Prevent copying of files to USB drive

There are times when you want to prevent others from copying your data but you still need them to be able to view it on your computer. The following tip will help you do exactly that.

As always it is the registry that comes to your rescue. Open the Registry Editor by typing regedit in RUN (WIN+R) dialog (more keyboard shortcuts). Go to th key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

Protect files from being copied to USB device, registry key

Create a new DWORD named WriteProtect (Right Click on right pane and select New»DWORD). Edit the value and make it 1. Just restart Windows explorer and you are done. Next time somebody tries to copy data to the external storage device they will see

Can't copy to Mass storage device error
If you need to copy something just make the stored value of WriteProtect to 0

**Tips : to restart Windows Explorer take Shutdown. Click Cancel while holding down SHIFT+CTRL+ALT, this will close Windows Explorer. Now take TASK MANAGER by pressing ALT+CTRL+DEL take File>>New Task>> [ explorer ] and press Enter. **

Comments

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Posted in Windows
38 comments on “Prevent copying of files to USB drive
  1. Ashish says:

    For USB copy protection use Esecurity4all Non-Copyable USBs. I found their protection to be the strongest one. Their website is http://www.esecurity4all.com

  2. Ashish says:

    Try using Non-Copyable USBs from Esecurity4all.com
    You will get the best copy protection for your pendrives, SD cards, micro SD cards, TF cards, External Hard disks, etc at a very reasonable rates.
    See details here http://www.esecurity4all.com

  3. Saleh Ahmed says:

    how to do this process to a specific user?

  4. Sameer says:

    Hello,
    I have a requirement where users should able to copy data from pen drive to laptop/desktop, but could NOT be able to copy data from Laptop/desktop to USB drive.
    In addition this port should be open for all other devices, like cam, headphones, printers etc.
    Please let me know if it is possible. Users can have Win XP operating system

  5. Satish says:

    plz help me

    In my office we are using USB mouse,and usb printer connection some people are using pen drives on that port, i need to stop to transfer data, but that port should work for usb mouse or printer connection, how to solve it on windows xp.

  6. this didn’t worked for windows 7.

  7. Chintan Shah says:

    Hi Does this method will also restrict files being burnt on a cd, or from one drive to the other? I just have one drive on my comp, thus unable to check.

    Also will this limit us from using a USB printer?

    U wrote it in 2008, it does work on xp7 have tried it, but have u recently found a better way of doing it. Can we have a password for this, rather than using “0″,s and “1″ .. coz we need to use the usb quite some time..

  8. Jayesh says:

    Hi,
    I want security like this…
    Owner is able to copy/paste/delete file from PC but when other user comes and try to to delete something OR copy data to USB OR copy data from USB to PC then it’s not permitted to do so.

    Anyone have idea?

    Thanks
    Jayesh

  9. Ajith says:

    Right now, I do not have any clue on how to do it. I am trying to find it :(

  10. Deepak says:

    This will prevent people from copying files from HDD to USB. But i want that users is not able to do copying files from USB to HDD. Can You Help me for this ……..

  11. superbuch says:

    can we make a file un-copy-able?

    if yes how?

  12. Ajith says:

    Hi Iqbal,
    Thanks a lot for visiting my blog man. I have tried the above mentioned trick on Vista and seems to work. So it would probably work with Windows7. Also there is an application named “Prevent” that can be used to prevent copying to USB drives. It works with Win7. I haven’t used the application. I will test the trick on Win7 in a couple of days and leave you a reply.

  13. Iqbal says:

    Hi Ajith, think your amazing mate! My problem is that I want to try this in Windows 7, will the instructions you gave still be the same? Thank you.

  14. Ajith says:

    I’ll check soon and reply.

  15. Sandy says:

    Hi,

    i would like to know if this works in vista, because I tried it and I don’t know if I did something wrong or if It doesn’t work in vista.
    Thank you for your time

  16. Ajith says:

    Hi Roger,
    The files from USB can be copied to the HDD. The second thing can’t exactly be done using the default XP utilities. yOu might need some other software to do so. Because you can lock reading a file. And copying is similar to reading.

  17. Roger says:

    Hi Ajith,

    This will prevent people from copying files from HDD to USB. But can files from USB be copied to HDD?

    And is there anyway that you know of that prevents people from copying a certain files only (only allows them to view from the pc).

  18. Ajith says:

    Hi Jo2xflash,

    thanks for coming to my blog. Please subscribe to the full RSS feed [http://www.exnol.com/feed] so that you can read the future posts right at your desktop.

  19. jon2xflash says:

    thanks you helped me alot. god bless you
    i have solved my problem with my roommate that keeps copying my privatefile from my machine

  20. Ajith says:

    Hector,

    you can create these Keys on your own. Also try creating the key under HKCU instead of HKLM

  21. Hector says:

    Hi.. I have Windows XP but when I open the Registry Editor cannot find the StorageDevicePolicies folder; although the others (e.g. system resources) are shown. Any comments on how to avoid someone to copy my files to a DVD and/or USB? ..
    Thanks…

  22. Ajith says:

    Please put your real email if you like to get replies to your mail also

  23. Ajith says:

    Hi G O please try the method mentioned here

    http://www.exnol.com/windows/get-access-to-all-folders-in-windows-like-linux

    You can also use this method to prevent access to a folder… Please contact me if you have any problem with this method

  24. G.O says:

    can we apply this to individual folders?

  25. G.O says:

    any lock on vista (no pun intended); should work tho’ since vista is just an XP SP4 – my hdd is basically a server for all the lazy guys who come to rip me off my hard day’s job downloading all kinds of stuff.

  26. Ajith says:

    Hi Rajat.. ;) Can you send me some screen shots of errors shown when you try to sopy something from USB. Send them to ajithonly at gmail.com

  27. rajat says:

    ajith,you are supercool mate.My problem is that somebody has restricted copying of files from my dvd drive and from usb drives.please help me .

  28. Ajith says:

    Well Anand it is real hard to find out something for 2000. I couldn’t even get my hands on one 2000 machine yet… sorry

  29. S Anand says:

    Dear Ajith: Any Luck? Tried few tricks it did not work.

    Regards, Anand

  30. S Anand says:

    Hi Ajith: Just following on the Win2K disabling?

  31. S Anand says:

    Hi Ajith:

    any Luck?

  32. Ajith says:

    Hi Anand..
    Good news and bad news..

    I found a way.. but I couldn’t try it on any Win 2000 system..

    The method is through management of removable devices.. I will post about it tomorrow..

  33. S Anand says:

    Hello Ajith: Any good news!

  34. Anand says:

    Hi Ajith,

    Thanks for the quick reply, i will await your response with respect to win2k tweaking.

    Regards, Anand

  35. Ajith says:

    Hi Anand,
    thanks for the comment. I haven’t seen a system with Windows 2000 in ages since I am a student. So I do not have a clear cut solution.
    Although I tried searching.. I couldn’t find it.
    But, I will try to get you an answer by this week. So don’t be disappointed.
    BTW please try the following method I had posted earlier.
    Setting Access permission to folders in Windows – Linux style

  36. Anand says:

    Hi, this key works fine in XP PRO, but how do i make this work in windows2000 professional

  37. Ajith says:

    Hi Vishwa,
    as far as data copying is concerned I cannot tell any specific ways. The only thing practical is disable USB from hardware manager. Or there is an option to disable drives from registry. Please read this to know how to prevent access to drives in Registry.

  38. vishwa says:

    You helped me a lot through this code, Could you please tell me the thing that how can i prevent copy even from the USB.

    Thnx

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