AutoPlay Settings

How to Change AutoPlay Settings in Vista
This will show you how to turn AutoPlay on or off, and how to reset or change the AutoPlay settings to how you want them.
How to Change AutoPlay Settings in Vista

information   Information
AutoPlay is a feature that lets you choose which program to use to start different kinds of media, such as music CDs, or CDs or DVDs containing photos, etc. This will show you how to turn AutoPlay on or off, and how to reset or change the AutoPlay settings to how you want them.

Note   Note
AutoPlay uses this Service with these default settings: Shell Hardware Detection (Started/Automatic)

In Windows 7, Vista, and XP, two important changes were made to help improve security:

NOTE: For more on this, see: AutoRun changes in Windows 7 - Security Research & Defense - Site Home - TechNet Blogs
  1. AutoPlay will no longer support the AutoRun functionality for non-optical removable media. In other words, AutoPlay will still work for CD/DVDs but it will no longer work for USB drives. For example, if an infected USB drive is inserted on a machine then the AutoRun task will not be displayed. This will block the increasing social engineer threat highlighted in the SIR. The dialogs below highlight the difference that users will see after this change. Before the change, the malware is leveraging AutoRun (box in red) to confuse the user. After the change, AutoRun will no longer work, so the AutoPlay options are safe.
  2. A dialog change was done to clarify that the program being executed is running from external media.

Here's How:
1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
2. Click on the AutoPlay icon.​
3. To Turn AutoPlay On or Off
A) Check or Uncheck Use AutoPlay for all media and devices. (See screenshot below)​
B) Click on Save to apply.​

4. To Change AutoPlay Settings
A) Click on the drop down menu next to the type of Media or Devices. (See screenshot above)​
NOTE: Make sure that you have the device plugged in to change it's settings. (EX: USB device)
B) Click on the default action you want to select it. (See screenshot below)​
C) Click on Save to apply.​

5. To Reset Back to All of AutoPlay Defaults
A) Click on the Reset all defaults button. (See screenshot below step 3)​
B) Make your new choices or click Save to leave the defaults.​

That's it,

Last edited:
Shawn Brink


how do i remove redundant entries in the autoplay options in windows Vista (example Nero or Cyberlink) once the program has been uninstalled?
Hi Jack,
Welcome to the forum!

Check on Nero website, they have a tool which clean all their entries.
Nero – Tools & Utilities
For cyberlink, search in the registry and delete their entries (be careful, create a restore point before)

Also, clean your computer/registry with a tool like crap cleaner for example.
Hi Jack,

This can be done through editing the registry. If you are not sure about editing the registry, I strongly advise against it as mistakes can necessitate the reinstallation of Vista. However, if you wish to do this then follow the instructions. Click the start orb and type 'regedit' into the search box. Right click on this program and select 'Run as administrator'. After providing administrative credentials, the registry editor will open. Browse to the following key:
'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\explorer\AutoplayHandlers'. Right click this key and select 'Export' and give the file a suitable name. If you make a mistake, you can restore this key by clicking 'File' and 'Import...' and browse to the location of the file you created when you exported the key. Under this key are some other keys, and the ones you are interested in are 'EventHandlers' and 'Handlers'. The following images show the default settings for these keys.
Capture.JPG Capture1.JPG

The next image shows the 'Handlers' subkey after installing 'CyberLink PowerDVD 7'.

Note the addition of the last 3 items. Refer back to the 'EventHandlers' subkey (the 1st image) and click on each of these names in turn. Note that the entry 'PDVDPlayCDAudioOnArrival' as displayed in the 'Handlers' key is represented by the sub-key 'PlayCDAudioOnArrival' in the 'EventHandlers' key. The other entries are similarly represented.

In all cases, right click on the item beginning 'PDVDPlay...' and select 'Delete'. This will remove all 'Autoplay' options for 'CyberLink PowerDVD 7'. Obviously, your entries might be different, but if you use the first 2 images as references you should be able to remove the other entries.
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I have the same questions as jackpelter, but my redundant entry is Canon PowerShot A75, which I have uninstalled. I tried Dwarf way, but I couldn't find it. Is there other way to remove it from my autoplay setting? :p
Re: Remove item from Auto Play menu

There is another location in the Registry that pertains to this. The code (and file) below is the default content of this location. The easiest way of replacing this data is to delete the appropriate key AutoplayHandlers in the registry and then replace it using the file given below. The address of this entry in the registry is shown in the image below.
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
View attachment AutoPlayHandlers.reg
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After installing, deinstalling, and reinstalling my Kodak AiO printer software several times before Kodak found out why it wouldn't work, my Autoplay settings page shows "EasyShare AiO" no less than seven times in the "devices" section. I believe this is referring to the SD card reader on the printer which I never even use. I have set all of them to "Take no action" because otherwise I have to tell it what to do every time I turn my printer on, but I wonder whether the duplicate entries could or even should be deleted.

My usual registry cleaner (ccleaner) doesn't find them, and I can't see anything that looks at all relevant in the Handlers or EventHandlers subkeys. Am I looking in the wrong place, or looking for the wrong thing?
Hello Telford,

Since Vista is considering them as separate devices, you did the correct action by setting them to "Take no action" to not have the AutoPlay window pop-up for them. I wouldn't worry about trying to delete them. Doing so may cause more problems.
Hello Jud, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Could you post a screenshot of what you see instead?

Did you click on the Classic View link on the left top side while in the Control Panel to see icons?
I just recently had to full restore my computer and am installing my programs again, but auto play won't save my options about what to do with games/software. I can't just explore the dvd and run it either because it uses auto play to run. I have opened up the window with the drop downs and selected install or run for games and software and hit save and yes I have the box checked to use auto play, but when I re-insert the dvd all that comes up in auto play is open files and folders.
Hello Magicbiped, and welcome to Vista Forums.

If may be due to the changes outlined in the blue Note box at the top of the tutorial causing it. I find that it affects some CD/DVD's as well. Do you have the AutoPlay settings set to "Ask me everytime" for them?