Drive Access - Restrict or Unrestrict

ByLine
How to Restrict or Unrestrict Drive Access in Vista and Windows 7
Synopsis
This will show you how to restrict all access (open or save) to all content of a drive or combination of drives that you select for all users on the computer.
How to Restrict or Unrestrict Drive Access in Vista and Windows 7

information   Information
This will show you how to restrict all access (open or save) to all content of a drive or combination of drives that you select for all users on the computer.

All drives are set to be unrestricted by default in Vista and Windows 7.
Note   Note

  • When a drive is set as restricted, users can only browse through the drives directory in the Navigatoin Pane folder tree in Windows Explorer by clicking on the arrows to expand the folders. They will not be able to open a folder though in Windows Explorer. (See example below)
  • If you would also like to hide or unhide this drive(s) in Computer and Windows Explorer, then see: How to Hide or Unhide a Drive in Vista
warning   Warning
This will not prevent users from using 3rd party programs to access restricted local and network drives. It also does not prevent administrators from using Disk Management to view and change restricted drive characteristics.
EXAMPLE: Windows Explorer Computer with Navigation Pane
NOTE:
Even when the drive is set as restricted, it will still be displayed in Computer. All users will not be able to access it though. They can only view the directory in the Navigation Pane folder tree.

Computer.jpg
EXAMPLE: Displayed Error Message when a Drive is Restricted
NOTE:
This is the error message a user will get when they try to open or save (access) anything to a restricted drive.

Error_Message.jpg




METHOD ONE
Using the Local Group Policy Editor

NOTE: For more drive letter options, see the Method Three below.
1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.​
2. In the left pane, click on User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and Windows Explorer. (See screenshot below)​
Group_Policy.jpg

3. In the right pane, right click on Prevent access to drives from My Computer and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)​
4. To Unrestrict All Drives Access
A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5C)​
B) Go to step 6.​

5. To Restrict a Drive or Combination of Drives Access
A) Select (dot) Enabled. (See screenshot below step 5C)​
B) Click on the drop down arrow and select the drive or combination of drives option that you want to set as restricted. (See screenshot below step 5C)​
WARNING: Be careful of what you select. A restricted drive cannot be accessed by any users on the computer. This could be a problem if you need access to it.​
C) Click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
Properties.jpg

6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window. Your done.​





METHOD TWO
Using a REG File Download

NOTE: Which ever one REG file you choose to use, it will overide all of the others. For more drive letter options, see the Method Three below.
1. To Restrict A and B drives only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​
2. To Restrict C drive only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

3. To Restrict D drive only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

4. To Restrict A, B, and C drives only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

5. To Restrict A, B, C, and D drives only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

6. To Restrict All drives
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

7. To Unrestrict All drives (Do not restrict drives)
A) download

8. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.​
9. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.​
10. Click on Run, Continue (UAC-Vista) or Yes (Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
11. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.​
12. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply changes.​




METHOD THREE
Manually in Registry Editor

1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press Enter.​
2. If prompted by UAC, then click on the Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7).​
3. In regedit, navigate to the location below: (See screenshot below)​
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Reg1.jpg

4. To Restrict a Drive or Combination of Drives Access
A) In the right pane of Explorer, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type NoViewOnDrive and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
B) Right click on NoViewOnDrive and click on Modify.​
Reg2.jpg

C) Type in the drive option below in bold you want to set as restricted and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: You can also dot Decimal and use one of these numbers for the drive with that letter you want to Restrict: A=1, B=2, C=4, D=8, E=16, F=32, G=64, H=128, I=256, J=512, K=1024, L=2048, M=4096, N=8192, O=16384, P=32768, Q=65536, R=131072, S=262144, T=524288, U=1048576, V=2097152, W=4194304, X=8388608, Y=16777216, Z=33554432, All drives=67108863
For Example: I'm using 8 to Restrict D drive only.​
  • Restrict A and B drives only - type 3
  • Restrict C drive only - type 4
  • Restrict D drive only - type 8
  • Restrict A, B, and C drives only - type 7
  • Restrict A, B, C, and D drives only - type f
  • Restrict all drives - type 3ffffff
Modify.jpg

D) The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)​
Reg3.jpg

E) Go to step 6.​

5. To Unrestrict All drives (Do not restrict drives)
A) In the right pane of Explorer, right click on NoViewOnDrive and click on Delete. (See screenshot above)​
B) Click on Yes to confirm delete.​
6. Close regedit.​
7. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply changes.​
That's it,
Shawn


Related Tutorials


 
Last edited:
Shawn Brink

Comments

i do these for a administrator account it works fine but when changed it to standard user everything is locked automatically (3fffff).
could you please help me?
Tnanks
 
Hi Skhoshbinfar,

Welcome to Vista Forums. :party:

You will only be able to make these changes while logged on to an administrator account or while running regedit with Run as administrator and provide the administrator password in a Standard account.

Do you have access to the drives from the Standard account when you have them set as unrestricted from the administrator account?

Shawn
 
Hi Shawn
thnaks, when i run regedit through administrator account setting just for admin user appears which i st it before not for current standard user, so it remains with 3fffff so no drive could be opened!
 
Skhoshbinfar,

Since you have the Ultimate edition, try using Method One step 6 to unrestrict the drives. If it is already set to Not Configured, then dot Disabled and click Apply and dot Not Configured again and click OK to toggle it to reset the restriction settings.

Shawn
 
Hi,
My main problem is i gonna to set one user to access for example D drive and other dont. also pc has only one admin account. could you tell how to configure registry to do this job?
Tnx
 
Sorry Skhoshbinfar,

You cannot restrict a drive for one user using this method.

However, you can change the permission on the drive to deny permission to a user. Option One in this tutorial will show you how to. It is the same for a drive as a folder. Add the user (step 14) you want to restrict, and check all of the Deny boxes (step 18) instead of Allow.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/157304-folder-permissions.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
How does one change a drive's attribute from read only? I want to transfer some photos from my old computer to the new one and I have a USB cable that connects the two computers to do. But it tells me that the drive in question is read only. Thanks for any help. :D
 
Hi Loachdriver, and welcome to Vista Forums.

It will restrict all access to that partition completely. I would not advise doing so since it is the partition that Vista is on.

Instead, you can change the permission level for the other users to what you want them to be able to do on that partition.

1. Right click on Drive in Computer.
2. Click on Properties.
3. Click on Security tab.
4. Click on the Edit button under "Group or user names" section.
5. Click Continue for UAC prompt.
6. Click on the listed user that you want to restrict to select it.
7. Check the Permission items you want to Allow or Deny for that specific user.
WARNING: Do not restrict your account, or you will be locked out to.

8. Click OK.

You might test your settings with a newly created standard account before applying them to their use account to make sure that it is what you are wanting. You can use this as a guide for the above to help you out.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/157304-folder-permissions.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
i did each and every step mentioned here but all of `em were of no use at all nd getting the same error msg ,well i was using vista manager 1.57 to restrict the access but now i can't grant the access to my d drive ! Take a look at my attachments ,need some help fast !:sick:
 

Attachments

Hello J13, and welcome to Vista Forums.

I'm not sure what you mean by this "nd getting the same error msg". What does nd stand for, and what error message are you getting? If you are using the methods in this tutorial along with the ones in the program Vista Manager, then they may be conflicting with each other.

Did you use the unrestrict option in the METHOD that you used is this tutorial to unrestrict the D: drive again?

Shawn
 
I meant and getting the same error message ! ,as mentioned in the beginning of this topic, After all that hard work ...........i did the only thing i could do ...........restored my system to an earlier point ! any way thanks for the reply bro,;)


by the way you people have done a very awesome job in here after reading that tutorial i coudn't just go like that, without admiring that person who wrote it it was just superB
 
Ok, I see what you meant now J13. I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted out though. Thank you for posting back your results.

Shawn
 
i got the same problem now...when i follow folder permissions, there is no option there to unclick inherited something? help me please...
 
i followed the Method Three in this site: http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/155588-drive-access-restrict-unrestrict.html

and i restricted all my drives by typing and executing 3ffffff and very tricky and critical that my account also restricted though i am an administrator.

what happens is that im restricted to all my drives (c, d /DVD/, and e) when i click them, my winrar's icon not the same icon like before, my ms office when i open them, asks me like installing them and say configuration progress not like before its automatic...my DVD ROM turns to be CD ROM, etc...etc...etc...what should i do? i have only one account and even i'm the administrator with full control im still restricted...

my regedit and gpedit were disabled to disable supposedly...now i'm very worried...why i made this is that i want only my E drive to be restricted for other user specifically the guest account...now its my fiasco...is there any means to solve this? are my files safe and secured? help me Brink pls.
 
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