If you want to add an additional security layer to removable drives, then you can use this detailed tutorial on how to enable removable drive write protection in Windows 10.
Windows 10 is one of the most reliable versions of the Windows OS. The Microsoft developed are still working hard on building new features to make PC and Laptops more secure and protect your sensitive data from unknown users.
One can protect your sensitive data from unknown hands with a password or by setting up a very strong PIN, but still, a user with physical access to your PC or laptop can steal your personal data.
When you insert any removable drive to Windows 10 PC, you can read and write files to it except the drive is BitLocker-To-Go encrypted or the removable drive has a hardware lock switch to avoid writing to it.
Enable Removable Drive Write Protection in Windows 10 using Settings App
In the previous builds of Windows 10, the company included a hidden USB write protection feature for an unknown reason, and it blocks users from connecting a USB drive and copying any data from your PC which can be enabled using Registry tweak.
Start with Windows 10 Insider Preview build 15014, the company has added official options to the GUI that let you enable the same functionality just with the help of my toggle switch. So here is what you need to do:
1. Launch the Windows 10 Settings app. For that, Press WIN + I hotkeys
2. Click on the Settings -> Update & security.
3. On the right pane, look for “Removeable devices” option which reads “Let users save files to removable drives that are not protected by BitLocker“.
By default, this feature is disabled, and when it is off, then system block all users of the computer from writing files to removable drives.
Enable Removable Drive Write Protection in Windows 10 using Registry Editor
In case, you’re on the previous build of Windows 10, then can use following registry tweak to enable the same. Here is what you need to do:
1. Launch the Registry Editor. For that type “regedit” in the Start menu search bar and when regedit RUN command appears in the search result, then click to RUN it.
When UAC Screen appear, Click Yes to continue.
2. In Registry Editor, Navigate to the following key:
3. Under Control key, create new subkey and name it “StorageDevicePolicies” just like shown in the following screenshot:
4. Under StorageDevicePolicies subkey, create 32-bit DWORD value and name it WriteProtect and set its Value Date to 1.
Note: If you’re running a 64-bit edition of Windows 10, still you need to create 32-bit DWORD value.
5. If you have already connected any Removeable devices, the eject and insert them again.
When you have made all the settings just like discussed and set the WriteProtect value to 1 and reconnect removable drives, the restriction will take effect instantly.
From now onward when you connect all the removable devices they will become read-only. Even this will also hide the New and Delete option from the context menu.
USB write protection feature in Windows 10 is a really useful security feature that will provide additional security to the environment. Now it’s your turn to try this feature and let me know in the comments if you find it useful of no.