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How To Disable AutoPlay & Autorun in Windows 10 & 11

Windows will automatically try to run or play any device you connect to your PC. For example, if you plug in a USB drive Windows will autorun it so that you can start using it without opening the drive in File Explorer.

While this feature is useful, there might be situations where you need to disable AutoPlay (& Autorun). For instance, in professional/business environments where you need to constantly plug in USB drives, having AutoPlay enabled can be quite inconvenient. Under certain circumstances, it can also be a security issue where a program might execute using the AutoPlay feature as soon as you plug in a USB drive.

Thankfully, on both Windows 10 & 11, you can disable AutoPlay and Autorun using Windows Settings, Group Policy, and Registry. I will show all three methods, follow the one you need.

Difference Between Autorun and AutoPlay

Often, we use Autorun and AutoPlay interchangeably but they are different in terms of security and how they work.

Autorun automatically starts a program specified in the autorun.inf file in the root of the media device without prompting the user. For example, if you have a program that you’d like to run as soon as you plug in the USB drive, you can create a new file called autorun.inf in the root of the USB drive and specify the program path in it. On modern Windows, Autorun has been restricted by default.

AutoPlay has coexisted with Autorun since Windows XP but has been updated in recent versions to be more secure and a better alternative to Autorun. Rather than executing whatever’s in the connected device like Autorun, AutoPlay will scan it and show a dialog box prompting you to choose from a set of actions. For example, if you connect a USB drive with photos, AutoPlay detects that and shows a list of appropriate installed programs to open images.

Disabling AutoPlay on Windows 10 & 11

Note: Disabling AutoPlay disables Autorun too.

There are three ways to turn off AutoPlay & Autorun on Windows 10 & 11. Below are those methods. Follow any method of your choice to get rid of AutoPlay/Autorun.

1. Disable AutoPlay/Autorun Using Windows Settings

On Windows 11

  1. Open the Settings app with the Windows key + I shortcut.
  2. Click on Bluetooth & devices.
  3. Go to the AutoPlay page.
  4. Turn off the Use AutoPlay for all media and devices toggle.
  5. Close the Settings app.
  6. With that, AutoPlay and Autorun are disabled in Windows 11.
turn off autoplay toggle to disable autoplay and autorun in Windows 11

On Windows 10

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on Devices.
  3. Go to the AutoPlay page.
  4. Turn off the Use AutoPlay for all media and devices option.
  5. Choose Take No Action from all dropdowns.
  6. Close the Settings app.
  7. With that, AutoPlay and Autorun are disabled in Windows 10.
Turn off AutoPlay and Autorun in Windows 10

2. Disable AutoPlay/Autorun Using Group Policy Editor

If you are a system administrator managing multiple PCs and users, using Group Policy Editor makes it easy to disable AutoPlay and AutoRun on all of them at once. The advantage of this method is the users will be unable to turn on AutoPlay/Autorun via Settings. So, if you want to enforce the rule and restrict user action, this is the method you should follow.

Note: Group Policy Editor is only available on Pro and Enterprise editions.

1. First, open the Start menu. Search for gpedit.msc and click on the top result to open the Group Policy Editor.

search for gpedit.msc in the Start menu and click on the top result to open group policy editor

2. In the Group Policy window, go to the Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > AutoPlay Policies folder and double-click on the Turn off AutoPlay policy.

double-click on the turn off autoplay policy to open its properties

3. Select the Enabled option and select All Drives from the ‘Turn off Autoplay on’ dropdown. Click the OK button to save the changes.

Win10 disable autorun - set policy

4. Restart your PC to apply the policy. Once restarted, AutoPlay & Autorun are disabled.

3. Disable AutoPlay/Autorun Using Registry Editor

If you want to disable AutoPlay and Autorun via Registry Editor for some reason, follow the below steps after backing up the Registry.

1. Open the Start menu, search for Registry Editor, and open it.

Win10 disable autorun - open registry

2. Once the registry editor is opened, go to the following folder.


Win10 disable autorun - go to key

3. Right-click on the Policies folder and select the New > DWORD (32-bit) Value option. Set the value name as NoDriveTypeAutorun.

Win10 disable autorun - create and name value

4. Double-click the newly created value, enter FF in the value data field and click the OK button.

Win10 disable autorun - set value data

5. Close the registry editor and reboot Windows. After rebooting, the AutoPlay & Autorun features are disabled. From now on USB drives will not autorun in Windows 10 and 11.

And there you have it. These are the methods you can use to completely disable AutoPlay and Autorun on Windows 10 & 11. As I stated earlier, if you are managing multiple users or computers, follow the group policy editor method. It makes your life easier and eliminates the need to configure Windows AutoPlay for each user separately.

If you have any questions, comment below and I will help.

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