Disable write access for USB drives

Copy Protect data from USB drives

Copying data using USB drives at the work place can be a major security concern. Copying data to USB drives can be disabled via a simple registry tweak. For this tweak to work in Windows XP, you need to at least have SP2 installed.

  • Open the registry editor by going to Start > Run and typing ‘regedit‘.
  • Open the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies” key. If the key does not exist, create it by going to “Edit > New > Key“.
  • Right-click on the right pane and select “New > DWORD Value” or “DWORD Value (32 Bit)“. Name the entry “WriteProtect“.
  • Open the new entry and set it’s value to “1“. Restart your computer for the copy-protection to take effect.

To re-allow write access for USB drives, just change the value of the “WriteProtect” entry to “0“.

2 Comments

  1. Bruno Simões says:

    Very nice tip. Good way to protect my USB drivers from virus, right ? or virus do not take in account that option ? Does it work also in Windows Vista ?

    1. Ellimist says:

      The registry tweak renders the drive un-writable to one and everything.

      And yes, this should work in Windows Vista too.