Currently, the utilization of USB storage devices such as USB drive and external hard disk are very common and all new PCs or laptops are equip with USB ports. It is unsafe if we left our laptop or PC with USB ports enabled because bad intention people will try to steal your important data by copying into USB drive or other portable USB devices. The worst scenario is other people will import the viruses into your PC via their USB drives.
How to Lock and Disable USB Ports
There are two methods to stop people from copying and transferring data to your computer. First method is for novice Windows users and second method is for advanced Windows users who know how to edit the registry editor.
Method 1: Use Free USB Drive Disabler to disable and block USB ports
USB Drive Disabler is a free program that helps you to lock and disable USB ports easily. This free software will disable all USB storage devices from running on your computer. Don’t worry about your keyboard and mouse as they are still working fine even you have selected to disable the USB ports.
How to use USB Disabler
Firstly, run the program and click to select Disable USB Drives to disable USB ports or Enable USB Drives to enable back your USB ports. Although the program mentions that you need to reboot the computer after making the change, it actually takes effect as soon as you click Apply button. I have tried it and it works well without rebooting the computer.
Method 2: Block and disable all USB ports via Windows Registry Editor
This method actually works similarly with free USB drive disabler but it needs you to change the DWORD value in Windows registry. This method will work fine on all Windows operating systems such as Win XP, Vista, Win 7.
If you are not comfortable to edit Registry files, please use method 1 to block the USB ports.
How to disable and block USB ports via Windows Registry Editor
1) Click Start -> Run -> Type regedit and press Enter. For Windows 7 users, just click Start and type regedit
2) Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\UsbStor”
3) Click UsbStor registry key and double click on Start value.
4) Change the Value data to 4 to disable the USB ports. Click OK button and the change will take effect immediately.
5) When you want to enable the USB ports again, remember to change back the Value data to 3 again.
I believe by disabling the USB ports from your computer will reduce data theft happens and protect your important data being copied to other USB storage devices.