How to Get Windows Vista to Recognize a Digital Camera

Windows Vista usually greets digital cameras as soon as they’re plugged into the computer. If it doesn't, you need to know how to get Windows Vista to recognize your camera so that you can transfer your files.

Typically, when a camera is plugged into a Vista computer, Vista will display its Import Photos menu or another photo editing/storage program’s menu will appear. If neither of these things occurs, it means that Windows can't tell what you plugged in.

The first thing to do is to unplug your camera, and wait a few seconds before plugging it back in. Hopefully, Vista just got confused and just giving it a second chance can often resolve the problem. However, if that doesn’t do the job, you need to formally introduce your camera to Vista.

  1. Unplug your camera.

  2. Click Start, choose Default Programs, and open Change AutoPlay Settings.

  3. Scroll down to the Devices area.

    The Devices area lives near the window’s bottom.

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  4. Choose your camera from the list, choose Import Using Windows from the pull-down menu, and click Save.

  5. Plug in your camera and wait for the AutoPlay window to appear.

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    The AutoPlay window that appears should recognize your camera specifically.

If Windows Vista still doesn’t greet your camera when you plug it in, Windows Vista needs a translator to understand your camera’s language. That translator will have to be the camera’s bundled software. If you no longer have the software, you can almost always download it from your camera manufacturer’s Web site.

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