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
Written on February 27, 2010