How often have you witnessed blocked Pen drive or USB drive access in your workplace or college or school? I believe many times; in fact, every time you try to use the USB drive, you are not allowed, simply because the administrator has disabled USB drive detection on your Windows 10/8/7 system. Again, how often has your data been stolen because someone connected an unauthorized USB to your computer and copied your files? Well, you don’t need to worry because the solution to disable or enable USB Ports is pretty simple.
Restrict access to USB drives
There are several ways an administrator can prevent using of USB Drives:
- Altering the Registry values for USB Mass Storage Devices.
- Disabling USB Ports from Device Manager.
- By Uninstalling the USB Mass Storage Drivers
- Using Command line
- Using third-party freeware
- Using Microsoft Fix It.
Lets us look at how we can fix these problems and enable USB on a Windows PC.
1] Enable, Disable USB Drives & Mass Storage Devices using Registry
If the administrator is smart, then he would definitely do this to ensure a tight blockade. He would alter the settings through regedit command on Run console. Now how do you unlock it? You have to go right into where the administrator has been. Here is how.
- Go to Start > Run, type “regedit” and press enter to open the registry editor
- Navigate to the following key
In the right pane, select Start and change the value to 3. (The value 4 will disable USB Storage). Click OK. This will re-enable USB Ports and allow you to use USB or Pen drives.
2] Disable USB Ports from Device Manager
If you still don’t find your USB drive working, you may have to look into the Device Manager. The Administrator could have possibly disabled the USB port here. Check out for any possibility in the Device Manager and enable the disabled port by right-clicking on the selected one and click Enable or Disable, as per your requirement.
Read: How to check Power Output of a USB Port on Windows 10.
3] Uninstall USB Mass Storage Drivers
If the authorities are really worried about security in the school, they will take the extreme step of uninstalling the USB Mass Storage Drivers. To make things work, just install the device drivers. Here is how you do it.
As when you plug-in your USB drive, Windows will check for drivers, if not found Windows will prompt you to install the driver. This would definitely unlock the Pen drive at your School or office.
4] Using Command line
To enable or disable CD/DVD ROM Drives, open an elevated command prompt window, type the following, and hit Enter.
reg add HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom /t REG_DWORD /v "Start" /d 4 /f
You will get The operation completed successfully message. This will disable the DVD CD Drive.
To enable it, use:
reg add HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom /t REG_DWORD /v "Start" /d 1 /f
Restart your Windows PC.
5] Use USB Drive Disabler/Enabler
You can download and use a free tool USB Drive Disabler/Enabler which will allow you to easily enable or disable USB drives on your Windows computer. www.intelliadmin.com to download it.
6] Prevent users from connecting USB
If a USB storage device is already installed on your Windows computer, you can edit the Windows Registry to ensure sure that the USB does not work when anyone connects it to the PC, using this Microsoft Fix it 50061 [This has been taken down by Microsoft now]. Check first if it applies to your version of the Windows operating system.
Please let us know if you have any questions or observations.