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Restore “Import pictures and videos” AutoPlay Option in Windows 10/11

Windows 10 has the Import photos and videos option in the AutoPlay dialog which helps you import photos and videos from your phone, SD card, camera, etc. The option uses the built-in Photos app to import photos and media from the device into your Pictures folder.

However, many users would like to have the classic “Import pictures and videos” import wizard (powered by the Windows Photo Viewer) instead.

You can still use the classic import pictures and videos (powered by Windows Photo Viewer) AutoPlay option, which is hidden by default in Windows 10/11 — just like how Microsoft decided to hide the Windows Photo Viewer. If you want to use the Windows 7-style Import pictures and videos option, you can right-click on the device in This PC and choose Import pictures and videos from the context menu.

The above option uses the Windows Photo Viewer (Module: PhotoAcq.dll) to import files from your external device.

Alternately, you can run the following command to invoke the classic Import dialog:

rundll32.exe "C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer\photoAcq.dll",PhotoAndVideoAcquire

This article tells you how to add the Import pictures and videos option to the AutoPlay dialog in Windows 10/11.

Restore the “Import pictures and videos” AutoPlay Option in Windows 10/11

To add the Import pictures and videos option to the AutoPlay dialog in Windows:

Open an admin Command Prompt window.

Run the following commands:

cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Photo Viewer"
regsvr32 PhotoAcq.dll
regsvr32 PhotoViewer.dll

Note: For Windows 32-bit systems, use C:\Program Files instead of C:\Program Files (x86)

That’s it. The above commands add the Import pictures and videos (Windows) choice in the AutoPlay dialog for memory cards, mobile, camera, etc.

The corresponding AutoPlay handler registry settings (added by the above regsvr32.exe commands) are below:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\Handlers\MSPhotoAcqHWEventHandler]
"Action"="@C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Windows Photo Viewer\\PhotoAcq.dll,-400"
"Provider"="@C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Windows Photo Viewer\\PhotoAcq.dll,-401"
"DefaultIcon"="C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Windows Photo Viewer\\PhotoAcq.dll,-1"
"CLSIDForCancel"="{00f2b433-44e4-4d88-b2b0-2698a0a91dba}"
"ProgID"="Microsoft.PhotoAcqHWEventHandler.1"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AutoplayHandlers\Handlers\MSPhotoAcquireDropHandler]
"Action"="@C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Windows Photo Viewer\\PhotoAcq.dll,-400"
"Provider"="@C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Windows Photo Viewer\\PhotoAcq.dll,-401"
"DefaultIcon"="C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Windows Photo Viewer\\PhotoAcq.dll,-1"
"InvokeProgID"="Microsoft.PhotoAcqDropTarget.1"
"InvokeVerb"="open"

Here is how the Import pictures and videos (Windows) dialogs look like:

Likewise, Dropbox, OneDrive, or other cloud sync software may add their own AutoPlay entries to import photos and videos from your external device to the cloud.

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