How to Block Read/Write Access to USB or CD Drive on Windows 11/10?

With Windows 10, if a USB or other compatible port is available on the computer, users can connect removable storage devices (such as USB flash drives, external hard drives, and different mass storage devices) to access or export data. Although it is common to use removable drives, there may be times when you want to restrict access to these types of devices. For example, you may want to disable access to prevent users from connecting third-party devices containing malware that can harm the computer or make installing applications from unknown sources difficult.

Or, if the device is storing sensitive data, disabling read and write access to removable storage devices can help lock down the system to prevent users from copying certain information, improving security even if the data store on the net. Once you complete the steps, Windows 10 will deny access to removable storage classes, including USB flash drives, USB external hard drives, physical disks (for example, CDs and DVDs), and other storage included in the removable storage class.

This risewindows article will guide you with two methods to disable read and write access to USB or CD Drive in Windows 11/10. The same method will work for all the versions of the Windows operating systems.

How to Block Read/Write Access to USB or CD Drive using Local Group Policy Editor?

Note: gpedit.msc is not a part of any Windows Home edition operating systems. You can use the alternate method if your Windows does not support Local Group Policy Editor.

Step 1. Firstly, open the Local Group Policy Editor.

For that, call the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys on the keyboard. Then, in the Run box, type gpedit.msc and hit Enter from the keyboard.

Local-2BGroup-2BPolicy-2BEditor

Step 2. Now, when the Local Group Policy Editor window opens, navigate to the following path from the left sidebar:-

You can only apply the policy to the current user using the above path. If you want to apply the procedure for all user accounts, then browse the following path in the Local Group Policy Editor window:-

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access

Step 3. Then, on both paths, you will find a policy on the right-side pane, “Removable Disks: Deny read access.” According to your needs, you can navigate to the correct path. Then double-click the policy name, “Removable Disks: Deny read access.”

Step 4. After that, click Apply.

Step 5. Next, click OK.

Step 6. Finally, restart your computer to apply the policy.

How to Block Read/Write Access to USB or CD Drive through Registry Editor?

Registry editor is another method that you can use to block read/write access to a USB or CD drive. You need to perform the following steps:-

Step 1. Firstly, press the Windows + R to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Now, type the following and hit Enter from the keyboard to open the Registry Editor window:-

Regedit-in-Windows-11-Run-box

Registry-2BEditor

Step 3. Navigate to the following key from the left side pane of Registry Editor:-

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

If you want to block access to removable devices for all user’s accounts, browse to this key instead:-

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Step 4. After that, you need to create a new key under “Windows.” To do that, right-click on the “Windows” folder in the left side pane and select New > Key. Name the new key as RemovableStorageDevices.

Step 5. Next, right-click on the RemovableStorageDevices key on the left side, and select New > Key. Name this new key as {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}.

Quick Note: {53f5630d-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} is GUID of the generic USB storage device. To block CD/DVD access, type the GUID {53f56308-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b} instead.

Step 6. Now, right-click on an empty area on the right side pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it as Deny_Read.

Step 7. Then, double-click on the Deny_Read to modify it. Set its “Value data” to “1.”

Step 8. So, click OK.

Step 9. Finally, close the registry editor and reboot your computer to apply the changes.

Once you complete either procedure, when you connect a USB drive to your computer and try to open it, you will see, “Location is not available. Access is denied.”

That’s it for the article.

I hope it will be helpful to you, friends.

You guys are amazing; Keep reading, learning, and growing.

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