How do I lock my stick

Windows: Lock the USB stick on the PC


USB sticks and hard drives are a good thing in and of themselves. In some cases, however, there is a preference for blocking the memory and preventing confidential data from being copied from the computer. This also prevents viruses from reaching the computer via the USB stick. We show you how it works.

The USB interface on the computer is a security risk if several people have access to the PC. Because USB sticks or USB hard drives are often not only used for viruses. The door and gate are also open to data theft. In this guide, we are going to show you how to block USB storage from being used in Windows.

The way to lock the USB stick in Windows is via the registry database. A key and a value must be added there to block the use of USB sticks and USB hard drives. After the USB storage device has been blocked, it is neither possible to copy data from the stick to the computer, nor can third parties steal data by hijacking personal information from the Windows computer to the USB storage device. If you just want to prevent data theft, you will find instructions on netzwelt on how to revoke write access from the USB stick.

Block USB storage on Windows computer

Before making changes in the Windows registry editor, you should back up the registry database. You can read how to do this in this article on netzwelt.

  • Start the registry editor by clicking the start button, entering "regedit" in the search field and then pressing the [Enter] key.
  • On the right side of the editor window you will find the key tree. Navigate to the following location by opening the key by clicking on the small triangle in front of it: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" → "SOFTWARE" → "Policies" → "Microsoft" → "Windows". Right-click on the "Windows" key and select "New" → "Key" in the context menu.
    • This creates a new entry under Windows that you name "RemovableStorageDevices".
    • Click again with the left mouse button on the newly created key. Then add an entry in the right part of the editor window. To do this, right-click on the white area and select "New" → "DWORD value (32-bit)" from the context menu.
  • Name the new DWORD value "Deny_all" and then double-click it with the left mouse button. In the editing window, change the value from "0" to "1" and confirm your entry by clicking the "OK" button.

    If you want to enable access to the USB storage device again later, change the value from "1" to "0" again.

    • Close the registry editor and restart the PC. You can now connect a USB stick or a USB hard drive. This also appears as a removable disk in Windows Explorer. But as soon as you want to open the removable disk with one click, you will receive a message that the access has been denied.
    • Although connected USB storage devices are blocked, you can still connect your smartphone, charge the battery and access the portable device.

    In these instructions on netzwelt you will learn how to use "TrueCrypt" to encrypt your confidential data on the USB stick and thereby ensure more data security.

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