Prevent use of USB flash drives with WIndows 7

I have a standalone Windows 7 Professional machine and need to prevent users from copying data from it.  

It is used on a Standard user login, and I have an Administrator login for it.

How can I prevent USB flash drives from being used on the machine?

Is it possible to prevent CDs/DVDs from being burned?
LVL 11
Who is Participating?
You can actually set a local group policy that will configure this a bit more gracefully than a manual registry edit:

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Removable Storage Access

You can potentially enable All Removable Storage classes: Deny all access, or if you want to retain a bit of flexibility, enable Removable Disks: Deny write access.
R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
this might help.
be careful it's an old article.
On-Demand: Securing Your Wi-Fi for Summer Travel

Traveling this summer?Check out our on-demand webinar to learn about the importance of Wi-Fi security and 3 easy measures you can start taking immediately to protect your private data while using public Wi-Fi. Follow us today to learn more!

To block your computer's ability to use USB Removable Disks follow these steps:

1.Open Registry Editor.
2.In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\USBSTOR1.Locate the following value (DWORD):
Start and give it a value of 4. Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you're supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

1.Close Registry Editor. You do not need to reboot the computer for changes to apply
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
You can block all access to removable media (CD, USB, etc.) using local policies ...

Start, type in gpedit.msc, then:
Computer Configuration (or Users Configuration), Windows Settings, Administrative Templates, System, Removable Storage Access
R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
here's an article on how to do it in server 2008 I don't have access to a windows 7 machine right now to test if it's compatible but will try it soon.
R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
just tested Run5k's and it's a much better method than the previous articles.

PowerEdgeTech's tech is the same with a minor mistake in the gp path just remove "(or Users Configuration), Windows Settings"
PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
(or Users Configuration) was there on purpose, as an optional course.  If you follow the same path under Users Configuration, you can set the policies per user rather than global per machine.  Probably not helpful on a single machine, but if implementing in a Domain environment, Users Configuration will allow you to block/allow access per user group rather than the entire machine, just in case there are individuals (like administrators) who should retain access.  But yes, I forgot to remove 'Windows Settings'.
To expand upon PowerEdgeTech's good advice, if you want to configure local group policies that only affect non-administrators that is certainly possible, but it requires a few extra configuration steps:

How to Apply Local Group Policies to All Users Except Administrators

Explore the benefits of the Multiple Local Group Policy feature in Windows 7
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.