When leaving your computer to be used by another person, it is always good to exercise caution with everything that can be put into it. For example, a common source of viruses and unwanted files may come from external USB drives or hard drives, which are easily connected to the machine through a USB port.
If you are on a network, there are even certain policies in Windows to block such devices, but if you use the machine outside a domain, there is an even simpler trick to achieving this result. Here’s how to block the use of external USB flash drives on your machine.
To perform this task mentioned above you will need to make a change to a system registry. Therefore, it is recommended that you create a restore point or make a copy of your important files before proceeding with the procedure.
Furthermore, it must be said that the procedure can be easily reversed, as explained below.
How to lock external USB flash drives in Windows
To perform the process, as well as other deep modifications to the system, you must have an account with administrator privileges. Check how to proceed:
- Press the “Win + R” keys together to open the “Run” window and enter the command: regedit. Press “Enter”;
- From the menu that is located on the left side of the screen, navigate to this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ UsbStor;
- Double click on “Start”;
- Change the current value to “4” and click “Ok”;
- Restart the computer.
After rebooting your machine, when you connect an external USB stick or HDD, you will not be able to access it through Windows’s “File Explorer”. It is worth remembering that such a change can also affect some cell phones, which sometimes identify themselves as an external storage device.
To revert this setting, all you have to do is re-access this same record and change its value back to “3”, not deleting the original record under any circumstances as this will cause you problems within the system.
Ready! Now, you already know how to block the use of USB storage devices on your computer to make it safer when being used by others.
If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!