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How to Enable or Disable AutoPlay for Drives in Vista, Widows 7, and Windows 8
AutoPlay lets you choose an action for different kinds of media when you plug in a device, insert media, or receive content from another person using Tap and Send (Windows 8). You can set AutoPlay to open different kinds of content, such as photos, music, and video on different kinds of media, such as drives, CDs, or DVDs. For example, you can use AutoPlay to select an app that will automatically open photos on a removable drive when you plug it into your PC. With AutoPlay, you don't have to open the same app or reselect preferences every time you plug in a certain device.
This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable AutoPlay for either all drives or CD/DVD and removable media drives for all or specific users in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
You must be logged in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.
When a CD/DVD disc is inserted or a USB drive is connected to your system, Windows looks in the root directory of the new disc or drive for a file named autorun.inf. If found, Windows executes the instructions (keys) in that file.
AutoPlay will no longer support the AutoRun functionality for non-optical removable media. In other words, AutoPlay will still work for CD/DVDs but it will no longer work for USB drives. For example, if an infected USB drive is inserted on a machine then the AutoRun task will not be displayed. This will block the increasing social engineer threat highlighted in the SIR. The dialogs below highlight the difference that users will see after this change. Before the change, the malware is leveraging AutoRun (box in red) to confuse the user. After the change, AutoRun will no longer work, so the AutoPlay options are safe.
A dialog change was done to clarify that the program being executed is running from external media.
By default in Windows 7, Vista, and XP now, the only [Autorun] keys available for USB/removable drives are below. The rest of the keys are ignored.
label - This key is responsible for displaying a custom name (label) for a CD/DVD or USB drive in Computer when a CD/DVD is inserted or a USB drive is connected.
icon - This key is responsible for displaying a custom icon for a CD/DVD or USB drive in Computer when a CD/DVD is inserted or a USB drive is connected.
EXAMPLE: AutoPlay pop-up NOTE:These are just examples of the AutoPlay pop-up dialog that you will see when you connect say a USB flash drive or a DVD. The options you have in the AutoPlay window will depend on what you connected or inserted, and what action you have selected for it in the AutoPlay settings below.
Enable or Disable AutoPlay using a REG File Download
NOTE:This option affects all users on the computer.
1. Do step 2, 3, or 4 below for what you would like to do.
2. To Enable AutoPlay for All Users NOTE:This is the default setting.
They both affect the same settings, but this tutorial will allow you to enable or disable these items in AutoPlay to allow or prevent all or specific users from being able to set these items from the Control Panel -> AutoPlay.