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How to Change AutoPlay Settings on Windows 11?

A Comprehensive Guide to AutoPlay Settings on Windows 11

AutoPlay, a longstanding feature since its introduction in Windows 98, has consistently facilitated seamless interactions between the Windows operating system and various external devices. In Windows 11, AutoPlay springs into action the moment you connect an external device such as a CD, DVD, or memory card. The system checks your preset preferences and executes an action accordingly. Some of these predetermined actions include “Configure storage settings,” “Take no action,” “Open folder to view files,” or “Always ask me.”

While many find this feature a boon for its convenience, others might see it as a bane. AutoPlay, for all its merits, can occasionally cause annoyances, particularly if it interferes with system performance or triggers unintentionally. More concerning are instances where AutoPlay inadvertently opens a device carrying malicious content, exposing your system to potential threats.

For those who prioritize security or simply seek to dodge the occasional AutoPlay inconvenience, Windows 11 offers the option to disable it. By doing so, you ensure that your system won’t automatically read or execute files from external devices upon connection, thereby shielding it from potentially harmful content.

If you’re considering modifying the AutoPlay settings to better suit your preferences or security needs, this risewindows guide provides a comprehensive walkthrough to help you achieve that.

How to reconfigure AutoPlay settings on Windows 11?

Follow these steps to reconfigure AutoPlay settings on Windows 11:-

Step 1. First, press the Windows + I keys from your keyboard to open the Settings app.

Alternatively, press the Windows key from the keyboard to open the Start menu and then click on the Settings gear icon.

Step 2. Now, in Settings, select the Bluetooth & devices category from the left sidebar, and then click on the AutoPlay tab on the right-hand side of it.

Step 3. Then, if you don’t want to play any media or pop-up window when you insert your external drive to a PC, turn the toggle switch to the Off position next to Use AutoPlay for all media and devices.

After disabling the AutoPlay feature, you need to manually open the contents of external devices when you insert or connect to your computer.

Step 4. Even if you want to customize individual settings, let’s Use AutoPlay for all media and devices turned on. After that, choose the media type that you would like to modify. Select the default action you want AutoPlay to perform when you connect every kind of media or device.

Here, clicking on the Removable drive drop-down, you can select from the following options:-

  • Configure storage settings (Settings)
  • Take no action
  • Open the folder to view files (File Explorer)
  • Ask me every time.

While clicking on the Memory card drop-down menu, you will have the following options to choose from:-

  • Import photos and videos (Photos)
  • Play (Windows Media Player)
  • Take no action
  • Open the folder to view files (File Explorer)
  • Ask me every time.

Select your desired options according to your needs. Next time you connect your external media to your PC, Windows 11 will perform your chosen option.

How to configure AutoPlay settings in Control Panel?

Control Panel is still alive on Windows 11, and AutoPlay settings are possible to configure. It would be best if you did the following:-

Step 1. First, open Control Panel.

First, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously from the keyboard to launch Control Panel on Windows 11 to access the Run dialog box. In the Run box, type the control panel and then click on the OK button.

Step 2. Now, click on the Hardware and Sound category on the Control Panel window.


Step 3. Then, click on AutoPlay link on the right-side pane.

Step 4. After performing the above steps, you can configure AutoPlay on the upcoming window. Unlike the Settings app, which allows you to configure Removable drives and Memory cards only, you can configure many types of devices here. From here, you can configure the following types of external devices:-

  • Removable drive
  • Memory card
  • DVDs
  • Blu-ray discs
  • CDs
  • Software
  • Phones (if you have connected to your PC)

Step 5. After completing it, you set the default behavior for the specific types of devices and click on the Save button in the bottom right corner.

Also Read: How to Reset AutoPlay Settings to Defaults on Windows 11?


In the vast realm of Windows features, AutoPlay stands out as a quintessential tool, tracing its lineage back to Windows 98. When users connect external devices to a Windows 11 system, AutoPlay diligently scans the device’s contents and performs actions based on preset preferences. However, the very convenience it offers can, at times, become a double-edged sword, causing inadvertent annoyances or, worse, inadvertently executing malicious content. For users seeking a balanced experience, tailoring AutoPlay settings in Windows 11 ensures both convenience and safety. Whether it’s for streamlining your workflow or safeguarding your system, this risewindows guide offers insight into mastering your AutoPlay preferences.


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