Where is the Automatic Scanner and Camera Wizard

The Microsoft scanner and camera wizard is a handy feature included with the Microsoft Windows Operating System. However sometimes when you plug your digital camera into your computer via USB, it will make the usual noise, saying its connected, but nothing happens. Oh no.. What do you do now? When you connect a plug and play digital camera into your computer to transfer photo’s it is usually set to automatically start the Microsoft scanner and camera wizard to extract the pictures. However sometimes people have installed other software that may have altered the auto play settings.

The Automatic Scanner and Camera Wizard guide

How do I know that my digital camera has connected to my computer?

Of course for the automatic scanner and camera wizard to work unless you have a camera connected to your computer. You will usually here a sound when the device is plugged into the USB port on your computer. You will also have to turn the power button on for the camera. A computer cannot recognize it unless the power is on the camera.

Another way to tell if you have connected the camera to the computer is to go to my computer and verify that there is a camera icon there. This applies to both Windows XP and Windows Vista.

  1. Go to My Computer which is either an icon on your desktop or in the start menu in the bottom left corner. You can also access your camera from the control panel.
  2. Here you will see your camera appear. (see below)
  3. If the digital camera icon is there then your camera is connected properly.

The Microsoft scanner and camera wizard is not opening automatically?

If the Scanner and Camera wizard does not open when you plug your camera into your computer you can still see the camera in my computer.

Then you can start the Microsoft scanner and camera wizard yourself.

  1. Go to My Computer which is either an icon on your desktop or in the start menu in the bottom left corner. You can also access your camera from the control panel.
  2. Here you will see your camera appear. (see below)
  3. Double click on the digital camera icon.
  4. A box will appear showing what pictures are on your camera.

How to make the Microsoft Scanner and camera wizard start automatically?

  1. Follow steps one to four from above.
  2. Under the heading Camera Tasks, choose to Show camera properties. (you can also choose to Get Pictures from Camera to start the Wizard manually)

Choose the Events Tab from the top of the dialog box. See screen shot below.

  1. Here you can select an event. I chose that when the camera is connected it will automatically start Windows XP’s inbuilt scanner and camera wizard.
  2. There is also other software to choose from if you have more than one compatible photo transfer program installed on your computer

After you have completed these tasks you can test your changes by turning your camera on again. Then see what it does…The automatic scanner and camera wizard should appear.

How to make the Scanner and Camera Wizard automatically start in Windows Vista?

In Windows Vista you can also set the options to import pictures using Windows to do this automatically when you plug in your camera. unfortunately, there is no scan and camera wizard like there was in Windows XP, included in Windows Vista or Windows 7. Of course Windows will still extract your photos but it is missing some important options that this scanner and camera wizard previously had in Windows XP. If this annoys you like it does millions of other people,you can download Windows live photo Gallery, which is free from Microsoft and is pretty good. It is meant to do everything that the scan and camera wizard did and more.

How to choose which program to automatically download your pictures in Windows Vista?

1.  Go to the start menu and choose Control Panel.

2.  Click on classic view to see all the icons. In Windows 7 there is a little drop-down box. You do not want to see the categories you want to see the icons.

3.  Double-click on the autoplay icon.

4.  This is where you can change the settings for your Microsoft scanner and camera wizard to open automatically when you plug in your computer.

You might also prefer to use and other program that you have installed on your computer. This is your chance to choose that program instead of the automatic scan and camera wizard.

See this article: Choose a program to start. It will show you how to choose a program to auto play when you plug your camera into your computer.

How to transfer photo’s from your digital camera to your computer.
Watch this video below:
More Digital Camera Tips

How to fix the Microsoft scanner and camera wizard in Windows XP?

You have the Microsoft scan at and camera wizard installed on your computer, but it is not working, you can go to the Microsoft download Center and get a tool to fix it. It is a free download and it will check to see if all your auto play settings are working. When you have downloaded this tool, plug-in your camera and this process will be checked to see if there is a problem.

I am presuming that this fix is just for a Windows XP computer.


Notes about the Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard:

  • If there are no pictures it will say this and you will not have the option to go on. The automatic scanner and camera Wizard will only work if you have pictures on your digital camera.
  • You also need to have a camera plugged in to see the Microsoft scanner and camera wizard appear.
  • You do not always have to use the automatic scan and camera wizard as most digital cameras come with their own software. This is often better to use as it would have an editing program with it. For example if you have a Kodak camera it usually comes with the Kodak EasyShare software which is not only equal to the automatic scan and camera wizard, but is also a great editing program. I personally have a Fuji camera and it came with some software that I prefer to use instead of the automatic scanner and camera wizard.

Now I would like to tell you about a new technology that can help you transfer your photos to your computer. It is a Eye-fi SD card that can be inserted into your camera, if your digital camera takes ST cards. Then when you want to transfer your photos, if you have a wireless connection available, you do not need any cords to move the photos from the camera to the computer. you might have a laptop with a wireless connection, or you might have wireless in your house. This simple Eye-Fi card will go into most digital cameras. If you have problems connecting your camera to computers all a problem using the Microsoft scanner and camera wizard, then I suggest you check out this post, Eye-Fi Pro X2 review.


  1. denny says

    I can not get the steps to work because keeps telling me the camera is not there, even though icon is there and camera is on. Do I have to uninstall the camera, and then reinstall it to get it to work?

  2. Michelle says

    Help! Just downloaded a bunch of pictures, had them deleted from the camera as they downloaded, and now can’t find them anywhere on my computer. Ugh! (My daughter made me promise I wouldn’t lose the pictures!) I can find the file I created for them to go into, but it’s empty. Hoping you can help.


    • says

      download some more pictures to your computer and watch the entire process… check if they are actually going where you said. maybe they are in another default folder. they must be there somewhere.

      If you really cannot find them you might be able to recover the pictures from the photo storage card if that is what you have? Check out recuva, free and could work for you.

  3. FG says

    And how to disable it and see my cam as a memory card as it works on other win xp machines?

    I tried to disable the WIA in the services but doesn’t change anything and btw it starts up again automatically, even if I configure it to not…


    • says

      maybe you could try updating the driver that is installed on the computer for the camera? If it worked on XP then maybe you need a driver for Windows ____ for your camera?

  4. says

    I need the link to download the Scanner and Camera Wizard because i need to scan my things for a project but i can’t do that without the Scanner and Camera Wizard

  5. Larry McMahan says

    All the tips I see on this page are for cameras. What about scanners? I have a network attached scanner (HP photosmart 2610) that I want to scan pictures from with the Scanner and Camera Wizard. How do I get the Scanner and Camera Wizard to recognize the network scanner and open. Alternatively, how can I open the Scanner and Camera wizerd when I have a photo on the scanner bed? This is under Windows 7.

  6. jami says

    I found your information and tried all of it ….The computer shows my camera plugged in but will not show me the properties? I have windows xp. and a nikon d 3000 camera. the box( that asks which program to launch it too) comes up when I plug the nikon in but suddenly the box is EMPTY?? Any advise would be appreciated. Best Buy confirmed it was not the camera…

    • says

      How about installing a proper driver for your camera instead of letting Windows find a generic one? Have you tried this?

      • Larry Clark says

        WE are having this same problem, but we have Olympus SP800uz, have tried loading driver from the camera, uninstalled it and downloaded from Olympus websight. Hope you can HELP! Thanks! Larry jami August 25, 2011 at 12:29 am

        I found your information and tried all of it ….The computer shows my camera plugged in but will not show me the properties? I have windows xp. and a nikon d 3000 camera. the box( that asks which program to launch it too) comes up when I plug the nikon in but suddenly the box is EMPTY?? Any advise would be appreciated. Best Buy confirmed it was not the camera…


        Mitz August 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

        How about installing a proper driver for your camera instead of letting Windows find a generic one? Have you tried this?

        • says

          I guess the camera shows up on other computers? So it is not a setting in the camera? Also have you tried another usb port?

  7. Mann says

    fine article, you only talked about plug and play camera, how about inbuilt camera of a laptop, hp 620 precisely how do i make it come up?

    • says

      Since you just formatted you will need to install the driver for the camera.If you do not have one go to the hp website, look up the model number and then download the driver…When you have installed the driver the webcam will show up in the device manager under imaging devices.

  8. says

    my problem was the Add Device under Scanner and Camera not available.
    i used win XP sp3 and i cannot used my acer scanprisa 340P. i have installed mira scan 3.42 but failed to work properly

  9. Carol Barlow says

    This is a reply to an old post, but others may have the same issue and it has not been answered.
    I’ve been using MS Camera and Scanner Wizard for 4 years. At first I was annoyed that I had to download all photos on the camera….until I discovered right-mouse click. When you right-click in the photo screen, you get a menu that allows you to Uncheck All, Check Selected, etc. I usually Uncheck All, then find the ones I want to download. Use the Shift and Control keys to select the photos you want. (Same function as selecting in Word, etc.) Then right-click again to choose Check Selected. The wizard only downloads the selected photos. Also, you can choose an option to create a folder named with the date.

  10. craig says

    New computer, running Windows 7 and I hate the camera wizard. Id like the XP version which was simple and all I needed. Anyone know how to downoad it and will it run on Windows 7?

  11. Quick_Eddie says

    THANK YOU! Finally some good advice on the web, that isn’t a link to a spamware/virus filled site. Good show man… Good show!

  12. luce says

    On the step “Choose pictures to copy” the pictures from my camera are sequenced by their size, not the time when they were taken (which is a problem in case I have a lot of them and have to organize them into folders). Is there a solution to this?

  13. kamera digital panasonic DMC FH20 says

    is anyone can help how to make the Scanner and Camera Wizard automatically start in linux?

  14. fishmanc47 says

    I use to get the scanner and camera wizard when I put my memory card into computer, but something has changed and it doesn’t launch that program anymore, have tried your ideas from above but I cannot find the scanner camera wizard settings, any ideas

    • George St Cyr says

      How did you solve your problem? I have a card reader and use to install my card in it and the wizard would appear and transfer via wizard, now it goes to my document F/ and that is not the way I want it. can you help me at 83 I don’t think as fast as I use to. George

      • says

        @George St Cyr:
        Hi George this article has been updated and has some other links in it. For example it suggests you use Windows Live gallery as it is free….Or it also has a link to a Microsoft fix for the scanner and camera wizard for Windows XP.

  15. Ray says

    Mine is a different problem.The camera is recognized and the scanner comes on normally but is saying”no photos available”. The SD card has hundereds of photos on it, many of which have been downloaded previously. But when i go to download the latest additions to the card i get the”no current photos available” message as if it were an empty card. I have not downloaded any recent programs that may be interefering. Any advice would be helpful

  16. Reg Burns says

    I have always liked to download photos from my cameras with my Hewlett Photosmart Essential. The best part is that I was able to get it to create a new folder in Explorer, with the date of download.
    Somehow, I have managed to click the place where it says ‘always use’ MS Scanner and Camera Wizard, which does not seem to want to create the new folder for me.
    Is there a way to cancel the ‘always use’, and get back to where I was before?
    Regards Reg

  17. tessa says

    I have a question……

    when you plug in a camera and hit scan pictures from camera….it then proceeds to read all the pictures on the camera. then it comes up with a box to select which pics to copy to computer.

    Heres the big question……it scans every picture on the camera….DOES IT REMEMBER OR SAVE THESE PICTURES ANYWHERE ON THE COMPUTER???

    I had clicked clear all and then selected the pics i wanted to upolad. I want to know if the computer somehow saves the other images somewhere??


    • says

      Hi tessa
      It does not save the pictures on the computer unless you said to do so…So if you ticked certain photos then they will be saved in my pictures…But the ones you didn’t tick will be on the camera still, unless you ticked to delete the photos then they might be gone from the camera.

  18. Ray says

    Hey Mitz,

    My Windows Vista doesn’t have the Microsoft Scanner & Camera Wizard.Can I download it free somewhere?


  19. Julia says

    I started following the steps to open the scanner and camera wizard, but it doesn’t say “camera tasks” where it’s supposed to, it just says “picture tasks.” What’s wrong?

  20. Mitz says

    Hey John….
    All I did was write a how to post about the automatic camera and scanner wizard…then you said you didn’t like it and I gave a simple opinion.
    This is for people that want to know how to use it. We understand you do not like this wizard, however it was very useful when there is nothing else around. Now obviously you have a choice, so take it.

    I am sorry to upset John, but my website is not here to create anger and I will happily listen and accept your opinion if you can also do the same for me.

  21. John Haggis says

    Mitz says:
    July 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm
    If you don’t like Microsoft then why are you using it?

    WTF?! Now you’re just taking jabs at me. I guess I deserve it for the namecalling. But you _are_ spending an awful lot of time gladhanding a trivial and useless wizard without realizing the crippling handicaps or trying to find a way around them.

  22. John Haggis says

    Walt, it looks like the programs at the very least have to be registered with the Windows Imaging API. You can’t use any software with the scanner or camera. That was my criticism in the rant above when I was saying that it wasn’t giving access to the camera device as a filesystem.

    If you have an actual scanner, I bet the software has to be registered with the Imaging API for such events, not just having a Twain driver or something for scanning.

    The only software that shows up on my system is the software that came with the camera.

  23. Walt says

    I have an issue with my scanner. I right-click the scanner in My Computer, choose Properties. Go to the Events tab and choose the event I want to associate with specific software but the software I want to use is not listed. How do I add the software that is installed on my PC with a specific Event if it is not listed? Any useful responses will be appreciated. Thanks.

  24. John Haggis says

    And I don’t think you get the point. It’s not a matter of being “asked the question.” It’s a matter of the time spent re-transferring 300, 500, 1000 pictures over and over again each time you want to update the PC with some new pictures from the camera. The Wizard will only transfer ALL the pictures. Most people keep pictures in their camera to view and show others. With the large SDHC card sizes available today, the number of these retained pictures can be many hundreds. A trivial transfer wizard that does not check to see if a picture has already been transferred is trivial and virtually useless to someone who actually uses their camera a lot. Or, insulting to one’s personal time to sit and wait for the same 300, 500, 1000 pictures to transfer each time they want to update new pictures.

  25. John Haggis says

    BTW, I already HAVE another program that will do this quite well, but I can’t use it, because the camera attaches as a peculiar type of device in the Explorer, and I can’t figure out how to access it through the file system. Do you know how to get a pathname to the camera device?

    • MrAkron says

      easy… your camera will show up as a DRIVE – look at ‘my computer’ and notice either the name of the camera or a new ‘removable’ drive designation.

      PS: sort your images by date, then click on the newest one and shift + click on the oldest you want to download and only those (new) will be downloaded.

  26. John Haggis says

    Typical trivializing Microsoft fanboy reply. Would you prefer to be “asked the question” 350 times? Twice a week?

    What’s so wrong with having a setting?

    Why should I be forced to bend to the will of the computer instead of it working for me, just because I do more than the trivial case?

    Why should I have to install some wino shareware that’s going to back-rev all my DLLs and break all my other programs?

    It’s obsequious nonsense like this that perpetuates the CRAP from Microslop, and it’s why Apple has gone into the toilet with them now.

  27. John Haggis says

    I hate these Microsoft functions that only work in the trivial case. Sure, I can transfer all photos all the time when I plug in the camera. But what if I’ve already transferred hundreds of pictures, and I have hundreds MORE to transfer the next time? There’s on option for updating only new photos! And it’s completely impractical to go through several hundred photos with the scanner/camera wizard to “uncheck” them before transfer.

    So what about this non-trivial case? Is there any way to use the archive bit? Any way to tell it to accept a default of “no” to the question “file already exists”, like a “no-all”??

    • Mitz says

      I would prefer to be asked the question than to delete or overwrite the wrong photo.. They are too precious to have on automatic and presume anything. If you are unhappy with the automatic scanner and camera wizard you can install another program and transfer your photos through that.