If you are looking for a way to prevent the use of USB Storage Drives on your computer, you will find below different methods to Disable USB Storage Devices in Windows 10.
Disable USB Storage Devices in Windows 10
USB Drives rank among the top sources for spread of malware and viruses on Windows computers.
Hence, the use of USB Drives can sometimes be disabled at places of work, in order to cut down the risk of company computers being infected with viruses.
Similarly, parents can consider disabling USB Drives on Home computers to prevent the chances of Home computers being infected with malware.
Another popular reason for disabling the use of USB Storage Devices on a computer is to prevent others from copying files from your computer.
1. Disable USB Storage Devices Using Group Policy
If you are using the Profession version of Windows 10, you can disable the use of USB Storage Drives on your computer both at User and Machine Level using Group Policy Editor.
1. Open Run Command > type gpedit.msc in Run Command windows and click on OK.
2. On Local Group Policy Editor screen, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.
3. Select Removable Storage Access in the left-pane. In the right-pane, double-click on Removable Disks: Deny Read Access entry.
4. On the next screen, select Disabled option > click on Apply & OK to save this setting.
This will apply the policy at Machine Level, preventing all Users on your computer from Reading files located on USB Storage Drives.
Similarly, you can disable Write Access for all Users by enabling Removable Disks: Deny Write Access Policy.
If you only want to Apply the policy at User Level, navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access.
Note: It is important to apply Removable Disks: Deny Execute Access policy, if your intention is to prevent any malicious code in the USB Drive from running on your computer.
2. Change Security Settings for usbstor.PNF
If you are using Windows 10 Home Edition, you can disable the use of USB Storage Devices on your computer by changing security settings for usbstor.PNF file.
1. Using File Explorer, navigate to C:\Windows\INF folder on your computer. You can also access this location by typing “C:\windows\INF” in the search box.
2. In the INF Folder, right-click on usbstor.PNF File and click on Properties.
3. On INF Properties screen, click on the Security tab > select Users and click on the Edit button.
4. On usbstor.PNF permissions screen, check the Deny box located next to “Full Control” entry.
4. Click on Apply & OK to apply this change on your computer.
Note: You also need to Add the System Account to Deny List, using the same steps.
3. Disable USB Storage Devices Using Registry
If the USB Storage Device has already been used on your computer, you need to make changes in the registry file to prevent its use on your computer.
1. Open Run Command > type regedit in the Run command window and click on OK.
2. On Registry Editor screen, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR
3. Click on USBSTOR in the left-pane. In the right-pane, double-click on the Start entry.
4. On Edit DWORD pop-up, change the Value data from 3 to 4 and click OK .
5. Restart your computer for this change to Apply.
Note: This method works only if the driver for USB Storage Device is already installed on your computer.