If you’re tired of things playing by themselves, here is how to disable the autoplay feature in Windows 10 and 11
AutoPlay in Windows is a handy feature. It detects when you connect a removable storage device to your PC and performs preset actions such as opening a folder to view files in File Explorer and importing images from OneDrive.
However, if you prefer your PC to take no action after connecting a USB drive, you can safely disable AutoPlay in the Settings. Here we show the three ways to turn off AutoPlay in Windows 11 and 10 computers.
How to Disable AutoPlay via Settings
The easiest way to turn off AutoPlay is to do from the Settings. You can also configure AutoPlay to take no actions or ask you whenever it detects a removable drive or memory card.
- Press Win + I to open Settings.
- In the left pane, click on Bluetooth & Devices.
- In the right pane, scroll down and click on AutoPlay.
- Toggle the switch for Use AutoPlay for all media and devices and set it to Off.
- You can also choose AutoPlay default actions for different removable devices. This is useful if you don’t want to turn off AutoPlay but restrict its use for a removable drive or memory card.
- Under Choose AutoPlay default, click the drop-down for Removable drive for USB flash drive and select Take no action. If you connect a USB drive, AutoPlay will not take any action.
However, the safest option here is to set AutoPlay to Ask me every time. This way, you will be notified if a malicious program or script tries to sneak into your computer.
You can further customize AutoPlay default for the memory card without affecting the removable drive and vice versa.
How to Disable AutoPlay From the Control Panel
In the Settings app, you can only control AutoPlay for removable devices and memory cards. However, if you want to control AutoPlay action for a DVD, CD, and Blu-ray discs, you can fine-tune it from the Control Panel.
To disable AutoPlay from Control Panel:
- Press the Win + R to open Run.
- Type control and click OK to open the Control Panel.
- In the Control Panel, go to Hardware and Sound.
- Next, click on AutoPlay.
- Uncheck the Use AutoPlay for all media and devices to disable AutoPlay.
- If you want to disable AutoPlay for a USB flash drive, click the drop-down for Removable drives and select Take no action. Then, repeat the step for other forms of media and storage devices.
- Once done, click Save to apply the changes.
How to Disable AutoPlay via Group Policy Editor
If you are a system administrator and want to disable AutoPlay on multiple computers, you can do so via Group Policy Editor. Follow these steps to disable AutoPlay using Group Policy Editor.
Note that Group Policy Editor is available on Windows 11/10 Pro and above editions. If you use Home, then follow these steps to enable the group policy editor in Windows Home.
Once you have the Group Policy Editor enabled, continue with the steps below.
- Press the Win + R to open Run.
- Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Group Policy Editor.
- Next, navigate to the following location:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components.
- In the Settings pane, double-click on the Turn off AutoPlay policy.
- In the new pop-up window, select Enabled.
- Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
Disable AutoPlay in Windows 10 and 11
If you find AutoPlay annoying, Windows offers multiple ways to turn it off. That said, AutoPlay is a handy feature if you frequently connect removable drives such as a USB drive or memory card to your PC to move multimedia and other files. You can also customize it to work with different types of removal devices to facilitate faster transfer and easier access.
Tweaking Windows 11’s AutoPlay settings makes it easy to access files on storage media, whether it be on a USB, memory card, or DVD disk.
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