How to disable autoplay in Windows 8.1

The first time Autoplay perks up and asks me what I want to do when I connect my USB drive or attach my smartphone, I’m cool.  It’s only when it keeps asking me that I start to become bilious.

For example, when I pop-in a blank CD, a toast notification pops into the upper right corner of my monitor asking me what I want to do.

Inserted a blank CD

The same thing happens when I connect my iPhone; Dropbox automatically leaps to life admonishing me to backup my photos.

This is fine as far as it goes but sometimes I don’t want to see those popups and I just want to start using my device.  I get enough popups while surfing the treacherous waters of web so I don’t want Window’s exacerbating the problem by constantly asking me what I want to do with my removable media.

Making Autoplay play nice

To adjust or disable Autoplay, press the Windows Logo key + w and type:

change default settings for media or devices

Change default settings for media or devices

To completely disable Autoplay, uncheck Use AutoPlay for all media and devices and click the Save button to commit your changes.

If you prefer more granularity, you can set exactly what happens whenever you:

  • Plug in your smartphone
  • Pop-in a blank CD
  • Play a video DVD
  • Insert your memory card
  • Mount your removable drive

Choose what happens when you insert each type of media or device

I’m going to tell Windows to play all my DVDs in VLC Player and I’ll tell it to Do nothing whenever I insert my USB drive.

Image credit Customer USB via Flickr

Now sounds like a good time to celebrate with some beer from your USB drive!

Problem solved!


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Posted in Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista Tagged with: