[Windows 8] How to disable AutoPlay and AutoRun

Since Windows XP, Windows comes with ‘AutoPlay’ and ‘AutoRun’ features. AutoPlay will show you a popup dialog whenever you insert external media (drive, CD, DVD, etc.) to choose what to do with your inserted media. AutoRun, on the other hand, allows a file on your removable media to automatically run once the media is inserted into your computer. Because the way of these features work, your computer always faces with risk from viruses on your removable media or devices. For example, there may be a virus on a thumb drive, which is set to autorun when plugging the drive into a computer; this virus can easily get onto your system thanks to AutoRun. Therefore, in this article, I will show you how to disable AutoPlay and AutoRun in Windows 8.


With just a few simple clicks, you can easily disable AutoPlay and AutoRun. To disable them, do the following:

  • Open “Settings Search” by pressing Windows + W hotkey (if on a tablet, swipe from the right edge of your screen, tap “Search”, and tap “Settings”).
  • After that, you need to type “autoplay” (without the quotes) and then choose “AutoPlay” from the results on the left.

  • Once you open “AutoPlay”, you can see there are many detail options for each file type that may appear on removable device or media. The first thing you want to do is disable AutoPlay by uncheck the box “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices”. Once you do that, when you plug in your devices or insert media, there won’t be the AutoPlay dialog.

  • Disabling AutoPlay does not directly disable AutoRun because they are two completely different things. The good thing is, because of malware infections, Microsoft has started to automatically disable AutoRun on all new computers and tablets. However, you can double-check to make sure AutoRun is disabled by scanning the list of “Removable devices” and ensuring they all say “Take no action”. If any of them don’t say “Take not action”, click the dropdown box beside it and then choose “Take no action”.

  • When you are done modifying everything as desired, click the “Save” button to apply your changes.



Although these settings reduce exposure to risks on removable devices and media, you should always be careful in inserting or connecting unknown media and devices to your computer — especially CD/DVDs, because they often AutoRun when you double-click the drive in My Computer. Be safe!

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