Autorun.inf Does Not Work In Windows 7 Anymore

Microsoft has removed the autorun.inf feature from Windows 7. This means that when you insert the USB drive, the programs will not automatically start up. So is this good news or bad news? Spoiler Alert: It is good news!

First lets talk about the good aspects. With autorun.inf you could assign which programs should run automatically when USB drive is inserted, thus, making it easier for the users. This also saves them plenty of steps if the file/program is located deep inside some directory.

For every upside there is an equal downside. But in this case, it seems like autorun.inf has more downsides than upsides. One of the biggest problem of autorun.inf is the virus itself.

If a USB is infected by a virus, the moment you insert it in your computer, your system will get a virus too. The whole process is like a chain reaction. Autorun.inf virus is quite deadly and should not be taken lightly.


So how do we benefit from removing Autorun.inf feature? Lets suppose that you insert a USD drive in your computer running Windows Vista/XP, it will automatically catch the virus since the program(that is infected) will open automatically(if it is configured to open with autorun.inf). Now when you insert the USB drive in your computer running Windows 7 the virus will not come to your computer unless you don’t manually open the drive. Therefore, you will have a chance to scan the drive and clean all viruses before opening it.

Kudos to Microsoft for taking a good step here. We have covered countless ways to prevent Autorun.inf virus, but now thankfully Microsoft have saved the day. This is one of the many improvements Microsoft have made to make Windows 7 more secure.

Note: If your computer is infected with Autorun.inf virus, try Autorun Eater to remove it.

Update: Remember that Autorun will still work on CD/DVDs, it has just been removed from USB drives. Thanks kaloskagatos!

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  • http://www.dd-links.com/ Osama

    Good news that Autorun.inf feature it's too annoying virus ,i have tried autorun eater and it really remove this virus

  • kaloskagatos

    “Microsoft has removed the autorun.inf feature from Windows 7″: this is not completely correct. Autorun still works for DVD/CDs.

    “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.” (http://blogs.technet.com/srd/archive/2009/04/28…)

  • http://www.dd-links.com/ Osama

    Good news that Autorun.inf feature it's too annoying virus ,i have tried autorun eater and it really remove this virus

  • kaloskagatos

    “Microsoft has removed the autorun.inf feature from Windows 7″: this is not completely correct. Autorun still works for DVD/CDs.

    “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.” (http://blogs.technet.com/srd/archive/2009/04/28…)

  • http://www.dd-links.com/ Osama

    Good news that Autorun.inf feature it's too annoying virus ,i have tried autorun eater and it really remove this virus

  • kaloskagatos

    “Microsoft has removed the autorun.inf feature from Windows 7″: this is not completely correct. Autorun still works for DVD/CDs.

    “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.” (http://blogs.technet.com/srd/archive/2009/04/28…)

  • electronomad

    I disagree that it's good news. I use it all the time and have never gotten any viruses. Besides I see no difference in autorun running a program with a virus attached or manually running a program witht the virus attached. If autrun doesn't run the program then what do you do, you open the drive and manually run it which installs the virus anyway.. Think about it people. You don't know if it's infected till you run it. If you do know it's infected and haven't removed it from your drive already then your an idiot. Again microsoft has taken a useful feature and dumbed it down while adding extra clicks to get something done, simply because people to stupid to be careful. Windows is becoming so “Idiot Proof” orientated it's becoming far less competition to other OS's like Linux and alot less productive for advanced users.

    • atroll

      Eh, don’t be a tool. If you knew anything about how viruses work you’d understand how USB devices make perfect carriers.

      “You don’t know it’s infected till you run it.” Run what? You ever tried to “run” a USB drive? It doesn’t work without autorun.inf

    • Faheem7575

      You are absolutely right and I agree with you.
      This feature should not be removed.
      as you can do it your self.
      so if you want it,you can enable it or if you do not want it,you can disable it.
      but this is not fair to not give this feature any more….

    • Borg

      So very true. I cannot argue with this on any level.

    • Exodus

      Should be an opt in/out option.. not just removing…

  • Kenzu

    you wrong guys i got infected by autorun.inf on windows 7 32bit ultimate i followed every possible instruction remover and used avast,kaspersky,avira,avg,and nod32 still they can't solve my problem cause “Autorun.inf” folder still in my drivers and i can't open some binary files like game patch when you click these .EXE a MSDOS file pop out with some kind a “~YEYUPDATE_PATCH” named on these MSDOS 2nd an “There is no Disk in the driver please insert a disk” pop out this is the sign that you got infected and there's nothing you can do reformatting a driver from desktop using rightclick still can't solve this a message saying “reformatting is unable to complete” but the driver is empty although there's still 5MB inside it..when this happens to you dont expect that you can solve your problem and probably this will lead you to full reformat with reinstall the OS…

    • http://denzuko.co.cc Denzuko

      really?? stop listening to scare ware bollics, and just learn something about the technology your using. Really. all you have to do is delete the autorun.inf or use tweakui to turn off autorun for your drives. Dead simple. Its not a virus just because some anti-virus/anti-malware suite gave you a pop up.

      And on top of it all read those pop ups, thier not a bad thing just thier to show you something. if a “There’s no disk in the driver please insert a disk” comes up the check which drive letter is asking that, if its A: B: or D: drives then its your legacy removable media drives like those old floppy drives and cdrom drives.

    • Ali_shah8500

      this is the trojan file who running on ur pc,,

    • Chibitalia180

      Not all autorun.inf are viruses, some are actually made by the person who owns the USB drive and its just annoying when everything is made less simpler

  • http://denzuko.co.cc Denzuko

    WTF!!! autorun virus?!?! what are you guys moronic or something. Yes, one can create a SwitchBlade USB that can contain so call malware. But this is where commonsense, true trusted computing and not listening to that bollics coming out of corporate scareware.

    Autorun.inf is not a virus! it is a feature created for removiable storage media to run your installers or what ever you program it to do. Its time to get off your scareware high horse and learn something about how your computer works under the hood.

    Or better yet, join the open source movement(which again requires you to learn the workings under the hood) and become a free netizen of the world.

    • atroll

      Again, it sounds like you don’t know what the autorun.inf virus is. The file itself is not a virus, but something that can be edited by viruses to transmit the virus to new computers.

  • BadNew

    Bad news for fellows Black hat Coders.. Like me,,,,

  • Terrible

    Terrible news. I have seen viruses use the autorun feature to spread through usb drives but I easily stopped them. Even in XP (at least SP2) would prompt the user if they wanted to run the app or not. I have perfectly valid applications that make use of this feature.

  • murray

    Removal of this facility can cause real problems, for example:

    An autorun CD is fine until you have (say) a notebook that does not have a drive.
    If it runs Windows 7 you are snookered – can’t autorun from USB either.

    More and more machines are being sold like this.

    Answer ,…….?

    M

  • Tim

    To be honest, I think it is very useful, but should be changed. I think Microsoft should have made an option when you first get the program Windows 7 to turn autorun.inf off or on (with “on” not recommended). This will give users the ability to turn it off when not needed (to protect from autorun.inf viruses) but they can temporarily turn it on before they insert their usb drive, if they need the file to autorun. Ten they may turn it off. Or they could personalize it to where only preferred USB Drives can do autorun.inf, like their own, protecting from external and internal intruding viruses and giving the user the advancement of autorun.inf from their own drive:).

  • http://www.fatassgames.weebly.com ham

    this is annoying because i cant autorun my backup

  • Chris

    As a developer, this ‘sucks’, I have never used autorun.inf in the 15 years since it started (Win 95), now, when i need to use it to install an app for Win 7, say on a usb stick, it has been withdrawn, wonderful! (not). My customers will now have to a number of steps to get the program working, which means that i can expect them ringing me up asking me how to do this.
    ‘Type dir (enter)’
    ‘direnter’
    ‘it says program can’t be found’
    ‘dir (enter key)’
    ‘what’s an enter key?’
    ‘Carriage return’
    ‘Where’s that on the keyboard?’
    ‘The arrow pointing left’
    ‘I have 3 arrows pointing left’ – AAAAARRRGGGHHH – You see what we are going bak to because Windows has removed autorun.inf for usb drives!

  • Ash

    Who ever says the Autorun.inf virus is fine or good is a total idiot, don’t be fulled by wanabe tech noobs
    YES there are your normal autorun.inf files, but there IS a virus/worm out there that pretends to be a normal autorun, and it copies a recycler file/s across to pc, and basically keeps loading it onto any exterrnal usb device.
    Eventually your pc is at risk and it also modifies right click ..and god knows what else that you can’t see.
    I’ve had this worm virus before…
    Have a look at this site, it tells you all about it
    http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/00001575.html

    • Hdog692002

      Sorry, but, I don’t listen to guys who writes  “..don’t be fulled…”.

      • JoeMama

        Didn’t the Who have a song like that. “I won’t be fulled again”

  • DeviaAnimus

    Here’s a way around this. Partition the usb with a CDFS part.

    http://www.squidoo.com/usbcd

    • joshua

      what??? howw

  • uktech

    Oh dear me, so much misinformation, I don’t know where to start…

    Basically, Chris and Electronomad are on the right track: the autorun.inf file (not the virus) IS very useful…or should I say *was* – cheers Microsoft….now we can thank you for making tech support much harder, (see Chris’s comments) and not protecting us from viruses (in general) – as the first thing any of my customers will do, is checkout the USB drive manually. This in all likelihood will execute a virus – if they had one in the first place.

    The customer or end user, of *any* USB drive could still pickup a virus infection from *any* machine they use.

    Would you like me to list the viruses that can infect your USB stick *without* using Autorun? I would also like to add a very important note – that viruses are created by people who take advantage of the fact, that little or no protection exists for the new virus when it is first released.

    All anti virus solutions are *re*active – by definition. Yes, there are types of heuristic analysis, but, ultimately, the virus writers have the upper hand – they can see and scrutinize everything that is produced to counter their viruses and we, the end users, have *no* idea of what’s coming next.

    So how, exactly, has stopping the ‘autorun’ feature made the world any safer?

    Rant over, I’ll descend from my soap-box now. :-)

  • Sandy

    Hi there,
    I want to add an auto run on a CD.
    Windows 7 has a pop up asking if you wanna open the file.
    XP: just opens my page. (it’s a mini site on the CD more for product info etc)
    this is what I’ve always used in my inf file
    [AutoRun]
    shellexecute=”home.html”

    how can I “disable” the win 7 dialog box and make the html page open?
    basically I need the script to be on the CD so if someone has win 7 it will read the script and open I’m not really concerned about XP
    hope someone can help.

    thanks
    Sandy

    • Tomy300

      you can’t do nothing about it, windows leave autorun support for cd/dvd because a lot of people use it and by removing this will cause big problem to Microsoft so they leave this feature but remove it for usb before it get more popular.

      this is the worse thing Microsoft did in my point of view, why the hell remove this feature when ordinary people that may be infected are making autorun for the cd/dvd media and infect their installation program

      the problem with Microsoft is that they want to make windows 7 more and more safer

      I’m a analyst programmor and a customer asked me if I can autorun their program for usb support and I told them no. the only thing I could do is make it autorun on a cd/dvd and install a service program that will lunch the program on the usb key when inserted. But refuse because it will cost more.

      MS should include another OS, ultimate, pro, home edition, “don’t mess with my nerve I know what i’m doing Special Edition”

      I hope they can read my post :) *grind*

  • Roy

    Draconian backward step. It’s not the autorun that’s the problem. User can still manually run the rouge program.
    Everyone using Windows has to be running antivirus right? That’ll intercept the nasty program whether it’s run by autorun or by the user.
    Restore the autorun feature please Microsoft.

  • Mentiroso

    Are you suggesting to disable double clicking on e-mail links also just because lots of numb ignorant people get virus because they are unable to distinguish? Are you suggesting that we should “disable” everything in life because stupid people always find a way to get trapped? Are you saying that we must “disable” all those things to satisfy ignorance instead of learning and education?

  • Greg

    Here’s a good reason why Microsoft should stop messing with stuff and actually develop better program to fight viruses. Why do I need my autorun.inf to work on my flashdrive?
    Because my 12 year old son dropped his HP Mini and the screen is completely fried, even tho the computer still boots and runs. I can’t see anything to access it, and I need to remove some files from that computer. So, yeah… autorun.inf had it’s purposes. AutoPlay doesn’t help when I can’t read the screen

  • MSSux

    …and what a LOW TECH solution

  • MSSux

    …and what a communist approach

  • Tom Stein

    Wholy shit! If autorun still works with CD, then the virus can be activated using a CD/RW!
    But did anyone notice that EVERY anti virus software will scan ANY file before executing it? So: Only 0-day-viruses can use an USB stick with autorun enabled.