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How to Disable USB Ports to Prevent Malware Infection

If you have been working in IT for any length of time, then you’ve no doubt learned that the number one way to prevent malware infection on the computers in your organization is to avoid plugging unknown USB devices into your computer’s ports. Here are five ways you can disable USB ports on your computer to prevent malware infection. 


There are many ways for malware to infect your computer. One of the most common methods is through a USB port. You can disable your USB ports so that you can protect against this type of malware. Follow these steps:  

  1. Click on the Start button and then go to Control Panel 
  2. Select System and Security from the list on the left side of the window, then select Administrative Tools 
  3. Find Device Manager in the list of options, and then double-click it 
  4. Double-click Universal Serial Bus Controllers 
  5. Right-click each device listed under Universal Serial Bus controllers, one at a time 
  6. Choose Properties 
  7. Select ‘Disable’
  8. Click OK 
Methods for Disabling USB Ports 

If you are running Windows XP, then you can disable USB ports from the Device Manager. To do this: 

  1. Click Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System. The System Properties window opens.  
  2. In the left pane, click the Hardware tab, then under Devices by type, click Universal Serial Bus Controllers. The Universal Serial Bus Controller Properties dialog box opens. 
  3. Under Device status, select Disable. Click OK and restart your PC when prompted. 
Pros and Cons of Disabling USB Ports 
  1. Look for the appropriate setting in your BIOS and disable it.  
  2. Change the boot order of your computer so that you can only boot from a CD or DVD.  
  3. Set up a password on your BIOS if you haven’t already done so.  
  4. Install antivirus software on all devices to prevent malware infection and have it set to scan removable storage devices before they are accessed by the operating system, such as when they are connected via USB cable or attached by Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection.  
  5. Install an anti-malware program that is compatible with whatever operating system you use (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux). 

To disable the ports, you need to go into the Device Manager by right-clicking on My Computer and then selecting Manage. In there, click on Universal Serial Bus controllers, which will open a new window with all of your connected devices. There should be a little arrow next to each device that you can click on. Simply select the Disable option from the drop-down menu and then confirm your choice by clicking OK. The ports are now disabled and you won’t have to worry about unknowingly installing malware from an unknown source again. 


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