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How To Securely Disable AutoPlay For Every Drive

The AutoPlay feature that's native to the Windows platform, allows you to set default actions when you Insert media such as USB Drives, Memory Cards, CD/DVDs and so forth. It also allows you to select what to do when executing certain types of media, such as Pictures, Music and Videos. Whatever the reason may be, If you do not want this feature available, In this tutorial, I will show you how to securely disable AutoPlay for every drive.

Before I begin, here's what I'm referring to. The traditional way of accessing AutoPlay, Is to open the Run menu, enter Control Panel and then navigate to Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay. It will then open as per the Image below. You can set a number of actions based on your usability.

It's also accessible when right-clicking a given fixed data drive on your computer, Inclusive of removable data drives, such as USB sticks and external HDDs. To give you a visual, I've right-clicked my Internal hard disk and the Open AutoPlay option Is readily available.

From there, you can select the type of action you want the drive to perform. If however, you have multiple users sharing your PC, there's nothing stopping them from doing the same. As such, I will demonstrate how to completely remove the AutoPlay option from the right-click context menu, by using the good old Group Policy Editor.

Do note, that the GPE Is only available In Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. On the grounds that you have either of these Installed, then this tutorial Is for you. So without further delay, let's get this started.

Step One:

To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK as shown below.

Step Two:

The Group Policy Editor will now open, so navigate to the following directory.
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > AutoPlay Policies

Make sure the AutoPlay Policies folder Is selected, and on the right pane, double-click Turn Off AutoPlay.

Step Three:

To the left of the window, click the Enabled radio button and under Turn off AutoPlay on, select All drives via the drop-down menu. Then hit OK to finalize the process.

Last Step:

AutoPlay has now been securely disabled and removed. Let's try accessing It. I've right-clicked my Internal HDD and as you can see, It's no longer available. Perfect result!

Final Thoughts:

The good thing about this Implementation, Is that not too many users are aware that It does In fact exist In the Group Policy Editor, and that's what makes It so effective. If you want to reverse the change and have the AutoPlay option available again, simply refer to Step Three above and select the Not Configured radio button. Don't forget to hit OK on exit.


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