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Create a CD that will autorun

To create a CD that will auto run create the file ‘AUTORUN.INF’ in the CD's root directory. This is a simple text file (so use notepad to edit it).
The ‘AUTORUN.INF’ file must start with the following line:


It can then include any of the following commands, each of which is optional:

  • icon=icon.ico - Specifies the name of the icon file that will be used by explorer as the icon for that CD. This may be the name of an executable file that contains an icon. If the executable contains more than one icon then an optional index field can be specified to indicate which icon to use: icon=iconfile,index

  • label=text label - Text label that will be displayed against the CD within explorer.

  • open=exefile - Specifies the command that is to be autorun when the CD is first inserted. It may include a path and any arguments.

  • ShellExecute=datafile -Specifies an application or data file that is to be opened. Windows will launch the application associated with that file type to open the datafile. Note: ShellExecute is not supported under all versions of Windows (e.g Window 98).

    For example to create a CD that will autorun the program ‘setup.exe’ would require an AUTORUN.INF file similar to:


    To create a CD that will autorun to open the html file ‘index.htm’ would require:


    However, since not all versions of Windows support ‘ShellExecute’ a less elegant alternative would be:

    open=command /c start index.htm

    Be aware that the use of ‘command’ and ‘start’ restrict this to machines running Windows.

    Related how-to notes:
  • How to test CD autorun without burning a CD

    These notes are believed to apply to all versions of Windows.
    Taken from http://www.cryer.co.uk/brian/windows/howtocacdtwar.htm