AutoPlay in Windows is a useful feature that allows you to configure how an external device or drive behaves when you plug it into your computer. For example, when you plug in your removable drive, you can make Windows AutoPlay the media, open the drive using File Explorer, back up your system, and so on. So useful, the autoplay feature in Windows can be frustrating.
Here’s how you can set AutoPlay defaults on Windows 10.
Set Defaults automatically from the Control Panel
Setting AutoPlay defaults in Windows 10 is easy and straightforward. To get started, search for the Settings app in the start menu and open it.
Once the Settings panel is open, select the “Devices” option.
Here in the DEVICES settings panel, select the option “AutoPlay” that appears on the left sidebar.
This will display your current AutoPlay settings in the right panel. Depending on which drive you have, you will see appropriate options. For example, since my computer doesn’t have a CD / DVD drive, I don’t have a default setup option.
To set the default action, click the drop-down menu under a device type and choose the appropriate option. In my case, I’m setting AutoPlay to open the drive in File Explorer.
Note: if you want AutoPlay to ask each time what to do when you plug in your device, then select the option “Ask me every time”.
If you don’t want AutoPlay to run for a specific device type, then select the option “Take no action”.
If you want to disable Autoplay altogether, turn on the button under “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices”.
Set default AutoPlay from Control Panel
If you want more control over how Autoplay works on Windows, then using Control Panel is the best way to go. To do that, search for “Control Panel” in the Start menu and open it.
Once the Dashboard is open, find and select the “AutoPlay” option.
From here, you can set AutoPlay defaults for each device type and vehicle type.
Set AutoPlay defaults to present from Group Policy
Alternatively, you can also enable or disable AutoPlay using Windows Group Policy Editor. To do that, press “Win + R”, type gpedit.msc, and press the Enter button.
The above action will open the group policy editor. Here, navigate to the following policies: “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> AutoPlay Policies.”
Find and double-click the “Turn off AutoPlay” policy that appears in the right pane.
The above action will open the AutoPlay policy settings window. Select the radio button “On” to disable Windows AutoPlay. If you want, you can also choose the device type below the “Options” panel.
The comment below shares your thoughts and experiences about the AutoPlay feature in Windows.