Virus blocked USB ports – what to do

A rather common problem – you connect a USB flash drive to your computer but can’t open it because of an access error. There is a possibility that a virus has blocked the USB ports and you need to try more than one way to eliminate the “malfunction”.

But sometimes the reason for the ports not working is the accumulation of static charge. In this case turning off the PC for 5-10 minutes will help. If this does not give a result, then you should continue reading the article.

USB port is blocked

Treatment with CureIt

Viruses are getting better every day. And protection applications are not always able to detect them. If you have any suspicions, I recommend to perform a full system scan with an installed anti-virus or use the free Dr Web CureIt utility. I have repeatedly written about it when I told you about methods of removing various virus threats.

  • You need download Dr.Web Cureit software;
  • There is no need to install it – the utility is portable;
  • After launching, select all the objects to be scanned:
Scanning USB flash drive with CureIt
  • When the scan finishes, click on the “Uninstall” button and restart your PC.

These simple steps can remove 99.9% of Trojans, worms and other varieties of viruses from disks (including USB flash drive).

Alternatively, you can also try RogueKiller, AdwCleaner и KVRT. The last listed program is effective in fighting viruses that close the browser when you try to download antivirus.

But eliminating the cause does not always get rid of the consequences. Therefore, you need to check a few more options.

BIOS configuration

Some malicious scripts are capable of changing not only system, but also hardware settings. Let’s check if the USB ports are disabled in the BIOS.

  • After turning on the computer, press Del or F2 , to enter the “Setup” menu.
  • Find the items related to the ports (USB Controller) and make sure that the options are “On” or “Enabled”. If they are not, change them to the specified ones.
  • Save the changes and exit (Save & Exit).
What to do if a malware has blocked the USB ports on your PC: these are the ways everyone must know

Editing the registry

If the ports for external drives stopped functioning, probably they have been disabled by registry editor. How to enable them?

  • Run the utility regedit via the runtime console by pressing Win + R :

  • Go to the following path (the list of partitions can be found on the left):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ USBSTOR

  • Now look on the right side of the window and find parameter Start. It must be set to “3” for the USB ports to work. If it is a 4 then change it to a 3 and restart your PC.
Changing USBSTOR

Virus blocking ports – check the hardware manager

It often happens that a virus deactivates the device and you can run it in the manager. To check this option should:

  • Open “Control Panel”and go to the appropriate section:
Control panel window with the highlighted item
  • When the list loads, you need to open the tab “USB Controllers” and make sure that there is no black arrow near the names of the items in the list (it indicates a disabled state).
Device Manager - USB controllers tab
  • Select the “not working” port and in the context menu, click on the item “Engage”.
  • Restart your PC.

Sometimes the cause of the problem is the removable device itself or “buggy” chipset drivers. Try to connect another flash drive to the PC and update the software.

Making changes in the Group Policy Editor

Ubiquitous viruses can get to this Windows configuration program as well.

Remember when I detailed the key features of gpedit in one of my articles?

Here’s what we need to do:

  • Open the runtime console using the Win + R combination and type the command:


  • Go to the path:

PC Configuration / Admin Templates / System / Access to removable devices

  • On the right side you need to find option “Deny read removable drives” and deactivate it (choose “Disable”):

gpedit editor window - setting the ban on the use of external drives

I am sure you have fixed the problem with the ports and you can now use USB sticks again. If you still have questions, feel free to contact me in the comments. I will try to help everyone!

12.04.2019 14:05 17066

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