Friday, August 29, 2008

Disabling Windows Autoplay for Removable Drives and Media

I have long been annoyed with Windows opening the dialog box whenever I plug in a USB Flash Drive or a CD/DVD on the CD/DVD Drive. I would much prefer going to the drive myself from Windows Explorer. I've always been concerned also if the Autoplay might auto-run some malware or trojan on an infected flash drive.

I came across a tip from PC World magazine on how to turn it off in Windows XP. You have to disable it from the Group Policy (although I'm sure you can manually tweak it from the Registry if you know the exact key to look for).

The steps are:
  1. Click the Windows "Start" and choose "Run"
  2. Type gpedit.msc to start the Group Policy editor
  3. Select Local Computer Policy\Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System
  4. On the right pane, double click on Turn off Autoplay Properties
  5. In the dialog box, click the Enabled button and choose All Drives from the dropdown list.
  6. Click OK.

That's it! Next time you plug in a flash drive, no more annoying autoplay.

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