How to enable USB write protection in Windows 10

In this article, we'll show you how to edit the registry and enable the write protection feature in the Windows 10 to prevent users from saving data to a USB drive.

  1. Use the Win + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run dialog window.
  2. Type regedit and click OK to open the Windows 10 registry.
  3. Browse to the following path:
  4. Right-click on the Control key and select New, then click on Key.
  5. Name the new key StorageDevicePolicies and then press Enter.
  6. Select the newly created key and right-click on the right side panel. Select New then select either:
    • DWORD (32-bit) for 32-bit Operating System
    • DWORD (64-bit) for 64-bit Operating System
  7. Name the new DWORD WriteProtect and press Enter.
  8. Double click the newly created DWORD and change the value from 0 to 1
  9. Click OK.
  10. Close the Registy to complete the task.

Once these steps are completed, anyone who connects a USB drive to your Windows 10 system will be denied copy privileges, and they will get a "This disk is write-protected" message.

If you wish to allow anyone to write to a USB drive, simply reverse the DWORD value in step 8 from 1 to 0.

WARNING: Editing the registry is risky and it can cause damage to your installation. It is best practice to take a full backup of your Windows 10 system before proceeding.

If you don't want to edit the registry yourself, I have created a .reg for your convenience. Simple download the Windows 10 Set USB Protection registy file. Once downloaded double click the file and select Yes if prompted.