Turn off AutoPlay

A quick and easy security measure is to turn off Windows Autoplay. It only takes a few steps to help prevent PUPS (potentially unwanted programs) from installing on your PC.

What does AutoPlay do?

There is not a lot to AutoPlay, but disabling it can help to prevent potentially unwanted programs (PUPS) from silently installing on your personal computer. AutoPlay is Windows built in mechanism to control applications and devices for your convenience, as with anything digital people with bad intent use it too.

Disabling AutoPlay stops your computer from auto running various devices like USB hard drives, flash drives, DVD/CD-ROM drives. This will stop your movie software from automatically accessing and playing a movie in the DVD-ROM drive. For some the benefit does not outweigh the risk or inconvenience of learning how to run applications and or disks manually. If you do try turning off AutoPlay and you don't like it you can always return and enable it.

Benefits of AutoPlay

AutoPlay has a number of benefits, so before turning AutoPlay off be sure you don't already use them. Some settings are beneficial and can make using a personal computer that much easier. For example being able to connect a device and have the pictures or files download automatically with no interaction is great. If using AutoPlay take a moment and look under the default actions and see if there is not an option that could aid you in your day to day computer work flow. Depending on your personal computers configuration there will be more or less options than pictured on screen shots below.

Turn off AutoPlay

1. Click on the Start menu then click on the Settings icon, it looks like a gear.

The Windows 10 Start menu.

2. Once Settings opens click on Devices.

Turn autoplay off step one.

3. Click on the switch for Use AutoPlay for all media and devices, so it reads Off as pictured.

Click on AutPlay to get to AutoPlay settings.

The Windows 10 Control Panel

At this time there are two different AutoPlay setting locations. It is our opinion Microsoft is going to remove the Control Panel version as it matures, and we believe this is the case for the entire Control Panel as well. However, access via the Control Panel does do things a bit differently, so if you would like to turn off AutoPlay off via the Control Panel follow these steps.

1. Select the Cortana icon and then search for Control Panel, next click on search result Control Panel Desktop app.

Select cortana icon then search Control Panel, next click search result Control Panel.

If you open the Control Panel and do not see AutoPlay as an option locate View by: Category and change it to large or small icons. See below.

Change Control Panel view to small or large icons.

Select AutoPlay.

Select Autoplay from the list.

Uncheck Use AutoPlay for all media and devices.

Uncheck Use Autoplay for all media and devices to turn off autoplay.

More AutoPlay settings

If the wrong application opens when called from another application or shortcut this is where it is set. At this time there are numnerous was to control applications under Windows 10. We will show were to locate more AutoPlay settings, but cannot walk one through them all. There is default apps, default apps by file type, and by protocol, and set defaults by apps. The setting choice set default apps, and set default by apps sound the same but they are very different in execution. Just to note the term apps has replaced programs and applications, however it is interchangable and means basically the same thing.

More Autoplay settings located at related autoplay settings.

Default apps

At the bottom of the window screen shot below there are three more autoPlay options.

Choose default apps by file type.

Choose default apps by protocol.

Set defaults by app.

More autoplay settings can be found under related autoplay settings.