In this tutorial, you will learn how to hide a drive on your server using the local policy editor.
NOTE: Following this procedure will hide a drive but will not restrict access to it. Blocking access to a drive requires a different (more complex) procedure to ensure that access is maintained for the user’s system applications.
A common problem that businesses can encounter is how to restrict access or rights for individual users. Often, users have far more access than they actually need to certain files or folders, and this could pose a risk for the business.
In many organisations, one way of dealing with this is to hide disks on a server, particularly the C drive or system disk, to stop users from accessing settings folders, such as “C:\Windows\System32”, or Desktop or Downloads folders.
In this tutorial, we will see how you can hide one or more drives on your Windows server.
How to hide a drive on your server using the local policy editor
Before you get started
To successfully complete this tutorial and hide a drive on your server using the local policy editor, you will need:
- To be registered with an organisation on the Jotelulu platform and have logged in.
- To have subscribed to the Servers service
- To have an operational Windows server on your subscription.
Changing policies to hide a drive
In this tutorial, we are going to explain, step by step, how to change a policy to hide a drive using the Windows graphic interface.
NOTE: In this tutorial, we are going to hide the drive from the user. However, they will still be able to access the drive using other programs or by using the run command. To block access to a drive, you will need to follow a different procedure.
First, you need to load the Local Group Policy Editor. To do this, click on the search bar, type “gpedit.msc” (1) and run the application that appears.
Part 1 – Type gpedit.msc in the search bar on the server
On the left-hand side of the screen that appears, you will see “Local Computer Policy”. Browse to “User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer” (2).
Part 1 – Expand the folder tree on the left-hand side of the screen
Next, you should search for the setting “Hide these specified drives in My Computer” (3).
Once located, double-click on this option.
Part 1 – Double-click on “Hide these specified drives in My Computer”
In the window that appears, first select “Enabled” (4).
In the options below, select the drive or drives that you wish to hide (5), bearing in mind that there are various options available:
- Restrict A and B drives only.
- Restrict C drive only.
- Restrict D drive only.
- Restrict A, B and C drives only.
- Restrict A, B, C and D drives only.
- Restrict all drives.
- Do not restrict drives.
For this tutorial, we will select “Restrict C drive only”.
On the right-hand side, you will see a “Help” box (6). We recommend that you read this if this is your first time working with policies so that you have a better understanding of the process.
Once you have changed these settings, click on “Apply” and then “OK” (7).
Part 1 – Configure the drives to be hidden
Once the window has closed automatically, you should check that the rule “Hide these specified drives in My Computer” is enabled (8).
Part 1 – Check that the rule is enabled
To check that the changes have been applied correctly, open Windows Explorer and click on “This PC”. If everything has been done correctly, the drives that you have hidden should no longer be visible.
Part 1 – Check that the drive is no longer visible
You have now hidden the drive, but the user will still be able to access it using other applications or the run command.
NOTE: If this process does not work and you can still see the drive, wait a moment and reload File Explorer. Sometimes the policies can take a short while to update.
Conclusions and next steps:
This tutorial shows you how to hide drives on your server, thus providing an extra layer of protection for the sensitive data stored on your server and its configuration folders.
We hope that you have found this tutorial useful. However, if you do have any problems, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can help you.
Thank you for choosing Jotelulu!