User Query: Hi everyone, I am an accountant at a big corporation. And since data breaches have become pretty common these days, all the employees are asked to disable/block USB ports of their systems, in order to prevent any data theft or loss. I am not a technically sound person and thus, I am not clear on how to execute this. Therefore, if anyone could provide any methods ( manual or automated ) on how to disable USB ports for external drives, I would highly appreciate it. Thank you in advance.
We have drafted this technical write-up to guide users on how to disable USB ports for external drives. Whether you are a high-level employee in a big company who possesses confidential data on their desktop/device or you're just another regular user who wants to take precautionary measures to avoid personal and sensitive data loss. This article is meant to provide solutions to each profile.
In this article, we have shared both manual and automated options for you to utilize according to your requirement. We also share why every user must know how to disable the USB ports to prevent any unauthorized access to your crucial data in your absence.
Before we jump ahead to the methods, let’s discuss the necessity of knowing how to disable USB ports and why users should disable USB ports for external drives.
Why You Should Disable USB Ports for External Drives
There are various reasons to block USB ports of your computer or laptop for external drives. Some of them are explained below.
To Prevent Data Theft
Data theft through connecting an external USB drive to a computer and transferring all the data in the drive is a problem faced by numerous users. To prevent such pitfalls, you must know how to disable USB ports in order to save yourself from any data theft in your absence.
To Avoid Spywares
If you have heard of cyberattacks such as keyloggers and other Spyware. Then, you must know how vicious it is to have someone install a malicious script on your device. This injected script keeps providing all the data and information of the user to the hacker.
To Avoid Getting Malware
Malware such as ransomware and trojans can be easily passed into your computer through an unauthorized USB. These types of malicious software infect your computer and steal your vital information.
These were some of the reasons you should know so that you don’t leave your USB ports enabled for any unauthorized access in your absence. It's time to move on to the process of disabling USB ports.
Methods To Block USB Ports
Here, we will share two ways to disable USB ports for external hard drives with you. One is manual whereas the other method is an automated solution. Choose either according to your requirement.
Let’s start with the manual method first. Before we proceed any further, know that using the manual technique might be lengthy for some users. To use the said method, one must have at least basic to medium technical knowledge. If you wish to avoid the hassle of going with a manual method then, feel free to skip straight to the automated solution.
How to Disable USB Ports for External Drives Using Manual Approach
This manual technique includes using the device manager on your computer to disable the ports. To carry out this method, follow the instructions given below.
- Right-click on the Windows Icon on your taskbar.
- Select Device Manager.
- In the opened menu, select the USB (Universal Serial Bus Controllers) option and Expand it.
- Next, select each USB port and right-click on it.
- Select the Disable Device option.
- Restart your computer to apply changes.
An easy and simple manual approach that you can use. However, it has certain drawbacks that hold it back from being the top user-preferred choice. Let’s see what they are.
Limitations Of The Manual Technique:
- It is quite a lengthy process to perform. Hence, users try to avoid it.
- If you wish to enable the USB ports again, you have to manually repeat the process.
- You would have to make sure any employee doesn’t change back the commands to “enable” again.
- These methods don't come with a password-protection feature.
All these drawbacks make the manual method a tedious and burdensome process. Therefore, if you wish to skip all the repetition and tiring steps, check out how you can disable USB ports for external drives with an automated solution.
How to Disable USB Ports For External Drives Using Professional Tool
Escape the mundane nature of the manual method and carry out the task with a professional tool. One great recommendation is the USB Blocker by SysTools. It is compatible with any version of the Windows Operating System (e.g. Win7, Win8, Win10, and Windows 11). Download it for free and block unauthorized USB access on multiple computers.
Moreover, it is password protected i.e. it provides you with user credentials. You can only block/unblock if you have the correct username and password. In addition to that, it has a rich and interactive user interface. Therefore, even a non-technical person can use the software without any problem. This tried and tested tool works on multiple machines. The admin (who has the user credentials) can control the blocking/unblocking of the USB ports according to requirement.
Steps to Disable USB Ports with a Professional Solution
1. Enter your email address and Validate it.
2. Create a Master Password.
3. Head into the Block tab of the software window.
4. Click on the Block button. Enter the Master Password to block.
5. You will get a popup confirmation of successful blocking.
That’s all the steps you need to take to disable USB ports for external drives. Yes, it is that simple to execute.
It is extremely necessary to know how to disable USB ports for external drives. This prevents sensitive data loss, theft and transfer. Disabling USB devices ensures that no unauthorized USB access can be done in your absence. In this article, we provided you with two methods: manual and automated. Use either according to your requirements.