07 June, 2021
If you have a shared computer or PC at home or workplace used by different people, you may don’t want to allow everyone to use USB plug and play due to security risk. The possibility is the USB owner might have no idea if the USB contains viruses, malware or unsafe files that can damage or corrupt your Windows PC or Laptop. Leaving a USB port open for unknown people means the less secure your PC is.
It may sound very difficult to block USB ports but the process of disabling it easier than you think. There are various method can choose from to make sure if one doesn’t work the other method can be tried.
Learn to Disable/Enable a USB Drive using the System Registry
This method is slightly tricky but if you follow the guideline it will only take a minute or two to disable the USB ports of your PC. Go to “Windows Search Box” and type “Run“. When the application appears, type “Regedit” an editor called “registry editor” will open up. Navigate to the following directory in the editor:
In the area of the right side, double-click “start” to open the Edit “REG_DWORD (32-Bit)” box.
By default the value is set to “3“, to disable USB ports just change the “value data” to “4” and press OK. This process will make the USB ports completely disabled. Close the app and restart your computer.
Now, to re-enable the USB storage ports, change the value back to “3” to make the USB ports work again.
Disable USB Ports by Using the Device Manager:
Using the device manager to disable the USB ports is extremely easy and no such value field required to enter. This process is pretty straightforward, just right on the “Windows logo” start menu and click on “device manager“. Once the application appears, click on the “Universal Serial Bus Controller” (can be found almost at the end of the hardware list).
Expand the list of “Bus controllers” right-click on the “USB Composite Device” and click on “disable device“. If you are using a USB keyboard and mouse, make sure do not disable it.
Disable USB Ports by Using Local Group Policy Editor:
It’s another simple method of disabling USB ports by going into the local group policy editor, another windows 10 application. Right-click on Windows logo or use the “search-box” to open “Run“, Type “gpedit.msc“. Once it appears, on the left pane click on “computer configurations > administrative templates > system > removable storage access“.
Double click on “Removable Storage Access“, options will come up on the right side. Find and click on the option that says, “Removable Disk: Deny execute access“, “Removal Disk: Deny read access“, and “Removable Disks: Deny write access“.
Now to configure them, click on each of them. Once you double click, new windows the different options will appear on the screen. There will be three options, “Not configured“, “Enabled” and “Disabled“.
Now, to disable USB Ports, click on “Enable” and save it. This will make USB ports disabled. If you wish to use USB ports, just come back to this option and choose either of the options “Not Configured” or “Disabled” option.
By following the above 3 simple methods you can save your computer from unwanted USB devices leaving the PC with viruses or stealing your personal information. These methods are useful to disable USB storage devices to disable permanently or temporarily.
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