When you connect a USB drive or a peripheral to your Windows PC, an entry in the registry is created to record the event. Although these entries should not cause any issues with future connections, you may want to delete them to address some privacy concerns. This ementes teaches you how to use the free app USBDeview to erase all traces of previous USB connections.
1. Remove all USB drives and peripherals from the computer. If you have anything plugged into any of your USB ports right now, save any open files and safely unplug the accessory.
2. Go to http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb devices view.html for more information. This is the website for USBDeview, a free tool that allows you to view and delete all USB drive and other peripherals records from the Windows registry. Microsoft TechNet Community Support recommends this tool, which is completely free.
USBDeview is compatible with all versions of Windows, from Windows 2000 to Windows 10.
3. Scroll down and click the Download USBDeview button. If you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows, instead click the Download USBDeview for x64 systems link. Both links are located near the bottom of the page. A ZIP file will now be downloaded to your default location.
4. Unzip the ZIP file. The file you need to extract is called USBDeview.zip (for 32-bit systems) or USBDeview-x64.zip (for 64-bit systems) (64-bit systems). To accomplish this, follow these steps:
Open the downloaded file’s folder (it’s usually called Downloads).
Select Extract All… from the context menu when you right-click the file.
Select Extract. When the files are extracted, a window with their contents appears.
5. Double-click USBDeview.exe to launch it. This launches the app and displays a list of USB devices that have been connected to the PC.
6. Click the Options menu. It’s at the top of the app.
7. Locate a USB entry that you want to delete. Based on the list, it can be difficult to determine which entry belongs to which device. To get more information about an entry, double-click it to open it in a new window with all of its details.
The “date” field indicates when the device was last plugged in. This can be useful for locating older connections, such as a flash drive you used in January.
The left column contains driver information for the device, including the full name of the driver file.
Uninstall any devices that are listed as Connected. If an entry has “Yes” in the “Connected” section, it’s usually something internal, such as an input controller, audio interface, or sound module.
8. Right-click the USB device and select Uninstall Selected Devices. A confirmation message will appear.
9. To confirm, click Yes. This removes the selected device’s registry entry.
To save the change, you may need to click Yes again and/or enter your admin password, depending on your settings.
10. Press the F5 key or click the Refresh icon. The Refresh icon (a sheet of paper with two green arrows) is located in the app’s toolbar at the top. This refreshes the list, removing the entry you deleted. Additional entries can now be deleted as needed.
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