Disable AutoRun on Windows XP and Vista with a quick registry hack

Don't let Windows force you to AutoRun CDs or DVDs. Bill Detwiler shows you a registry hack the will disable AutoRun on Windows XP and Vista.

I've always been more than a little annoyed by Windows' AutoRun feature. For example, when I insert a TechNet CD, Internet Explorer pops up and gives me a disc menu that I have no interest in. I would rather just navigate through the disc's file system and go directly to what I need. Luckily, there's a way to change Windows' default behavior. In this TR Dojo video, I demonstrate a handy registry hack the will disable AutoRun on Windows XP and Vista.

Note: Before you can disable Autorun capabilities you must install have installed specific Windows updates that solve a problem causing autorun to activity even after it's been disabled. If you've kept your system up to date, you should already have this update. But if autorun still runs after you make the following tweaks, you'll want to double check. Here's a list of the required updates:
  • Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 - Security update 950582 (security bulletin MS08-038)
  • Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, or Windows 2000 - Security updates 950582, 967715, or 953252

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or you can also read Brian Posey's article, "10 common issues you can fix with a registry hack," on which the article is based.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...