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How to Prevent or Disable Use of USB Storage Devices in Windows 10

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It is easy to transfer files from one computer to another using USB flash drive devices. However, you may not be sure if it contains malware or other virus threats. Once you plugged in the removable drive, it will automatically transfer the malware and harm your computer.

Another risk of using removable USB flash drives on your Windows 10 computer is the copying of your files and information. To avoid these instances from happening, you can prevent or disable the use of USB storage devices on your Windows 10 PC.

Restrict Access to Removable Storage Devices & USB Ports in Windows 10

Restrict-Access-to-Removable-Storage-Devices-USB-Ports-in-Windows-10
Credit: Michael Schwarzenberger/Pixabay

By preventing the use or access of removable storage drives , USB devices, and ports on your PC, you can protect it from threats and viruses. There are several ways to disable the use of USB storage devices in Windows 10. You can follow each method below.

Method #1 – Prevent Use of USB Storage Device in Windows 10 via Registry Editor

  • Launch the Registry Editor on your Windows 10 computer. You can use the Run dialog box by entering regedit, or open the Search box and look for Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR.
  • Under Name, look for Start and double-click it to open the menu.
  • Set the Value data to 4.
  • Hit Enter.
  • Restart your Windows 10 PC.

Method #2 – Deny Permissions to Use USB Storage Device

Deny-Permissions-to-Use-USB-Storage-Device-in-Windows-10
  • Launch the Run Dialog Box.
  • Enter %SystemRoot%\Inf.
  • Look for the Usbstor.pnf file. Right-click on it.
  • Go to the Security tab.
  • Under the Group or user names, look for the user or group you want to deny access to. You can also add them.
  • Go to the Permissions for UserName or GroupName list.
  • Next to Full Control, check the Deny box.
  • Go back to the Group or user names.
  • Click System.
  • Go to Permissions for UserName or GroupName and check the Deny box.

Method #3 – Disable Access to USB Storage Device in Windows 10 via Local Group Policy Editor

Disable-Access-to-USB-Storage-Device-in-Windows-10-via-Local-Group-Policy-Editor
  • Search for gpedit.msc to open Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.
  • Look for All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access. Double-click to open it.
  • Choose Enabled.
  • Click the Apply button.
  • Click OK.
  • Restart your computer.

Have you ever faced a threat on your computer from a USB storage device? We want to hear your story! You can tell us in the comments below.

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