Autoplay and Autorun are two different features in Windows operating systems. When you insert a CD/DVD into your CD/DVD drive, or when you connect any removable storage device (such as a flash drive or external storage drive) to a USB, Firewire, or e-Sata port, two things happen in Windows:
a) “Automatic start“: Autorun scans the installed device, and if it finds a file named “autorun.inf” in the root directory, it executes the commands specified in this file (for example, automatically runs the installer).
b) “Automatic“: Autoplay starts reading the embedded device and asks the user how to interpret the data on the device by asking what to do with it (eg Open, Play, View, etc.).
Before Windows Vista, when a device or tool containing the autorun command was installed, the system would automatically run the program without user intervention. This created a major security issue, as malicious code could be executed without the user’s knowledge.
In Windows Vista and Windows 7, the Autorun feature is part of the Autoplay feature, and the default action is to prompt the user to run the autorun command.
To completely disable autoplay/autostart features, follow these steps:
Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000
1. Go to “Start” > “Running“
2. In the “Run” command line: “gpedit.msc“and select”OK” to open the Group Policy Editor.
3. In the Group Policy Editor – in the left pane – expand “Computer configuration” > “Administrative templates” > “System“
4. In the right panel “Turn off autoplay” and double-click to open it.
5. “inTurn off autoplay features“Windows Selection”Enabled“inside”All drivers” and select “OK”.
6. Close “Group Policy“ edit and restart your computer.
Windows XP Home
1. Go to “Start” > “Running“
2. In the “Run command” field, type “regedit“and select”OK“
3. Find the following entry in the registry:
4. double click on open “NoDriveTypeAutoRun” and type ” in the Value data fieldFF(without quotation marks) disable autorun function on all drivers and then press the button.OK“
5. Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.
Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008
1. Click the “Start” menu button, and in the “Search” box, type “gpedit.msc” and click Enter
2. Under the left panel Computer configuration expand”Administrative templates” > “Windows components” > “Automatic execution rules“
3. Double click on the right panel to open “Turn off autoplay“settings.
4. In the “Turn off autoplay” settings window, select “Enabled“inside”All driversClick the “and” buttonOK” to return to the previous window.
5. Double click to open “Default behavior for AutoRun“settings
6. At”Default behavior for AutoRunselect “settings window”.Enabled“after”Do not execute autorun commandsClick the “and” buttonOK” to return to the previous window.
7. Close Group Policy Editor and restart your computer.