- The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an extremely popular computer hardware interface introduced sometime in 1995 to provide computer users with a way of attaching secondary hardware devices that capitalize on the Plug-and-Play functionality of the Operating System. By 1997, almost every new computer system that rolled out of the assembly line was equipped with a USB port which was already supported as early as the Microsoft Windows 98 Operating System platform and has since then replaced all other connectivity standards. One USB port allows for the connection of literally hundreds of interchangeable devices like keyboards, modems, joysticks, mouse pointing devices, printers, external storage, digital cameras, and scanners among others. The presence of the USB port boosted the popularity of Plug-and-Play and has been closely associated with the term hot swappable which referenced devices that can be connected and disconnected without requiring the computer system to be turned off or rebooted.
You may need to disable the USB ports on a computer to prevent anyone from using any USB devices with a computer. In work environments, disabling USB ports can help prevent any USB drives being connected to a computer, which could be used to steal company information or infect that computer and potentially other computers on the network with viruses or other malware.
There are 4 ways an administrator can prevent using of USB Drives
- Altering registry values for USB Mass Storage Devices.
- DisablingÂ USB PortsÂ from Device Manager.
- Using third-party software.
- Using BIOS.
Using any of this methods USB are disabled then you can enable it using below methods..
1.Â EnableÂ or Disable USB Drives and Mass Storage Devices using Registry
The steps below only disable any USB storage device run starting (e.g. flash drive). USB devices like the keyboard and mouse will still work.
Go to Start > Run , type â€œregeditâ€Â and press enter to open the registry editor
- Navigate to the following key
In the right pane, select Start and change the value to 3 (3 for enable USB storage). (The value 4 will disable USB Storage). Click OK. This will re-enable USB Ports and allow you to use USB or Pen drives.
2. DisableÂ USB PortsÂ from Device Manager
If you stillÂ donâ€™t find your USB drive working,Â you may have to look into the Device Manager. The Administrator could have possibly disabled the USB port here. Check out for any possibility in the Device Manager and enable the disabled port by right clicking on selected one and click Enable.
- Â Go to Start > Run , type â€œdevmgmt.mscâ€Â and press enter to open the Device Manager.
- Expand Universal Serial Bus Controller and find that any is disabled then enable it by right click.
3. Use USB Drive Disabler / Enabler
You can download and use a free tool USB Drive Disabler / EnablerÂ which will allow you to easily enable or disable USB drives on your Windows computer.4. Disable the USB ports through BIOS setup
- Enter the BIOS setup (Turn on the computer. -> Wait for a message saying 'Entering Set-up' after a few seconds once you have turned it on. -> you may also need to enter a key or a combination of keys to be able to enter BIOS. Usually, a function key such as F10 is used to be able to access it, but that still varies among computers. Sometimes, it may even be the DEL key or ESC key.).
- Once in the BIOS setup check the menus for an option to enable or disable the onboard USB ports.
- Make sure all USB and Legacy USB Support is disabled or off.
- Once the changes are made save and exit. Typically this is the F10 key.
- After the computer has rebooted, check the USB ports to make sure they have been disabled.
using above way we can enable or disable USB.
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