USB is currently the most popular way of connecting external devices to the computer. The majority of external storage devices, printers, scanners, audio devices with built in sound chips and other peripherals are connected via USB to the PC.
You sometimes may want to prevent that other people connect USB devices to your PC, for instance to avoid that they download data from the PC to external drives. Or, you might want to prevent users from using the connected USB printer whenever you are not on your computer.
While you could do that with Registry hacks and other means, it is usually a lot easier to use a program like USB Manager for that job. Keep in mind that disabling USB devices or device types is not a 100% protection against data theft, copying or printing of data.
USB Manager displays the four USB device types that it supports in its interface on program start. All four of them, that is storage devices, usb printers, USB audio devices and USB scanners, are enabled by default indicated by the green checkmark next to each symbol.
You can disable a specific device type, e.g. printers, with a click on the device icon in the program interface. You can alternatively use the program's system tray icon to enable or disable device types.
All it takes is a few clicks to disable or enable USB devices on the system. It is furthermore possible to set a program access password in the options to avoid that others enable devices again that you have disabled.
The options are also the place to configure hotkeys, hide the system tray icon or configure the application to autostart with the Windows operating system.
USB Manager serves a specific purpose. Depending on the USB devices, you may notice that some are not disabled even though they should be. This was for instance the case with my Logitech G930 wireless headset which was not disabled when I disabled USB Audio using the software.
Windows users who would like to give it a try can download the software from the developer website. A commercial server client is available that can be used to control USB devices on remote computer systems.
Please note that the program offers to install an optional software package during installation. Make sure you click cancel here if you do not want to install several unrelated programs that may also make changes to your browser's default search engine and homepage.
Update: The audio headset has been disabled correctly after a reboot. Please also note that you need to run the program with elevated rights.
Update 2: The Makesoft website is returning a 404 not found error currently.It is not clear if technical difficulties are responsible, or if it has been abandoned. We have uploaded the latest version of USB Manager to our servers. Click on the following link to download it: [Download not found]