Earlier I had showed you ways to make USB storage devices read-only to protect others from copying your data. Now if you’d rather completely disable USB storage devices from being detected in Windows, without disabling keyboard, mouse, printer, and other USB devices, this post will help you achieve that.
Disable USB Storage Devices using Group Policy Editor
By default, Group Policy does not provide an option to disable USB removable devices, however, we can add such an option using a custom ADM template. Download disable usb storage Administrative Template, or if you want to create it yourself, head over to Microsoft support.
When you have the ADM template ready, import it to your existing Group Policy Objects:
- Open Local Group Policy Editor by typing in
gpedit.mscin Windows Run dialog (Win + R key).
- In GPE, right-click on Administrative Templates under Computer Configuration and select ‘Add/Remove Templates’.
- Click on ‘Add’, and browse to the .adm file and select it.
- Close the dialog to import template.
- Now navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Classic Administrative Templates (ADM) > Custom Policy Settings > Restrict Drives, and you should be able to see four options:
- Disable USB Drives
- Disable CDROM
- Disable Floppy
- Disable High Capacity Floppy
Disable USB Storage Devices using Registry Editor
- Open Windows Run dialog by pressing Win + R keys together.
- Type in
regeditand press Enter to open Windows Registry Editor.
- Now navigate to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR
- In the right pane, double-click on “Start” DWORD value and change its value from
4. If the dword “Start” doesn’t exist, create it.
- Close the registry editor and plug in any USB storage device to check.
Software to Disable USB Storage Devices
Here are some free software that can disable USB storage devices without you having to mess with the Registry or Group Policy.