The USB ports on your Windows 10 computer are a gateway through which a lot of critical (and possibly dangerous data) can be accessed and exchanged. Which is why it is important to keep an option handy where you can completely block USB port access in Windows 10. If you want to take the software route and know more about what outside threats can be injected to harm your PC, read this blog.
And, if you want to take the plunge in your hands and wish to restrict access for all removable devices such as USB External Hard Drives, Flash Drives, CD/ DVDs or any other removable storage devices, read the blog from start to end.
Put Your Guard On, Have An Antivirus Aboard – It Always Pays Off!
Much before you opt for any of the below mentioned measures – disable or block USB ports and restrict access to all removable drives and devices, here’s a step which will keep you protected, even if someone mistakenly enters a removable drive that has malware or virus. It is advisable that you invest in an efficient and powerful Antivirus software.
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Though, if it’s a scenario where you suspect someone to access data or exchange critical data, you will have to use the measures below or a USB port blocker software as mentioned in the blog hyperlinked above.
Ways And Means To Restrict Access To Removable Storage Devices –
|Table Of Contents|
|1. Use Local Group Policy Editor To Restrict Removable Storage Access|
1. Use Local Group Policy Editor To Restrict Removable Storage Access
Windows 10 Pro users who either have an Education or Enterprise variant, can use the Local Group Policy Editor to disable access to all removable storage devices.
1. Press Windows + R to open the run dialog box
2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter to open the Local Group Policy Editor
3. Browse the below mentioned path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access
4. Double click on the All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access policy from the right-hand side
5. Click on the Enabled radio button
6. Click on Apply and then click on OK
7. Restart your computer
2. Disable/ Block USB Port Using The Device Manager
Oftentimes we share our laptops and PCs with other people (who could be team members), especially in an office environment. The other team members might knowingly or unknowingly inject your computer with infected or malicious files or access data which they shouldn’t. So, here’s a way you can completely block the USB port by disabling it. Let’s have a look at an easy way to disable USB port –
1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Device Manager
2. Scroll down and locate and click on Universal Serial Bus controllers dropdown
3. Right-click on USB 3.0 and then click on Disable device
And, in case you want to unblock access, just right-click on USB 3.0 or any other device and then click on Enable device.
3. Use The Registry Editor To Restrict Access To Removable Storage Device
In case you don’t have the Windows 10 Enterprise or Education variant and have Windows 10 Home variant, you might not be able to access the Local Group Policy Editor. So, you can instead use the Registry Editor, modify the registry and then disable access to removable storage devices. But before you head on and take steps to make changes to the registries, it is highly advisable to take a backup of registries. It is also recommended that you configure a System Restore point so that in case something goes wrong, you have a fall back option.
1. Click on the Windows search bar
2. Type regedit
3. Click on Open from the right hand pane
4. Browse the below mentioned path or simply copy-paste it in the address bar
5. On Windows folder right-click, click on New and then select Key
6. Name it as RemovableStorageDevice and then press Enter
7. Again, right-click on the newly created key, select New and choose DWORD (32-bit)
8. Name this key as Deny_All and press enter. Double click on this and change the value from 0 to 1
9. Click OK
10. Restart your computer.
|What To Do If I Want To Undo The Changes?|
|To undo the changes, follow the instructions as mentioned above but on Step No. 6, right-click the Removable Storage Devices key and select the Delete option. You needn’t delete other settings which are configured inside the key. Also, in Step No. 8 double-click the Deny_All DWORD and change the value from 1 to 0.If even after applying this step, you are unable to revert changes, you can reboot the device and the changes will be refreshed.|
Prevention is always better than the cure and with the above mentioned ways you will successfully be able to disable or block USB ports and restrict access to all removable storage devices. If you liked the blog, do give it a thumbs up and follow us on all social channels.