Windows 10 Tip: Manage AutoPlay Actions for External Devices

Windows 10 makes it easy to set AutoPlay actions for external devices that you connect to your PC. And, it has a lot more options than previous versions.

Windows 10 makes it easy to set AutoPlay actions for external devices that you connect to your PC. And while previous versions of Windows only allowed limited choices, Windows 10 gives you multiple options that you can change at any time.

Control AutoPlay Options in Windows 10

Like previous versions of Windows, when you plug in a device, i.e. SD card, phone, or tablet, then an AutoPlay menu appears and asks how you want Windows to handle the device. If you don’t like this popping up all the time, you can either disable it or set each device to do what you want every time it’s connected.

AutoPlay for iPad

To get to the AutoPlay options, go to Settings > Devices > AutoPlay. Or if you have “Hey Cortana” enabled just say: “Hey Cortana. Launch AutoPlay” and it will open up.

Hey Cortana

Here you have several options that let you choose what happens when you plug in your devices. But first, if you just want to turn AutoPlay off, then flip the switch at the top to Off.

Settings AutoPlay windows 10

To manage what Windows 10 does with each device when you plug it in, just select what you want it to do with each of your listed devices. As you can see in the example below, when I select my Windows Phone, there are several different actions that I can choose. I can import photos and videos from the phone to my local drive or OneDrive, take no action, open the content to see in File Explorer, etc. Choose the option that works out best for you.

Select AutoPlay Action for Device

It’s also worth noting that you can still get to the traditional Control Panel version. That will allow you to set what happens for media types as well as devices. It, of course, also lets you turn off AutoPlay completely.

To launch it, just type: autoplay into the search box and hit Enter.

There you have the Control Panel version, with options that might be more familiar if you’re just getting started with Windows 10, after upgrading from Windows 7.

AutoPlay Media device types

If you’re not running Windows 10 yet, you can turn off AutoPlay in Windows 8, too.



  1. Dave Wilson  

    The iPhone isn’t listed in these options – how do I change iPhone default action?

  2. Glendelyn  

    This was SOOOO helpful thanks!!! :D Now I just have to figure out how to make Itunes pop up again….

  3. Lara Miller  

    I have had autoplay turned on for a long time, and it’s set to “Open folder to view files.” It works fine for my phone. But when I plug in my son’s phone, even though I haven’t changed any settings (and they’re both iphones), nothing happens. ITunes can see his phone, but I can’t get it to open so I can view his files. Anyone have any idea how I can get his pictures onto my computer (hopefully without messing with picture apps or iTunes, I just want to copy them over)?

  4. Dean  

    Windows 10 no longer gives me the option to open my device (iPhone) in iTunes when I connect. I think I need to add iTunes as a default option and then select it in autoplay for my iPhone device, but can’t figure out how to do it.

  5. Danny  

    Worked! Thanks brother.

  6. Mike Rowe  

    Thank you! This worked!

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