Windows 7 : How to Enable or Disable AutoPlay / AutoRun?

by Binu George on June 17, 2011

in Microsoft


How to turn off autoplay (windows 7 autorun)/turn on autoplay function or stop autoplay in Windows 7?  If you use Windows 7 you might have noticed that autoplay not working when you connect a USB drive to the computer.
Windows 7 has introduced key changes to the Autoplay feature to avoid malware attacks. Windows will no longer display the AutoRun task in the AutoPlay dialog for devices that are not removable optical media (CD/DVD). For example a volume device to your computer like a USB flash drive or external hard drive. This is because these devices don’t use a standard file system and AutoPlay cannot browse the contents of these devices to see what types of files they contain.

As mentioned in the msdn blog Improvements to AutoPlayCertain malware, including the Conficker worm, have started making use of the capabilities of AutoRun to provide a seemingly benign task to people – which masquerades as a Trojan Horse to get malware onto the computer” and “According to the Security Intelligence Report, an enterprise study by Forefront Client Security found that the category of malware that can propagate via AutoRun accounted for 17.7% of infections in the second half of 2008 – the largest single category of malware infections.

In Windows 7 removing this AutoRun task will help to block attacks from malware programs like Conficker worm. People will still be able to access all of the other AutoPlay tasks that are installed on their computer as seen below.windows-7-auorun-autoplay-Turn off-on

But you can enable or disable AutoPlay/AutoRun in Windows 7 by following the steps mentioned below. But be aware of the risks that mentioned in the above MSDN blog post. Please use it at your risk.

Enable Disable AutoPlay From Control Panel

  1. Go to
  2. Control Panel -> AutoPlay (Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsAutoPlay)
    Or
    Control PanelHardware and SoundAutoPlay

  3. At the top of the window you can see a check box labelled “Use Autoplay for all devices“.
  4. To enable AutoPlay select the check box and click “Save”.
  5. To disable AutoPlay deselect the check box and click “Save”.

See below.enable-disable-autoplay-windows 7

Use Local Group Policy Editor – gpedit.msc to enable or disable AutoPlay/ AutoRun

  1. Click Start and type “gpedit.msc” without quotes and hit Enter key
  2. In the Local Group Ploicy Editor window Go to Computer Configuration Administrative Templates Windows Components Autoplay Policies
  3. Right side you can see Policies displayed as below.gpedit.msc---Enable-Disable Autoplay Windows 7
  4. Double click Turn Off AutoPlay policy
  5. In the new window you will see three radio buttons. Not configured, Enabled and Disabled.
  6. To Enable Autoplay select the “Disabled” radio button and click OK.
  7. To Diable Autoplay select the “Enabled” radio button and click OK.

See belowTurn Off-On autoplay windows 7

, the author of Globinch.com, is a technology blogger and software architect. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook. If you enjoyed reading the above article please consider sharing it.
  • http://www.autoplaydisabler.us Rafael

    Even with all these, I got infected buy autorun virus!! A friend recently told me about Autoplay Disabler Pro (http://www.autoplaydisabler.us) which finally helped me. It's easy and safe to use, and most important, really works! Really disable or enable autoplay. My recommendation!

  • Qev

    This is actually useless for Windows 7 Home Edition users, as you do not have access to gpedit.msc and thus cannot disable autorun, leaving you completely vulnerable to anything autorunning off of optical media, AutoPlay settings notwithstanding.

  • Zveltahna

    I am so glad I found this info on your site. I am terrible at computer stuff and had searched more than 10 different sites trying to understand about Autoplay on my Windows 7 Pro. I just could not get what they were trying to show me in gpedit.msc. I could never get to the Autoplay radio button. Your info steered me properly and I got enough info to realize that it is best to disable Autoplay due to malware, etc. I would rather be repeatedly annoyed by a pop up request what I want to do than have to figure out a virus/malware problem. Thank you. I have mostly tried to figure out this computer myself and never ask for help. I do not know anyone that is computer literate but I will search for help when I need to. That is hit and miss for me as my knowledge on the computer is miniscule. Usually the help is too technical for me. Just goes right over my head. I will add your site to my Favorites list if you don't mind. Thanks again…

    • Binu George

      @Zveltahna
      Thanks for your feedback

  • Milis J.

    For some reason, after some time, this solution just stop working. There is some bug in gpedit, Microsoft even released a patch for it. Anyway, I'm not so skilled do to all those patching things for such a simple opereation, so I found much easier and better solution. I use Autoplay Disabler Pro It's totaly ok app, simle to use, and really works good. With once click I disable or enable both autoplay and autorun…

  • Anonymous Coward

    This doesn’t work. There’s no “gpedit.msc” on my system. I’m running Windows 7 Home 64-bit with SP1.

    I can turn off AutoPlay in Control Panel, but there’s no option for AutoRun.

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