Points in Focus Photography

Removing Lightroom 3 Beta Autoplay Handlers from Windows 7

When I installed Lightroom 3 over my installation of Lightroom 3 Beta, I ended up with a couple of extraneous entries in my the Autoplay list in Windows 7. I don’t know why they weren’t removed considering the rest of the beta was removed, but that’s just how

Method 1

A quick Google search for removing Autoplay handlers in Windows 7 turned up two locations in the registry:

  1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ AutoplayHandlers \ Handlers \ <handler>
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ AutoplayHandlers \ EventHandlers \ <EventName>

These apply to Windows 7 and the specific Autoplay Handler for a 64-bit system is Lightroom3BetaAutoPlayHandler64, I assume for a 32-bit install of Lightroom 3 Beta that the last 2 numbers would be 32 instead but I don’t have any 32-bit installed of LR3 Beta to check with.

Indeed there was an entry in the first location named Lightroom3BetaAutoPlayHandler64 and multiple references to it in the second location under MixedContentOnArrival, ShowPicturesOnArrival, and UnknownContentOnArrival. Deleting these, however, did not remove the now broken entry from the Autoplay window when inserting a media card.

Further searching in the registry turned up 2 more locations where this key existed. The essayist way to find them is to search for Lightroom2BetaAutoPlayHandler64.

One set of keys is in Handlers and EventHandlers under HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ AutoplayHandlers. The others are likely in either the default user or any other users under HKEY_USERS. Searching is still the best way to find them. Removing the entries from any other place they pop up should clear out the extraneous entry in the Autoplay dialog that pops up when you insert a media card.

I don’t understand why I ended up with both global and user specific instances of the Lightroom 3 Beta Autoplay handler, or why the uninstallation of Lightroom 3 Beta 2 didn’t remove them even though the rest of the application was removed, but there you go.

Method 2

I’ve had this happen to me again when upgrading from Lightroom 3.4 to Lightroom 3.5. In the process I think I’ve identified a slightly better way to deal with rebuilding the registry keys. Remember, before deleting anything in the registry it would be prudent to export the affected keys for a backup.

  1. You start with the same procedure above, go into the regedit and visit the keys I noted above
  2. Delete all the Lightroom autoplay handlers you can find (whether it for 3 or 3 beta, or anything else).
  3. In regedit search for Lightroom3 and delete any autoplay handlers that show up there.
  4. Exit Regedit.
  5. Start Lightroom
  6. Go to Edit → Preferences → General Tab
  7. Uncheck “Show import dialog when a memory card is detected.”
  8. Click OK
  9. Go to Edit → Preferences → General Tab
  10. Check “Show import dialog when a memory card is detected.”
  11. Click OK

This will prompt Lightroom to rebuild the registry entries for the autoplay handlers, and they should be the correct ones for Lightroom carrying on into the future. Oddly the autoplay handlers it generated for me were Lightroom3BetaAutoplayHanlder not Lightroom3Autoplay handler. However, the autoplay dialog shows the correct information. What remains to be seen is whether this will translate to a correct upgrade to the next point release.


Ian Barrett

Thanks for this. I deleted all Lightroom3BetaAutoPlayHandler64 entries and all looks good so far.

Strange thing is that I have never had a LR3 beta on this PC – started out with LR3.4. It will be interesting to see if 3.5 recreates these keys.

Ian Barrett

Yes it did ! (Yawn)

V. J. Franke  | admin

Hey Ian, glad that this solved your problem.

I don’t know what exactly is prompting it to happen. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was Adobe forgetting to change some setting when they compile the beta/prerelease versions they put up on their Labs site, to the final release versions.


Thanks for the info. It worked for me… almost. I had to go through and rename it from “Lightroom 3.0 64” to “Lightroom 3” … decided not to bother with calling it 3.5. Adobe’s upgrade process is very annoying! Did you notice that there’s an additional space in the Program Files directory!?


Hi There, Just wanted to say thank you for the auto-play solution. It had been annoying me for so long. Regards, Steven.

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