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Disable / Restrict Use of USB Ports in Windows Computer

Want to restrict USB storage devices in Windows Computer? Learn how to block or password protect USB ports in Desktop/Laptop from authorize access of pen drives & memory cards.

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Want to block/unblock USB storage devices like pen drive & memory card? Well, today you will learn how to password protect USB Ports in Windows Desktop or Laptop. Disabling USB ports on a Windows Computer can be an effective way to protect your private and confidential information from being hacked or stolen.

If you are also one of them who want to disable USB ports on a computer from being unauthorized access of USB devices, here I am posting a complete tutorial on how to restrict the use of USB Ports in Windows.

Many computer users try their best to enhance the security of their laptops and desktop computers and do a lot of stuff to secure their systems so that no one can go through their personal pieces of stuff. Data-stealing is always being a big concern. Mostly data is being stolen by USB ports using external hard drives, pen drives, memory cards and other USB removable media.

Well, below you will see the 3 basic methods to lock USB port with the password of a desktop computer or laptop in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 8.

Disable / Enable USB Ports in Windows PC With a Software

disable USB PortsUSB Port Locked –  a portable software to disable all USB ports in a single click. This USB port locker software will help you to secure your PC from unauthorized access of USB ports. You can simply lock or unlock your system’s USB ports.

This software needs not to be installed on your machine, hence it’s a portable software.

The awesome feature of this USB Port application is; it does not lock your Printer’s USB port on which port your printer’s USB cable is connected. This application is 100% free and safe. To download this USB locker app, you do need to register yourself anywhere to use it.

This app is a free tool as doesn’t need to go for pro and it’s the best app I have ever used to restrict USB ports.

Block / Unblock  USB Ports Using Windows Registry

If you are little tech savvy, then disabling USB port using regedit can be an alternative way for you to lock USB devices.

Look upon below steps to restrict USB removal media with registry editing methods.

1. Press Window Key + R to open RUN box.

2. Type regedit and hit enter to launch the Windows Registry Editor.

3. Navigate to the following registry path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesUSBSTOR

4. From the right panel, double-click on Start Dword key. See below screenshot:

lock usb ports

5. Replace the default value data (3) to 4 and click OK.

Now it’s done. Close the registry editor and restart your machine to effect the changes.

To rollback the settings to default to access USB ports again, follow the same steps again and enter 3 in the Value Data box in step 5.

Try this trick yourself to protect your PC from data theft and malware & virus that spread through USB devices while transferring the data.

The above trick to disable USB port via registry only works when USB storage device is already installed on your system.

Note: There is one disadvantage of this trick is, it also disables the other peripherals and accessories that are connected via USB cables. So it is recommended to not use this method in case if you have a USB powered keyboard and mouse.

Write Protected USB Drive in Windows PC With Registry

If you just want to restrict only writing to USB devices, you can try the following trick to write protected USB media.

1. Navigate to following registry path.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrent Control SetControlStorageDevicePolicies

2. Right click on the right blank area and Create a new DWORD key.

3. Name the DWORD as WriteProtect and set its value to 1.

Close the registry editor and restart your computer to make changes.

Restrict Use of  USB Ports With Explorer Trick

If the USB storage devices are not installed on your computer, then below method will work perfectly to lockdown USB ports with group policy.

1. Press Window Key + R to open RUN box.

2. Type %windir%inf and press Enter button. This command will open inf folder.

3. Look for following two files below:

  • usbstor.inf
  • usbstor.pnf

4. Change the user permission settings of both files. Follow the below steps on both files one by one.

  • Right click on usbstor.inf and click on Properties.
  • Go to Security tab and click on Edit to change permissions.
  • Select the user or group in Group or user names list for what you want to restrict USB storage devices.
  • In Permissions for Users list, select Deny check box next to Full control option. See below screenshot:

disable usb ports group policy

  • User permissions have been set to usbstor.inf, simply click on OK to apply settings.

5. Now repeat the above steps for usbstor.pnf respectively.

USB Ports are fully protected from being used for USB removable media devices like pen drives and memory cards. Now that user for what you have set the permissions will not be able to install or use any USB drive on your system.

Is this tutorial perfect for you or it is still missing something useful? What do you think? Do you know any other useful trick to disable USB ports on a Windows computer?

Lalit Sharma is a professional blogger at Elkees Media and writes blogs related to latest technology, culture, trends, etc. He is also founder & chairman of Elkees Technologies & ElkeesDeals.com

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