Kaspersky and you might end up getting Autorun Enabled 🙂

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  • paul

    Yep setting the NoDriveTypeAutoRun to 0 fixed it for me. Thanks!

  • Giggitty

    The iPhone will not transfer photos to your computer if the device is locked and you are using a passcode. If you want to transfer photos, simply unlock (Slide to unlock and enter passcode) your device to transfer photos.

    Note: Plug the iphone to your computer in unlocked mode.

  • wii

    thanks a alot! the registry did the trick, after i restarted the computer (at 1st it didnt work because i didnt restart my laptop). i was frantically trying to find the solution to this problem, and you saved the day! 🙂

  • anonymous

    Vista x64 here…Nero did it. So sad that this is happening, is it Microsoft, or these other software guys? Why does it seem that everything is getting worse these days (and i'm not just talking about computers)?

  • anonymous

    uninstalling real player 11 made the autoplay dialog appear, it also appeared on the right click menu on the drive.

    I later installed real player again from the website and autoplay still works..try this

  • henk

    why not just use autofix.exe from microsoft? http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/3/2/2326

  • Jubin

    Hey for those whose issue has not been solved by reading this try uninstalling softwares that cause the problem ie:

    Real Player 10, Nero 7 etc.

    The autoplay dialog was mising from my pc and the right click menu as well. But on reading wikipedia's article,I decided on uninstalling Real Player and voilá it works!!!!!!

  • Nimh

    Thanks a lot. Something changed my registry to

    0×000000FF (255) disable AutoRun/AutoPlay on all drive types and changed that to default and presto. Thanks god for people like you in cyberspace you take the time to help people on annoying PC issues like this.

    Thanks again.

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  • Thanks… Stupid VMware. Oh well at least it works now. You're the best.

  • chrisang


  • Tom_Shaftoe

    Thanks, I think you helped me get to the bottom of this one.

  • Bobby

    You rock dude!!! 🙂

  • Ricardo

    Ok, it works again 🙂 The CD worked, the problem was with the USB Hard Disk, I added the category "Software and Games" in AutoPlay, and everything went fine again 🙂

  • Ricardo

    Oh no. It stopped working again, even though the registry remained as I put it…

  • Ricardo

    Although, I must say that immediately after editing the registry my PC didn't want to boot, even *before* trying to load windows! I panicked, but, fortunately, after turning it off manually, it started gracefully and with the problem solved 🙂

  • Ricardo

    Thanks a lot! It worked! How can an application just do that and the user has no control or knowledge over it? Mmm…

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  • Anonymous

    Just a heads up that it's 'services.msc' and not 'service.msc'

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  • Scott

    Thanks for the help! It really solved my Autoplay problems!

  • Mark Crosby

    Thanks for writing this. Unfortunately I found the article very hard to read, since it seems like its written especially for the search engines!

  • Sergiy

    Thanks a lot, Buddy!

    Your detailed advice helped me in 100%

    CD-ROM autorun was disabled in my Vista, don't know how it happened.After bought it – couple months worked well, after running a virtual disk that problem appeared.

  • Girmi

    Thank you for this tip!

    I hated manually starting every CD/DVD I put in cause I had the NoDriveAutoRun registry key but you're guide fixed that 😀


  • anonymous

    Thank you so much! Solved my autorun issue.

  • Reader

    You should fix ur translation machine. It is horrible to read it in german. I guess in other languages i wouldn't be better.

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  • Thanks for publishing this article… solved an annoying autoplay problem for me.

    Greatly appreciated! Have a great day

    ST Vancouver Canada

  • George Constantine

    Thank you very much for the information. Apparently, an application I recently installed disabled autorun for some reason. I was able to re-enable it using your instructions for changing a key in registry.

    Thanks again!!