How to Deny Access to Removable Storage Devices in Windows 11

This post show students and new users steps to disable or enable access to removable storage drives in Windows 11. A USB or removable storage drive is a common way of transferring files from one computer to another easily.

Removable storage devices can also be used to infect computers with malware and viruses. In highly secured environments, most people disable the use of external storage devices in Windows.

By design, Windows allows users to read and write to removable storage devices they connect to their computers.

If you want to enhance your device’s security by disabling access to removeable storage devices, you can use the steps below to control that.

If access to removeable devices is denied in Windows and you want to re-enable or allow to write to removeable storage devices, then use the steps below as well.

How to enable or disable access to removeable storage devices in Windows 11

As mentioned above, Windows allows users to read and write to removable storage devices they connect to their computers by default.

Below is how to control that in Windows 11.

To control access to removeable storage devices in Windows, open Local Group Policy Editor by clicking on the Start menu and searching for Edit group policy as highlighted below.

Under Best match, select Edit group policy to launch Local Group Policy Editor.

windows 11 open local group policy

In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, expand the tree: 

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access

In the Removable Storage Access details pane on the right, locate and double-click the setting All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access.

deny access to removable storage windows 11

In the All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access setting window, set the option to Enabled.

all removable storage classes enabled

Select OK.

Close Local Group Policy Editor.

If All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access is enabled and you want to disable it via the Local Group Policy Editor, then go to the policy path below:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access

Locate and double click on All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access settings, then set the option to Not configured.

windows 11 not configured all removable storage 1

That should do it!

Other removable devices posts for Windows 11:

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to disable or enable removeable storage devices in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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