Your PC ("Personal Computer") Is named as such for a very good reason. Apart from utilizing It to navigate around the net, It's basically a storage device for all your personal data- usernames & passwords, family photos, sensitive documents and so forth. And all this Information Is stored on It's hard disk, which means that anyone with physical or remote access, can obtain It. Well, you can prevent anyone from accessing your hard drives and partitions, and I'll show you exactly how It's done.
Sure, you can set a local user account password on your Windows 10 operating system, but this can easily be circumvented within a few minutes. Moreover, what If you've booted your computer and left It unattended for a certain duration, perhaps at work? Or you've clicked on what appeared to be an Innocent link on the net, but unbeknownst to you, an attacker has just gained remote access to your PC?
In this tutorial, I shall demonstrate how to prevent access to either selected hard disk drives, or each and every disk, Inclusive of USB devices such as flash drives and/or external HDDs. To achieve this, I will be using the Group Policy Editor. Do note that the GPE Is only available In Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. So let's begin.
To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, type "gpedit.msc" (no quotes) and hit "OK".
Next, navigate to the following directory:
"User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer".
On the right pane, double-click on "Prevent access to drives from My Computer".
On the left-hand side, click on the "Enabled" radio button, and you will see a list of drives In the drop-down menu. For the purpose of this guide, I will prevent access to my C Drive by selecting "Restrict C drive only". Click "OK" for the change to take effect.
I've now attempted to access my operating system (C Drive), however the following message was received, which Is exactly what I wanted.
But what about the other drives, partitions and removable media? Go back to Step Three above, and this time select "Restrict all drives". Don't forget to click "OK".
I've now tried to view the contents In both my partition and USB flash drive, to no avail. Awesome results! To go back to It's previous state, simply select the "Not Configured" radio button In the above step.
There are countless methods to restrict access to your disk drives and partitions, such as encrypting with BitLocker and setting a password thereafter, but If you're looking for a quick and easy way, this will serve your needs very well Indeed. The good thing about the Group Policy Editor, Is that the changes take effect Immediately, without the need to reboot your PC.