How to Enable or Disable Installation of Removable Devices on Windows 10, 8, and 7?

You know how you can install several removable devices on your computer. These devices can include those that transfer data, or some other type of input/output devices. You can use Group Policy to enable or disable access to removable storage devices on Windows machines. The issue, however, is that once Group Policy has been configured, it entirely enables or disables access to removable storage for external storage media. In other words, even your own external storage will not work if you disable access to detachable storage. Anyone with access to your computer can attach removable storage to it and copy data if you grant them access to removable storage.

But what will you do if you wish to allow the installation of your external storage media but forbid the installation of other storage media on your system? When initially linked to your system, Windows’ default configuration permits the installation of removable devices like USB flash drives, USB hard discs, etc. You can, however, implement a group policy setting to stop Windows from installing removable devices if you so choose. Your current detachable device drivers won’t be updated if you do this. However, the storage media for that driver is already installed on your computer, and will continue working; only new storage device drivers will not be installed, which means they will not work. In other words, we can say that users will still be able to use removable devices that have already been connected and installed before enabling the group policy.

It is possible to apply a policy on Windows 10, 8, and 7 machines to enable or disable the installation of removable devices. At least two known methods are available through which you can enforce a policy to enable or disable the installation of removable devices on your Windows 10, 8, and 7 computers. These are the following:-

  1. Using Local Group Policy Editor
  2. Via Registry Editor

How to Allow or Prevent Installation of Removable Devices using Local Group Policy Editor?

Step 1: First, open the Local Group Policy Editor on your computer.

Step 2: From the left side pane of the Local Group Policy Editor window, select the following path:-

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions

Step 3: On the right-side pane of “Device Installation Restrictions,” double-click on the policy that says “Prevent installation of removable devices” to open its settings.

Step 4: Click on Enabled radio button.

Step 5: Click on the Apply button.

Step 6: Click on the OK button.

Step 7: Restart your computer to implement the policy.

Installation of removable devices on your Windows computer is not permitted after you have finished the above steps. Additionally, the drivers for the current external devices won’t be upgraded.

Repeat all the above steps and go to the Not Configured option in step 4 in case you change your mind and allow removable devices on your Windows computer.

How to Allow or Prevent Installation of Removable Devices via Registry Editor?

Step 1: Go to the open the Registry Editor.

Step 2: Locate the following key on the left side of the Registry Editor window:-

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

Step 3: Go to New and then Key options by right-clicking on the Windows key. DeviceInstall should be set as the name.

Step 4: Right-click on the DeviceInstall key again and choose New, then Key. Mention its Restrictions.

Step 5: Right-click on a blank area of the Restrictions key’s right side pane, choose []keybtNew[/keybt], and then pick DWORD (32-bit) Value. DenyRemovableDevices should be its name.

Step 6: Double-click on DenyRemovableDevices to open it in the right-side pane.

Step 7: Enter the value shown below:-

  • 0 = Disabled
  • 1 = Enabled

Step 8: Click on OK.

Step 9: Close the Registry Editor.

Step 10: Restart your computer as the final step and apply the policy.

That is it.

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