In Windows 10, it is possible to enable write protection on USB mass storage devices. Once enabled, it will restrict write access to external USB drives. This can be useful as an additional security option in some environments. Let's see how it can be done.
You can enable USB write protection in Windows 10 with a simple Registry tweak. Do it as follows.
Enable USB write protection in Windows 10
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key:
Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
- Create a new subkey here named StorageDevicePolicies as shown below:
- Under the StorageDevicePolicies subkey, create a new 32-bit DWORD value named WriteProtect. Set its value data to 1. Note: even if you are running a 64-bit Windows 10 version, you still need to create the 32-bit DWORD value.
See the following screenshot:
- Reconnect all USB drives if you have connected them to your PC.
Once you set the WriteProtect value to 1 and reconnect USB drives, the restriction takes effect immediately. All newly connected USB drives will become read-only. Even "New" and "Delete" context menu commands will disappear:
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To disable the restriction and restore the default behavior, you need to remove the WriteProtect value.
To save your time, I prepared the following ready-to-use Registry files:
The undo file is included.
Alternatively, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It has the appropriate option under the Behavior category:
You can get the app here: Download Winaero Tweaker.
This trick works on Windows XP Service Pack, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 as well.