How to Set Windows Explorer to be the Default AutoPlay Action for your USB Flash Drive

Here is a handy tip from Greg Schultz at TechRepublic.  If you have a USB flash drive with several media types stored oin board, such as pictures, music, and document files, you may prefer to have Windows Explorer to open automatically do yo can browse to your files more quickly.  Here’ how to do it.

Takeaway: AutoPlay can be fickle when it comes to determining the default action for opening files from your flash drive. Here’s how to configure Windows XP to bypass AutoPlay and automatically launch Windows Explorer when you insert your flash drive.
If you have a USB flash drive holding various Windows XP files, you may want to configure the drive to automatically open Windows Explorer rather than display the AutoPlay dialog box.

Permanently set Windows XP’s Windows Explorer as your flash drive’s default AutoPlay action

by Greg Shultz | Jun 13, 2007
Tags: Greg Shultz

You can select the Open Folder To View Files In Windows Explorer and select the Always Do The Selected Action check box but that only configures the flash drive for one file type. Here’s how to configure your flash drive to open Windows Explorer for all file types at the same time:
Insert your flash drive into the USB port.
When you see the AutoPlay dialog box, click Cancel.
Open My Computer, right-click your flash drive icon, and select Properties.
In the Properties dialog box, select the AutoPlay tab.
Perform the following steps for each item in the Content Type drop-down list:
– Select an item in the Content Type drop-down list.
– Choose Select An Action To Perform in the Actions panel.
– Select the Open Folder To View Files In Windows Explorer action.
– Click the Apply button.
Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.
Now use the Safely Remove Hardware feature to remove your flash drive — wait a moment and plug it back in. You’ll see the AutoPlay progress appear momentarily, and then you should see Windows Explorer open to show the contents of the flash drive.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.