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Auto-run Or Not, It Is a Question

If you’re planning to hand out USB drives branded with your logo then one of the things you might need to consider is whether to pre-load any files onto the USB sticks before you hand them out. If you do decide to pre-load files then should you make these run (start-up) automatically as soon as the USB drive is connected to a PC.

Loading files (sales brochures, photos, prices lists, press releases, presentation slides etc.) is growing in popularity, which is hardly surprising given the money that can be saved, compared to printing the brochures etc. but should you “auto-run” this content:

Auto-run Or Not, It Is a Question
The advantages of setting up your files to auto-run are:

• The recipient will see your content as soon as they plug in the USB drive
• Using a USB drive with an autorun file on is easy and very intuitive (providing you spend some time on the file formats(s), the structure and you develop a navigation page)

But, there are some things to consider before you decide to install auto-run files on your USB drives:

• Nuisance factor. If one of your objectives is to ensure that your USB drives are kept and used on a regular basis then bear in mind that every time the user wants to access or save a document they will have to wait for your auto-run to run. This is typically fine the first few times they use the usb, but pretty soon it’s going to get irritating and they’ll relegate the memory stick to a draw – bang goes any on-going brand exposure!
• They don’t work on old Operating Systems – Autoruns will not work on Win 98 or Win 2000 operating systems and you need to adapt any autorun if you want it to work on Macs.
• Corporate Firewalls – Some corporate firewalls and IT policies restrict autoruns because of worries about viruses. So, if you are targeting companies with your files lots of them might not be able to use the usb drives if they have an auto-run on them.

Our advice based on almost 10 years of selling millions of promotional usb drives is to avoid autoruns if you can because people don’t like them, they get in the way of how they want to use the USB drive(s) and if you put them on it, the usb drive will have a short life and your brand won’t get the effect as you expect.