Whenever you plug a new hardware device to your Windows operating machine, you’re asked for what you want to do with the hardware you’ve just plugged in. Windows has the AutoPlay functionality, which can remember how you treat the devices which are plugged into the system. For example, you plugged a USB drive to the system and Windows prompted what you want to do with this device. You picked the Take no action option. Now Windows will remember this choice on the behalf of AutoPlay and wouldn’t take any action whenever you plug that USB.
There may be many Windows users who want to alter this relationship and they are looking to make Windows forget their choice for a particular USB. There are two easy ways to make this possible. This tutorial is applicable to Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
Prevent AutoPlay From Remembering User Choice
Using Group Policy
1. In Windows 8.1 Pro & Enterprise Editions, press Windows Key + R combination, type put gpedit.msc in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
3. In the right pane of above shown window, look for the Setting named Prevent AutoPlay from remembering user choices which is Not Configured by default. Double click on this setting to get this:
4. In the above shown window, select Enabled and then click Apply followed by OK. Here is the policy explanation so far:
This policy setting allows you to prevent AutoPlay from remembering user’s choice of what to do when a device is connected. If you enable this policy setting, AutoPlay prompts the user to choose what to do when a device is connected. If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, AutoPlay remembers user’s choice of what to do when a device is connected.
You may now close Local Group Policy Editor and reboot to make changes effective.
Using Registry Editor
1. Press Windows Key + R combination, type put regedit in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
3. In the right pane of this registry location, right click in the blank space, select New -> DWORD Value. Name this newly created DWORD as DontSetAutoplayCheckbox and double click the same to get this:
4. In the above shown box, put the Value data as 1 in order to prevent AutoPlay from remembering your choice. Click OK and close the Registry Editor, reboot to observe changes.
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.