Saturday, 27 February 2010

Changing the location of "Import Pictures and Videos using Windows"

For some reason, if you uncheck the "Prompt for a tag on import" under the "Import Settings" of the Windows 7 "Import Pictures and Videos" wizard, then as far as I can tell there is no way to get back the "Import settings" dialog again.

A quick search of the registry reveals that these settings are stored under the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Photo Acquisition

For example, there's a "Camera and Portable Device" subkey with a value named "RootDirectory", and also one named "FilenameTemplate". Changing these should alter where the wizard saves photos.

Comparing this subkey with the "OpticalMedia" and "Scanner" subkeys showed one interesting difference. All three have an AcquisitionFlags value, but the latter two had it set to 0x82 whilst the former was 0x8a.

Reverting the AcquisitionFlags value to 0x82 in the following registry key seems to restore the import wizard to prompting you for an optional tag, and allowing you to click on the "Import Settings" link again:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Photo Acquisition\Camera and Portable Device

To make this change yourself, follow the following steps (with the standard warning that editing the Windows Registry incorrectly can completely mess up everything!):

  1. Run regedit.exe
  2. Navigate through the registry tree to find the following subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Photo Acquisition\Camera and Portable Device
  3. Double-click on the "AcquisitionFlags" value
  4. Type in "82"
  5. Click on "OK" and close the Registry Editor


kman said...

Thanks for the tip. After a few minutes of trying to figure out how to get this option back and searching through windows help to no avail, I was just about to spend time searching the registry. You saved me the headache. You'd think someone would have tested this.

Anonymous said...

On my Vista system, the AcquisitionFlags value is 0x02 [for all three subkeys], and there are similar entries under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Photo Acquisition key.

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for this solution!! Trying to get help from Microsoft directly is like pulling teeth.

Anonymous said...

REALLY? You have to edit the REGISTRY in Windows 7 just to change where you want your pictures saved?

Microsoft sucks. This is WINDOWS 7!!! How long do we have to wait for a fix to such a simple, common sense setting? Windows 24?

Anonymous said...

Your answer saved me from pulling my hair out. After I changed the registery settings, the option to choose location came back again. Whilst I was changing the settings I noticed "How do I change my import settings?" which links to the Windows Help and Support on the computer. Low and behold Microsoft do actually give the option to change the settings without having to mess with regedit. I posting them hear so to help others. Here is a direct quote:

When I import pictures and videos from my camera, how do I change where they are saved and what they are named?

By default, all pictures and videos are saved to the Pictures folder in a folder named for the current date and the tag you assign to the pictures when they’re imported. Each picture is given a name that includes the tag. To change the way your pictures and videos are saved to your computer, do the following:

Click to open Windows Photo Gallery.

Click the File menu, and then click Options.

Click the Import tab, and then do one of the following:

Click Browse to change the folder that pictures and videos are copied to.

Click the Folder Name list to name the folder using other elements, such as the range of dates in which the pictures were taken. You can add several items together to create a more descriptive folder name.

Click the File Name list to change the information that is used to create the picture's file name.

When you are finished making changes, click OK.

Anonymous said...

After almost a week of two hours a day searching all over windows help, and online and on MANY form, this helped! thank you SOOOO much!

Anonymous said...

Hi David,
Thanks a ton for this solution. Got a real headache trying to bring back the import option. Ur post helped me.

Anonymous said...

This does not solve the problem , i have done it and i still cannot choose the import settings in import pictures and videos in windows 7

Anonymous said...

Worked for me. Big thanks Dave.

Digital Fruit said...

This one is a life saver, I've been looking all over to find a way back into the settings dialog, and haven't been able to find a thing. Thank you.

Terry Isabell said...

Thanks!!!!!! I looked all over for the place to do this. Very important to me after losing use of other software for importing vids and pics.

melanie said...

Do you know how to do this in Windows 10? I've edited the registry keys to format my folders and files they way I like them - My Pictures\Photos\yyyy\yyyy-mm\yyyy-mm-dd\mjc-yymmdd-img_nnn.jpg (the last bit is the file name from the camera.

If I use Explorer and click properties on the camera (devise) and choose Import Photos and Videos I get it the way I want it, but if I let windows open the Photos app even if I choose the directory My Pictures\Photos\yyyy\ the photos all just get put into a yyyy-mm folder and don't get their file names updated.

(Also, for the last few years I've been editing the keys each year to update the yyyy bit of the path, since I dont know how to make that a variable - can you help with that?)

many thanks!