USB Autorun FAQ

By · Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

USB Autorun FAQIf you have not heard of a USB autorun; you’re now alone. A USB autorun is not common knowledge outside the technology industry and even within the industry it remains a mystery for many. From what it does, what it is used for, or even how to create one; USB autorun is a complicated application that leaves many with more questions than answers. However, we have compiled a list of USB autorun questions and put them in a FAQ format for our readers to get a better understanding of exactly what USB autorun is and how it’s used.

What is USB autorun?
USB autorun is a feature associated with PCs that allow USB flash drives to automatically load preloaded files or content upon inserting into a computer.

How is USB autorun used?
USB autoruns are primarily used by promotional companies or individuals to help them promote a product or service to potential clients on a promotional flash drive. However a USB autorun can be created and used by anyone with knowledge of how to set one up.

What programs can be autorun?
Almost any file can be preloaded as all that is necessary to make a file autorun is to add the files name to the autorun.inf file and move the file to the appropriate file directory.

Why won’t my computer autorun when I put a USB flash drive in?
There could be several reasons why your autorun will not function properly, starting with your operating system. Operating systems such as Windows 7 and MAC systems have USB autorun turned off for security reasons. In order to turn on the autorun feature, you must go into the system properties and manually disable this function.

Another reason could be that your autorun file is setup incorrectly and is loading the wrong file or not loading at all. Double check your autorun.inf file and make sure that all files are spelled correctly and properly formatted. Next check to make sure your actual files are in the root directory of the USB drive so that the autorun.inf can load them.

Why do I get a dialog box instead of the USB autorun?
A USB drive autorun is different than a CD autorun in the fact that it prompts a dialog box instead of simply running your programs. The reason a dialog pops ups is because your computer actually sees a USB drive differently than a CD or DVD and has different protocol on how to open up the device. Making a USB drive autorun like a CD or DVD is actually very difficult and requires quite a bit of technical expertise to achieve. It is recommended that if you want to make a USB drive autorun without the dialog box and act like a CD or DVD, to contact an USB expert such as Premium USB or others.

Does autorun work on newer computers?
If you are running on Windows 7 or any MAC computer, autorun will be disabled. This is a security measure put in place to help stop computer malware, spyware, and viruses spreading between computers through the use of CDs, DVDs, or any other means of storing data. If you are running on Windows 7, you can manually enable to autorun/autoplay feature through the system properties.

Are files on an autorun easy to change on a USB drive?
Changing which files to autorun are as simple as changing the autorun.inf file itself. Simply put in the filename of the new file with proper formatting and move the actual file into the root directory of the USB flash drive.

To remove a file from autorun, simply drag and drop the file from the root directory somewhere else on the computer and remove the filename from the autorun.inf file.


Hi. I am a graphic and web designer. I am just curious if we can do autorun on a usb driver on Mac environment.

Unfortunately Autorun will not work on Mac computers :/