How to hide and block access to hard drives in a Windows computer

How to hide and block access to hard drives in a Windows computer
How to hide and block access to hard drives in a Windows computer
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You have sensitive data on your computer. Under the Windows operating system, it is possible to secure data by blocking its access or making it invisible to users of accounts without administrator rights.

Steps

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Step 1. Access the window

Go to To start up. Open the dialog Execute. You can directly access Execute with the keyboard shortcut Windows + R. In the window, enter gpedit.msc, then click Enter.

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Step 2. Open the window

A new window opens titled Group Policy. In the left part, open the folder User Configuration, then the folder Administrative Templates, managing the project Windows Components and finally Windows Explorer.

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Step 3. Hide the data

In the right part of the window, find in the list Hide these specified drives in My Computer, double-click on it. A window opens, check Enable, then in the gray area open the drop-down menu Restrict all drives. Select the drive you want to hide and then press the button. To apply and finally on OK.

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Step 4. Block access to the data

In the right part of the window, find in the list Prevent access to drives from My Computer, double-click on it. A window opens, check Enable, then in the gray area open the drop-down menu Restrict all drives. Select the drive you want to block, then click the button To apply and finally on OK.

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Step 5. Close the window

Now you can close the window Group Policy by clicking on the red button with a white cross at the top right.

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Step 6. Restart the computer

For the changes to take effect, close all your current documents and applications and click on To restart.

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Step 7. Check in Explorer

Check in the file explorer if the choices you have made have been taken into account.

Advice

  • If you do not want to hide a hard drive, but just prevent access to the hard drive, use only option Prevent access to drives from My Computer.
  • You are free to choose the option (s) Prevent access to drives from My Computer and Hide these specified drives in My Computer that you want to apply for your hard drives. Configure according to your preferences.
  • If you prefer to make a hard drive invisible in This PC, but make it accessible by going through File Explorer, you will need to use the option Hide these specified drives in My Computer.

Warnings

  • You may need to download first Gpedit.msc, because it becomes common not to find it on computers anymore. You can retrieve it, here: Gpedit, you will have to click on the link Download Group Policy Editor Installer. Once the.Zip folder is on your computer, unzip it. Then under C: \ Windows, go to the folder SysWoW64 and check that you have the files GroupPolicy and GroupPolicyUsers, as well as the file Gpedit.msc. Normally, the three of them are already present. Do the same check in the folder System32. If one of the elements is missing (often just the file Gpedit.msc), copy the one in the folder SysWoW64 and paste it in the folder System32.
  • Remember that any user who has administrator rights on the computer can change the settings. Do not expect absolute security.
  • When you hide a disk using the option Hide these specified drives in My Computer, know that it is always possible to access it by searching for the drive through the dialog box Execute. On the other hand, by applying the disk lock, no one will be able to access it with an account without administrator rights.

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