These days disabling USB port has became a necessity in internet cafes, corporate offices, schools and other institutions. The basic reason behind all this is that USB ports are quite vulnerable and pose a serious security threat as using these ports mischievous students, employees, users can just plug-in their flash devices, external hard disks, or any other media storage and copy licensed softwares, confidential business data, exam papers, etc within seconds to their mass storage devices or else can copy viruses, Trojan and other malware to your computer. So today in this tutorial I am going to guide you on how to enable or disable USB Ports using various methods depending on your requirement.
In this article I will be sharing five methods with you to enable or disable USB Ports. You need to choose the method based on your operating system and requirement.
Method 1: Enable or Disable Write Access to Mass Storage from USB Port
This method is very useful if you want that users at your computer to be able to access USB Keyboards, USB Mouse, Digital Camcorders, Scanners, and Printers. However at the same time you want your computer to be secure so that no one should be able to copy data from your computer to any mass storage device.
This could be achieved by making your USB Drive read only, so that data could not be written to mass storage device. Please follow below steps:
- Go to Start Panel.
- Select Run.
- Type “regedit” in the run window and hit Enter key.
- Windows Registry Editor will be opened.
- Now on the Left Side of Registry Editor you will be able to see “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” Folder.
- Open following folder:
- Now right click on the screen and add a new DWORD called WriteProtect and put the value as 0 to disable the write privilege to the USE port
- Likewise for enabling USB Port put the value as 1 or else simply delete the WriteProtect REG_DWORD.
So this was all about how to enable and disable usb port using write protection. Please note that this trick works for Windows XP SP2 only.
Method 2: Enable or Disable USB Ports in Windows
This method is useful if you want that users should not be able to read or write any device connected to the USB Ports. Please note that this could lead to be counter-productiveness as users would not be even able to connect to USB Printers, Scanners, Keyboard or Mouse.
Please follow below steps:
- Go to Start Panel.
- Select Run. Else you could also use a shortcut to Run Window simply by pressing Windows key+ R.
- Type “regedit” in the run window and hit Enter key. Windows Registry Editor will be opened.
- Now on the Left Hand Pane of Registry Editor you will be able to see “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” Folder.
- Open the folder named:
- Now on the right hand pane do a right click on the registry.
- Then select Start option.
- Now choose the modify option.
- Now if you need to enable the USB ports then you must change the value of the file from 4 to 3.
- Whereas to disable the USB ports you must change the value from 3 to 4.
Method 3: Enable or Disable USB Ports from BIOS
This method is useful for those users who do not have Windows Operating System. Please follow below given step-by-step procedure to enable or disable ports from BIOS.
- Turn On your computer.
- As soon as booting starts in your computer, go to BIOS Settings.
- Look for the option that allows you to disable USB ports.
- Now disable USB Ports.
- If you want to enable then simply change the settings to enable USB Ports.
Please make sure that you add a BIOS password to protect it from any further modification. Also please note that the BIOS interface depends on the manufacturer of your motherboard so navigation pattern might differ.
Method 4: Enable or Disable USB Ports using Device Manager
In this method you would be able to enable or disable USB Port using Device Manager. Please follow below given step-by-step procedure:
- Go to Control Panel, and Select Device Manager.
- If you are not able to find Device Manager using above step then you could simply right click the “My Computer” icon on desktop.
- Select Device Manage option.
- Now go to USB Devices in the right panel
- Now right click on the device and choose disable or enable as per your requirement.
Method 5: Enable or Disable USB Ports using Softwares or Tools
This method is recommended for those lazy users who want to use a hassle free approach to enable or disable USB Ports. There are a number of tools available on internet which would allow you to disable USB ports just at the click of your mouse button. Example: USB Port Locked, Makesoft USB Manager.
Personally I feel that Makesoft USB Manager is best to suit all your requirements. Moreover the best thing is that its absolutely free. After installation Makesoft USB Manager stays in your system tray. You can disable any device simply by using the tool from your system tray. All you have to do is to just run the tool and click on the devices that you wish to enable or disable. You can also password protest this tool to prevent any unauthorized access.
Please download this tool from here “Download Makesoft USB Manager”
So this was all about how to enable or disable USB ports. Please share your feedback, suggestions, issues or concerns in the comment section below.