The Windows AutoRun feature is turned on by default in most versions of Windows, allowing programs to run from an external device as soon as they are connected to a computer.
Because malware can exploit the AutoRun feature, which distributes its unfortunate payload from your external device to your PC, many users choose to disable it.
AutoPlay is a Windows feature that is part of AutoRun. Instructs the user to play music, videos or images. AutoRun, on the other hand, is a broader setting that controls the actions to take when a USB or CD/DVD drive is inserted into a drive on your computer.
Disabling AutoRun in Windows
There is no interface setting to disable AutoRun completely. Instead, you must edit the Windows Registry.
- In the Search field, enter regedit , and select regedit.exe to open Registry Editor.
- Go to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer
- If the NoDriveTypeAutoRun entry does not appear, create a new DWORD value by right-clicking in the right pane to access the context menu and selecting New DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Name the DWORD NoDriveTypeAutoRun , and set its value to one of the following:
- FF – to disable AutoRun on all drives
- 20 – to disable AutoRun on CD-ROM drives
- 4 – to disable AutoRun on removable drives
- 8 – to disable AutoRun on fixed drives
- 10 – to disable AutoRun on network drives
- 40 – to disable AutoRun on RAM disks
- 1 – to disable AutoRun on unknown drives
To turn AutoRun back on in the future, simply delete the NoDriveTypeAutoRun value .
Disabling AutoPlay in Windows
Turning off AutoPlay is easy, but the process depends on your operating system.
- Open the Settings app and click Devices .
- Select Autoplay on the left sidebar.
- Move the Use the AutoPlay button for all media and devices button to the Off position.
- Open Control Panel by searching for it from the Start screen .
- Select AutoPlay in the Control Panel entries .
- Select the option you want from the Choose what happens when you insert each type of media or device section . For example, you can choose different options for images or videos. To disable AutoPlay completely, clear the Use AutoPlay for all media and devices check box .