Disabling autoplay in Windows XP (without editing the registry)

Whenever you hook up your USB thumb drive to your PC, you usually see a load of crap asking you how you want Windows to open your files. This is called autoplay.

In all my work with computers, I have only seen one person who actually used this, er, feature; which makes you wonder why Microsoft even enabled this by default in Windows XP installations.

Aside from relieving yourself from further annoyances, there is another reason why you would want to disable autoplay: leaving it enabled is actually a security risk. You probably have not been infected with the rootkit that lovingly came with some Sony CDs last year, but that is not a reason to wait. Disable it — right about now.

  1. Go to Start > Run
  2. Type gpedit.msc & press Enter. The Group Policy window should appear.
  3. On the tree menu on the left, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.
  4. On the right, look for Turn off Autoplay, & double click it.
  5. The Turn Off Autoplay Properties window should appear. From the dropdown in Turn off Autoplay on:, select which drives you want to disable it from (I would personally recommend you select All drives).
  6. Click OK.

18 thoughts on “Disabling autoplay in Windows XP (without editing the registry)”

  1. This setting only stop autoplay when insert USB memory stick. If you double click on USB drive to open in My Computer, the autorun.inf still activate and will infect virus.

    Is anybody know how to turn-off Autorun/Autoplay when double click on USB drive in Windows Explorer?

  2. Hay Dear,
    It is noce and superb shortcut that you narrated to stop all the auto run (global)commands of the system on PC. Thanks for the nice troubleshooting advice. Keep it up for other topics as well.
    With regards,
    Vineet Kumar Goswami

  3. thanx for the tip pal…
    and guys avoid double clicking on USB drives
    instead type (drive name):\ in the address bar. to open the drive

    don’t even select from the menu in the address bar!!!
    if possible use “PC tools threat fire” in ur pc

  4. running xp – want to ger rid of autoplay which keeps coming
    on when i switch on – fed up with doing restore but when i type
    gpedit.msc in run it comes up with cannot find file – i searched
    and it still can’t find it – whats next ?

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