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Disable Write Access to Removable Disks in Windows 10

How to Disable Write Access to Removable Disks in Windows 10

By default in Windows 10 every user can write files and folders to all removable storage devices they connect to the computer. The user can also delete or modify any file stored on a removable drive. Windows 10 includes an option to disable write access to all removable disks for all users.

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Windows 10 includes a special Group Policy that, when enabled, denies write Access to Removable disks. If you enable this policy setting, write access is denied to all removable storage devices. This doesn't affect BitLocker protected storage.

If you need to apply a restriction and prevent users from having write access to removable drives, Windows 10 offers you at least two methods, a Group Policy option, and a Group Policy Registry tweak. The first method can be used in editions of Windows 10 that come with the Local Group Policy Editor app. If you are running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education edition, then the Local Group Policy Editor app is available in the OS out of the box. Windows 10 Home users can apply a Registry tweak. Let's review these methods.

To Disable Write Access to Removable Disks in Windows 10,

  1. Open the Local Group Policy editor app, or launch it for all users except Administrator, or for a specif user.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Removable Storage Access on the left.
  3. On the right, find the policy setting Removable Disks: Deny write Access.Disable Write Access To Removable Disks In Windows 10 Step 1
  4. Double-click on it and set the policy to Enabled.Disable Write Access To Removable Disks In Windows 10 Step 2

You are done. If someone tries to write on a removable drive, the operation will fail with the Destination Folder Access Denied message.Destination Folder Access Denied Message

Tip: See How to Reset All Local Group Policy Settings at once in Windows 10.

Now, let's see how the same can be done with a Registry tweak.

Disable Write Access to Removable Disks with a Registry Tweak

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\RemovableStorageDevices\{53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}. Tip: See how to jump to the desired Registry key with one click. If you do not have such a key, then just create it.
  3. Here, create a new 32-bit DWORD value Deny_Write. Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows, you still need to use a 32-bit DWORD as the value type.
  4. Set it to 1 to disable the write access.Disable Write Access To Removable Disks In Windows 10 Tweak
  5. Delete it or set it to 0 to restore defaults.
  6. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, restart Windows 10.

Interested users can download the ready-to-use Registry files:

Download Registry Files

The undo tweak is included.

Tip: You can try to enable GpEdit.msc in Windows 10 Home.

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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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