Creating an Autorun.inf file

January 2017

An Autorun.inf file is what enables the automatic running of CD files on your computer. On the insertion of a CD/DVD into the drive, this application allows the files to run without manual prompting, provided they are in synchronization with the system configuration. This system of file Autorun has been revolutionised and popularised by Windows and it saves a lot of time and effort for the user. On a related note, both the Icon Text and the Icon Menu can be suitably customized under this command, as in the Windows system. Thus the Autorun.inf is largely a rudimentary instruction file operating at the core of the CD directory.

This document explains how to form an autorun inf file. It also tells you how to customize the icon text and icon menu. When we insert a CD, we find that the files on it can be run automatically. This is a utility provided for users by Windows. However, before we can use it we need to verify if it is enabled on our system. Running a file automatically saves a lot of time and effort. This article gives us an insight into creating such a file and customizing the icon text and menu.

Allowing autorun

Windows provide users with a simple utility that automatically runs applications found on a CD when inserted into the CD drive.
To make use of this option, you must verify that it is enabled under your system configuration. If this is the case, upon inserting a CD or DVD Windows will try to open an application. This procedure is due to the "Autorun.inf" (primary instruction file associated with the Autorun utility) found at the root directory of the CD.

Creating an Autorun.inf file

First, create a new (text-only) file and name it as autorun.inf.; once created, open it with your favorite text editor (notepad) and type in the following syntax:



Basically it should be like this :




If the selected application is found in a sub folder, the path must be specified:



If an argument is to be passed for the application to be auto played:


open=myapplication /argument

Customizing the icon

If you want to change the default icon, add the following syntax:






The icon file should also reside in the root directory of the CD.

Customizing the icon text

Simply add the following command line:

label=My application

Customizing the icon menu

To edit the menu that appears when you right-click on the icon, simply add the following syntax:

shell=start shell\start\command=path/myapplication.exe 

shell\start=Run Application

shell\read\command=notepad++.exe files/readme.txt 

shell\read=open readme.txt 

Keep in mind that the following parameters should be defined: shell\*\command and shell\* as they are the keywords, firstly for defining the application to be executed, and secondly for the text displayed in the menu.


Published by jak58. Latest update on November 8, 2012 at 03:51 PM by Jeff.
This document, titled "Creating an Autorun.inf file," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (