Disable Access to All Removable Storage Devices in Windows 10

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By default, Windows 10 automatically mounts a removable drive like USB Flash drive you have connected to the computer. Users can read and write data to the drives. Windows 10 comes with a storage policy that allows you to deny access to all removable drives, and prevent users from writing or reading files and folders for a removable drive. Here's how to configure the policy.

When you connect a removable drive, you can read as well as write files to it unless the drive is encrypted by BitLocker-To-Go or if the drive has a hardware lock switch to prevent writing to it. However, Windows provides a way to control the removable storage access policy.

This restriction can be activated with either a Group Policy option or a Registry tweak. The Local Group Policy Editor is available in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. All editions can use the Registry tweak method.

You must be signed in with an administrative account to continue.

To disable access to all removable storage devices in Windows 10, do the following.

  1. Download the following ZIP archive: Download ZIP archive.
  2. Extract its contents to any folder. You can place the files directly to the Desktop.
  3. Unblock the files.
  4. Double click on the Disable Access To All Removable Storage Devices.reg
    file to merge it.
  5. To apply the changes you made, restart Windows 10.

You are done!

To undo the change, use the provided file Enable Access To All Removable Storage Devices.reg. Don't forget to restart the OS after merging it.

How it works

The Registry files above modify the Registry branch


Tip: See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

To disable access to all removable devices in Windows 10, create a new 32-bit DWORD value Deny_All under the mentioned path and set its value data to 1. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.

Supported values:

  • Deny_All = 1 - disable installation of removable drives.
  • Deny_All = 0 - installation of removable drives is enabled. This is the default value.

If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, you can use the Local Group Policy Editor app to configure the options mentioned above with a GUI.

Disable Installation of Removable Devices using gpedit.msc

  1. Press Win + R keys together on your keyboard and type:

    Press Enter.

  2. Group Policy Editor will open. Go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Removable Storage Access. Enable the policy option All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access.
  3. Restart the computer.

That's it.

See the following articles:

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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