Disabling Writing to USB Storage Devices to Combat Data Theft

In my previous post, I’ve talked about disabling your USB ports to prevent data theft when you are not around. By disabling the USB ports, any USB storage media like USB pen drive and external hard drive will not be detected by Windows but still allowing your USB mouse and keyboard to function.

Other than disabling USB ports, you can try another method which is disabling the write access to USB storage devices. By doing this, you make the USB storage devices read-only. You can read the file from the USB drive but you can’t copy any files into it. There are two ways to disable the write access. One is by implementing the registry hack manually and second is by using a software. Using a software is easier and less tedious than searching through the registry area.

ThumbScrew : USB Write Blocker

Thumbscrew is a freeware Windows application that allows you to quickly enable or disable writing to all USB storage devices. This light weight tool stay in your system tray and have two icons to indicate whether or one USB storage devices are set to be read only :

Disable Write Access to USB Storage Devices

Here is the Windows error message upon copy attempt:

Disable Write Access to USB Storage Devices

Download ThumbScrew Now | 233KB

Steve Yu is a technology blogger with five years blogging experience (since 2007). He is the founder of MyTechQuest.com.


  1. Aseem Kishore

    May 16, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Wow, I had never even heard of this before! That’s sweet man! Thanks for the info!

  2. Madhur Kapoor

    May 18, 2008 at 2:12 am

    This will really come in handy

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  4. hanep

    May 19, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    comes handy to me. hey, i want to post this at my blog. will give credits to you. thanks!!!!

  5. Steve Yu

    May 20, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Aseem Kishore , Madhur Kapoor > Glad both of you found this useful. :D

    Hanep > A link love is cool. Thanks.

  6. abhishek

    May 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    i would also like to mention about this utility…will give u a a link back…i hope u don’t have any problem on that if yes then let me know.

  7. Steve Yu

    May 23, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    abhishek > go ahead, I have no problem with that. :D

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  10. Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed

    June 2, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Appreciate your efforts.
    thank you very much.

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  13. Julian

    November 3, 2008 at 8:45 pm

    Virustotal gives it a 4/33..4 antiviruses found it infected
    CAT-QuickHeal 9.50 2008.06.18 I-Worm.Sohanad.fa
    eSafe 2008.06.18 suspicious Trojan/Worm
    Ikarus T3. 2008.06.18 Worm.Win32.AutoIt.d
    NOD32v2 3197 2008.06.18 archive damaged

    please confirm that it is okay, as it sounds like a very useful tool

  14. Tom

    March 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    It doesn’t work when I click on the link it takes me here and this is what I get thanks for nothing
    No reference to Thumb screw at below site

    Uhhhm… It ain’t there dude.
    It could be you got this 404, 403 or 401 because of hotlink protections, try visiting the main site:


    If you still have issues email Irongeek.

  15. Dude

    June 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    It’s much easier with just downloading this software (www.utilsforge.com/medialocker/) and click a button.

  16. yakob

    December 7, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    this features may come handy at cyber cafe i think..

  17. toby

    January 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    wow! all the tools that i have downloaded and installed don’t work. but this app surely make my jaw drop. AWESOME!!

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