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How to enable or disable AutoPlay functionality in Windows

What is AutoPlay

AutoPlay, a feature introduced in Windows XP, it lets you choose which program to use for different kinds of digital media, such as music CDs or pictures from your digital camera.

Prior to Windows XP SP2, Autoplay is disabled by default on removable drives, such as the floppy disk drive (but not the CD-ROM drive), and on network drives.

Starting with Windows XP SP2, Autoplay is enabled for removable drives as well, including ZIP drives and some USB Mass Storage devices.

There are many situations where AutoRun may need to be temporarily or persistently disabled. For example, AutoRun might interfere with the operation of a running application and need to be disabled for the duration. The system provides several ways to disable AutoRun.

How to enable or disable AutoPlay in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

  1. Click Start -> Control Panel, then click All Control Panel Items.
  2. Click AutoPlay, the setting window opens up. By default the AutoPlay feature is enabled.
    • Turn on AutoPlay: Check the option Use AutoPlay for all media and devices.
    • Turn off AutoPlay: Uncheck the option Use AutoPlay for all media and devices.

    Screenshot: Enable or disable AutoPlay in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

  3. Click Start -> Run. You can also press the hotkey Windows + R.
  4. Type gpedit.msc in the edit box, then click OK button.
  5. Expand the items in the left panel: Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> AutoPlay Policies.
  6. Double click Turn off Autoplay, the setting windows opens up. The default setting is Not Configured
    • Turn on AutoPlay: Check the option Disabled.
    • Turn off AutoPlay: Check the option Enabled. If you enable this setting, you can disable Autoplay on CD-ROM and removable media drives, or disable Autoplay on all drives.

    Screenshot: Enable or disable AutoPlay in Windows 7 or Windows Vista

  7. Click OK button, then close the Local Group Policy Editor.

Normally, AutoRun starts automatically, but it can also be started manually. If the device meets the removable media, the drive letter's shortcut menu will include an AutoPlay command. To run AutoRun manually, either right-click the drive icon and select AutoPlay from the shortcut menu or double-click the drive icon. If the drivers are not AutoRun-compatible, the shortcut menu will not have an AutoPlay item and AutoRun cannot be started.

How to enable or disable AutoPlay in Windows XP

  1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the CD-ROM drive or other drive, then click Properties.
  3. Click the AutoPlay tab. Within this section you will be able to specify all Windows AutoPlay features.

Other resource about Windows AutoPlay

Tags: AutoPlay

Author: , Freshshare Blog

#1  posted on Feb 08, 2012 04:07
Gpedit.msc has some bug(Microsoft even released a patch for it), so this solution doesn't disable autoplay really. The best way(and the easiest) I found, about disabling both autoplay and autorun in Windows, is using Autoplay Disabler Pro from

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