Methods to Enable or Disable USB Drives or Ports in Windows

How to Enable or Disable USB Drives or Ports in Windows

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Oct 16, 2020 • Filed to: USB Recovery • Proven solutions

0

Sometimes it becomes indispensable to disable your USB ports to keep it protected from the harmful material and people, as you may need to share your laptop or PC with someone and that can be dangerous. The data files in the system can be corrupted if any harmful device is injected into it. To avoid such vulnerabilities, we have discussed various methods to enable/disable the USB ports on your system. We have also discussed recovering the lost data from external devices like USB drives, SD cards, etc. using Wondershare Recoverit. The lost data can be recovered easily by following simple steps.

Why do you need to disable the USB ports or drives?

1. Protect important data from unauthorized employees:

USB or any other portable device can lead to data theft or the introduction of harmful viruses when it is used in an unsupervised way in the network. Organizations, sometimes overlook the threats that may be posed by the USB drives, where a single USB device can collapse the entire network.

USB devices, unlike other online services like email, etc., are a blind spot for businesses. Disgruntled employees can exploit this spot by injecting any harmful device onto the system that carries viruses and can also steal important and confidential information.

2. Unauthentic devices can wreak havoc in the organization:

Unidentified USB devices can create havoc in the network. As the database of an organization contains confidential information about employees and other features of the organization. To save all this information and confidential data, organizations should take precautionary measures to disable such unauthentic USB drives.

3. Data Loss

These aforementioned issues can be resolved by controlling the USB devices in the organization. Organizations can protect their data by disabling such unauthentic devices. Use USB enabler/disabler

You can also seek help from the third-party software tools/applications to enable/disable the USB ports or drives on your system, like the Wondershare Recoverit Data Recovery tool.

Causes of data loss and solutions

Data files saved on the USB flash drive can be lost due to several reasons listed below:

  1. Data can be lost accidentally by deletion or if the device contained data is lost.
  2. One possible reason could be formatting the USB device without making a backup.
  3. The USB device can be damaged or broken, and hence the data is lost.
  4. Data can be lost if you have improperly ejected or removed the USB device from the computer.
  5. A USB device can be infected with the viruses which can cause data loss.

How to enable or disable USB Drives or Ports in Windows 10

A salient feature in the Windows is to enable/disable the USB ports. This feature can be used in Windows 10 too to enable/disable the USB ports.

Sometimes we may need to share our system with any other person which can be vulnerable to viruses. He/she might inject any infected or malicious drive that can infect and damage our system and can harm the data files contained in the system or more severely can steal our data too. To secure our system against such situations and attacks, disable the USB ports proves to be a very good solution to secure our system from viruses and any other vulnerabilities.

We can enable back these USB ports using different methods like registry editor, device manager, and any other third-party applications.

In the following sections, we will see how to enable/disable USB ports in Windows 10.

1. Enable/Disable USB ports using the Registry editor

USB ports can be enabled/disabled using the registry editor by following the steps mentioned below:

In the first step, you have to go to the Start menu and then open Run dialog box or Press "Window + R" combination to directly open the RUN window.

Then type "regedit.exe" and then click on enter to open the Registry Editor as shown in the figure below.

Run Dialog Box

Registry Editor Window will be launched, now Navigate to the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > USBSTOR

registry editor window

Now you have to click on the start option to open the "Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value" Window.

opening start file

After pressing Start, you have to change the "value data" field to ‘4’ to disable the USB Drives or Ports and then click on OK, as depicted in the figure below. Once done USB drives and ports on your system will be disabled.

change value data

To enable back the USB Ports or Drives, change this data value to 3 and then click on OK, as depicted in the figure below. Once done USB drives and ports on your system will be enabled back.

change value 3

You can restart your system to check the applied effects.

2. Enable/Disable USB Ports using Device Manager

You can also enable/disable your USB ports using the Device Manager.

  1. In the first step, you have to launch the Start menu and then type Device Manager. Click on Device Manager or open it using the shortcut keys combination "Windows + X", click on device manager
  2. Once the device manager is launched, you have to click on the Universal Serial Bus Controllers and there you will see different device options available in it as depicted in the figure below.

universal serial bus controllers

Right-click on the USB 3.0 (or any other mentioned device in your PC), and then click on Disable device to make the USB ports and drives disabled on your system., as depicted in the figure shown below.

disable device

Right-click on the USB 3.0 (or any other mentioned device in your PC), and then click on Enable device to make the USB ports and drives enabled on your system., as depicted in the figure shown below.

3. Disable/Enable USB ports by uninstalling USB Mass Storage Drivers

A system can be protected from malicious users on a high scale like in school, office, etc., by uninstalling USB Mass Storage Drivers. You can just uninstall these drivers and when anyone would try to plug in the USB drive then Windows will prompt him/her to install the USB drivers. Later on, you can install the drivers back to make the things work (USB devices detected) again.

4. Disable/enable USB ports in BIOS

Some vendors provide an option in BIOS/UEFI to enable or disable the USB ports on the system. Boot into the BIOS.UEFL to check if such an option or feature is available on your system. You can check the user manual of your PC to see if the feature to enable or disable the USB ports is available in the BIOS.

5. Disallow Users to Connecting USB

Use one or more of the following methods to block users from connecting to USB storage devices, as appropriate for your case.

If there is no USB storage device already installed on your computer

If a USB storage device isn't already installed on the computer, assign Deny permissions to the following files to the user or group and the local SYSTEM account :

Users can not install a USB storage device to the computer when you do this. To assign Deny permissions for the files Usbstor.pnf and Usbstor.inf to an individual or group, follow these steps:

  1. Start Windows Explorer and find the %SystemRoot%\Inf folder.
  2. Right-click on the file in Usbstor.pnf, then press Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Add the user or group you want to set Deny permissions to in the Group or UserNames list.
  5. Click to pick the Reject checkbox next to Complete Access in the UserName or GroupName Permissions column.

Note In the Deny list, also add the System account.

  1. Select the SYSTEM account in the list of groups or Usernames.
  2. Click on the Deny check box next to Full Control in the UserName or GroupName Permissions list, and then click OK.
  3. Right-click file Usbstor.inf, then click on Properties.
  4. Click on the Security tab.
  5. Add the user or group you want to set Deny permissions to in the Group or User Names list.
  6. Click to pick the Reject checkbox next to Full Control in the UserName or GroupName Permissions list.
  7. Select the SYSTEM account in the list of Group or UserNames.
  8. Click on the Deny check box next to Full Control in the UserName or GroupName Permissions list, and then click OK.

6.  Disconnect USB

It is impossible to disconnect all the USB ports from the motherboard; all you can do is to disconnect those exist on the top and front of the computer by plugging out the cable from the USB header. Disconnecting these ports prevents people from miscuing them. You can disallow USB by changing group policies, third-party applications/tools are also available for disabling USB ports on Windows 10, i.e., SysTools USB blocker and USB block, etc.


Recover Data from External Devices using Wondershare Recoverit

Wondershare Recoverit is a tool to retrieve the lost data from the device by following easy steps. It offers effective solutions to recover files from a crashed computer, USB device or Windows, etc. Here we will discuss the steps to recover data easily from the USB drives using Wondershare Recoverit.

Step 1 Connect the USB drive to the Computer:

In the first step, you have to connect the USB drive to the PC, from which you want data to be recovered. Make sure this device should be detected/recognized.

1. Select the external device

First, you have to select the device from where you want to recover the files and then click on the "Start" button to proceed.

external drive recovery

2. Scan the device

The all-around scan will be launched on the external storage media for a few minutes.

scan external drive

Step 2:  Preview and recover files

Wondershare Recoverit supports to preview different types of files like photos, images, video, and music, etc. You can preview the files to confirm them once the scanning is done.

Step 3:  To retrieve back the lost data, click on "Recover" and then save them into another secure location.

It is recommended to save the recovered data to the location other than the location from where you have recovered it.

preview recovered file


Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1. How do I enable USB ports blocked by the administrator?

These USB ports can be unlocked by:

How do I unlock a USB drive?

Following are the solutions to unlock the USB drive:

Why did my USB ports stop working?

Can Wondershare Recoverit fix USB data loss?

Yes, Wondershare Recoverit is a reliable tool to recover the lost data from external devices like USB, SD cards, and memory cards, etc.

Recoverit author

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

(Click to rate this post)

Generally rated4.5(105participated)

Home > Resources > USB Recovery > How to Enable or Disable USB Drives or Ports in Windows