Whenever you insert a USB flash drive or a flash card into your computer, you’re usually greeted with a pop-up window (AutoPlay) asking what you want to do. Depending on the content on that device, you can have Windows Media Player play audio files or have Windows start a slide show to view your pictures. You may also configure Windows to automatically perform an action every time you insert your device. If you find that the AutoPlay message does not appear or your selected action does not automatically execute when you insert your device, try removing RealPlayer.

RealPlayer 10 interferes with the Windows AutoPlay feature, disabling the AutoPlay pop-up window with your selections, so all you get is the ‘hardware inserted’ sound whenever you insert your flash device. RealPlayer however, does not interfere with AutoPlay whenever you insert a CD. If you don’t use RealPlayer anymore and you want the AutoPlay pop-up window to come back, uninstall RealPlayer. Restart your computer and insert your flash device and see if your AutoPlay window appears.

RealPlayer is another media program that manages and plays a variety of media files. RealPlayer also plays its own Real Audio and Real Video formats as well as streaming media. However, the usage of Real media files have greatly declined since 2000 and finding a website that still supports Real content would be very hard to find.

This AutoPlay problem was performed on a computer with Windows XP and RealPlayer 10 installed. I don’t use RealPlayer anymore so I’m not sure if RealPlayer 10 interferes with Windows Vista or if the AutoPlay problem was fixed with RealPlayer 11.