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How to block and prevent the use of external USB flash drives on your Windows 10 computer

1 Mins read

When you lend your computer for use by someone else, it’s always a good idea to be careful with everything that can be put into it. For example, a common source of viruses and junk files may come from external USB drives or hard drives, which easily connect to your computer via a USB port.

If you are connected to a network, there are some policies in Windows that prohibit such devices, but if you are using the device outside of a network range, there is a more simple trick to block the use of external USB flash drives on your device.

To perform this aforementioned task, you will need to make a change to the system registry. Therefore, it is recommended to create a restore point or make a copy of your important files before proceeding with the procedure. Moreover, it must be said that the procedure is easily reversible in case you wish to roll it back, as shown below.

How to block the use of external USB flash drives in Windows on your computer

To perform this operation, as well as other deep modifications to the system, you must have an account with administrator rights. Check out how to proceed:

  1. Press the “Win + R” keys together to open the “Run” window and enter the command: regedit. press “Enter”;

2. From the menu on the left side of the screen, go to this path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ USBSTOR:

3. Double click on “Start”:

4. Change the value to “4” and click OK:

5. Restart your computer.

After your device restarts, when you connect an external USB device or hard drive, you won’t be able to access it through File Explorer in Windows. It should be noted that such a change can also affect some cell phones, which sometimes identify themselves as an external storage device.

To bring this setting back, all you have to do is re-access the same registry and change its value back to “3”, not under any circumstances delete the original registry as this will cause you problems within the system.

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