Antivirus is blocking my USB: How to fix this issue on Windows 10

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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antivirus blocking USB

Using a third-party antivirus solution is more than recommended especially if you are an active Windows 10 user who is always trying new apps and downloading different stuffs from the web. Only with the right antivirus programs installed you can successfully protect your data and your identity.

Unfortunately, in most situations the built-in Windows Defender program might not be enough as a more specialized software platform will be better for you.

Anyway, while in most situations the antivirus program is there to protect your Windows 10 device, in others its functionality might become quite annoying. An example in that matter is the following scenario: you want to use an external USB device, so as usual, you plug it in; but, strangely the USB device isn’t recognized by your Windows 10 system, or if it is you cannot access it. Well, if that happens, the problem might be caused by your antivirus, which is blocking the external USB device.

So, if the antivirus is indeed blocking the USB device, follow the guidelines explained below and learn how to re-enable the USB access within the antivirus built-in settings. I’ve tried to cover the steps that should be followed for the most popular antivirus programs that are currently available, though similar procedures can be applied on almost any other security software that’s not included in the following list.

How to solve the ‘Antivirus is blocking the USB’ problem

1. Bitdefender

Bitdefender comes with great features which can be used for choosing how the USB devices are controlled by the antivirus each time a new USB connection is detected. This operation can be performed through the device scanning policy functionality as explained:

  1. Open Bitdefender.
  2. Go to Policies and choose Create new Policy menu – it’s located on the left side of main Bitdefender Management Console.
  3. Double-click on Device Scanning.
  4. Now, from that window choose how to handle a new, or an existing, USB connection from your antivirus.

You can also add exclusions for a certain USB device, if you know that the data stored there can be trust. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Launch Bitdefender and choose Protection.
  2. From there click on View Features.
  3. Go to Settings and click on Exclusions.add exclusions bitdefender
  4. Similarly, you can add an Network exclusion and manage what to do with other devices that are connected with your Windows 10 device.

2. Kaspersky

In Kaspersky you can block or enable access towards different devices; these settings can be applied by following:

  1. Open the Kaspersky user interface.
  2. From the left panel of the main window access Protection.
  3. Click on Device Control and select Settings.
  4. Again, click on Settings from the right of Enable Device Control field.
  5. From there you can choose what to enable or what to block.
  6. Additionally, you can add certain exceptions: follow Settings – > Additional – > Threats and exclusions – > Configure exclusion rules – > add.

3. Avast

  1. Insert the USB device on your computer.
  2. Run Avast on your computer.
  3. From the left panel of Avast click on Protection and then select Antivirus.
  4. From the next screen select ‘Other scans’ and pick up ‘USB / DVD scan’.
  5. From there you can tweak how the scan is performed and choose if the scan is required or not.
  6. Hopefully, now you can re-enable the USB device which was previously blocked by your antivirus program.

ALSO READ: 6 best antivirus with gaming mode to stay protected while gaming

4. Norton

If in Norton the Removable Media Scan feature is enabled, the antivirus program will automatically scan any external device that’s connected with your computer. So, if you think that Norton is blocking the USB, you should first disable the already mentioned feature. You can do that from Settings – > Antivirus.

5. Avira

You need to add the USB device to the Antivirus Whitelist:

  1. First of all, disconnect your USB device from your computer.
  2. Reboot your Windows 10 device.
  3. Re-connect your USB device with your PC.
  4. Avira will ask you what to do next – from the drop-down list click on the Allow option and enable the ‘Always do this for this device’ function.
  5. Click OK and save your changes.

6. Windows Defender

  1. Connect your USB device.
  2. Launch Windows Defender on your computer.
  3. Under Scan options click on Custom.
  4. Then, select Scan Now.
  5. A list will be displayed from where you can choose what to scan.
  6. You can perform a scan for the USB device in order to ensure that there is nothing to worry about.
  7. In the end you should be able to use the USB Device once more.


There you have it; that’s how you can re-enable USB access when external USB devices are blocked by antivirus programs. Remember that the easiest way in which you can access your external device is by temporarily turning off the antivirus protection. Then, you will be able to use your USB device, though you should do that only if you know for sure that all the files from that device aren’t representing a security threat.

As already outlined, if you’re using a different antivirus software from the already covered ones, don’t panic as you can use similar steps for obtaining the same result.

However, if you cannot find the right settings within your antivirus tool, tell us and we will try to assist you as soon as possible.