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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Registry Hacks » How to cancel Autoplay

(Note: before following this or any other tip on this site, please read the Disclaimer)

[Note: this tip was written Feb 2008, whether or not it applies to Windows 7, I can't say.]

I absolutely despise the way Autoplay has evolved into an intrinsic part of mounting removable media. The autorun.inf scheme doesn’t offend me in-and-of itself, it fills a need, and as a technology it’s net-positive. There are some annoying implementations, but it’s always possible for its implementers to know the contents of the media they are working with.

Conversely, Autoplay is an attempt to guess the user’s intentions based on analysis of the media content. Sadly it isn’t very good at this. When I insert a CD or memory stick, I nearly always have a plan for its contents already in mind, the application[s] I intend to use are already running, and I neither need nor want some set of suggested actions.

Worse yet, the amount of time Autoplay consumes is routinely excessive; any media flaws become excruciating. And worst of all, the apparent ability to configure Autoplay that’s offered by its UI is a sham – want to remove some handler that some app installer has added to the chain: tough luck. There is no graphical way to truly control it.

Using REGEDIT.EXE, browse to this key:


Then add a string data item named:


(Its value should be empty.)

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