3 Ways to Disguise a USB Drive

Mihir Patkar 17-10-2016

Even in the age of cloud computing, USB flash drives are pretty important Are USB Flash Drives Still Worth It In 2015? USB flash drives are great for storage, but they have so many other uses. Here's how they're worth their weight in gold. Read More . Some USB flash drives are more important than others. You might be storing private information on them that you don’t want anyone else to get their hands on.


Unfortunately, a USB drive itself isn’t that secure, even if you add some basic password protection to it. Instead, go ninja and hide in plain sight by making a masterful USB drive disguise.

Which USB Flash Drives Can You Use?

If you’re the DIY kind, you can work with any standard flash drive. But it’s ideal not to go for the best or most rugged USB keys. What you need is something cheap and tiny.

USB Hidden Flat

If you’re buying new, look for a flash drive that has a simple silicon moulding, instead of a hard plastic case. It’s fine to use a plastic case too, if you have several of those lying around. The 16 GB Super Talent Pico-C (UK) meets the requirements perfectly.

Super Talent Pico-C 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive STU16GPCS (Silver) Super Talent Pico-C 16 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive STU16GPCS (Silver) Buy Now On Amazon $13.35


No matter which USB key you use, you’ll need to crack or peel its case open. What you need is just the PCB with the USB port, nothing else. As long as you can manage to get to that, it doesn’t really matter what type of flash drive you have.

1. Disguise as a Broken USB Cable

When you see a broken cable with its wires frayed out, you think it’s time to throw it out When to Throw Away Your Fraying Cables & Phone Chargers Let's cut to the chase here — in a benevolent ploy we only really want you to read this article for one reason: to throw away those shredded, damaged chargers NOW. Read More . You won’t ever think of connecting it to your computer. That’s why it’s the best hiding spot for a USB flash drive.

EvilMadScientist’s guide shows you how to make this disguise. Take any old cable you have lying around. Cut along the side of the USB port deeply enough so that you can peel back the rubber.

Disguised USB Cable Final Example


Using a small screwdriver, remove the tabs and pieces that hold the USB key in the wire. If you’re using a compact flash drive like the Super Talent Pico, insert the drive into the USB port. If you’re using a flash drive with the PCB and USB port together, then remove the frayed wire’s USB port and shove in your drive.

Seal everything back up and test the drive once. If it’s working, it’s time to seal it permanently. Apply some heat-shrink tubing or electrical tape for insulation. Then fill the remaining space with five-minute quick drying gel-style epoxy.

Voila! You got yourself a flash drive that looks like a broken cable. Make sure the edges of the cable look frayed, with a few wires jutting out, to complete the trick.

It’s the kind of disguise that has multiple uses. You can even turn the USB drive into a lock/unlock key for your PC 3 Tools for Turning Your USB Drive Into a Secure Unlock Key for Your PC Yes, it's possible: you can turn your USB flash drive into a physical key that locks and unlocks your computer. Read More . No one will suspect it’s the key, even if it’s lying next to your computer.


2. USB in Lipstick or Chapstick

The easiest way to hide a USB key in plain sight is to put it into an old case of lipstick or chapstick. Most people aren’t going to open your lipstick to check if it’s actually lipstick inside.

USB Disguised as Chapstick or Lipstick

You’ll need an old lipstick or chapstick, as well as moldable and gel-style epoxy for this. First, make sure the lipstick case is completely cleaned out, so that only the shell and the cap remains. Of course, your USB drive should fit in the case for this to work. You might even be able to use a full-sized fast USB 3.0 flash drive 5 of the Fastest and Best USB 3.0 Flash Drives Which are the fastest USB 3.0 flash drives you can buy? Here are five of the best, ranging from $20 to $200. Read More , so check the size before you start the project.

Take your USB stick and apply moldable epoxy around it, so that the surface is covered but not submerged. Place this into your empty lipstick case, such that the USB port comes out neatly. Fill the remaining space in the case with gel-style epoxy. Wait for everything to dry up, and clean off the edges with an exacto knife.


Place the cap back on, and you have a hidden USB key in a lipstick case. Check out WonderHowTo’s guide for a chapstick USB drive, in case you get stuck along the way.

3. Hide in Plain Sight With a Wall Dead Drop

The USB Dead Drop project is a pretty cool way to participate in a global geek movement. In it, people hide a flash drive in a wall somewhere on a street, and post its location on Anyone is then free to come and get whatever is on that drive.

USB Wall Dead Drop Example

We’ve shown you how to create a dead drop and participate in the project Start A "Dead Drop" In Your City & Share Files With People In The Street Who’d have thought in 2011 - the year of the fibre optic broadband connection - we’d be cementing USB sticks into the wall to share files? Not me, but that’s exactly what the term "dead... Read More , but a wall-based dead drop has more uses. It needn’t be public, first of all. It also can be two way, so that you and a group of friends can exchange files on campus without anyone else finding out.

Instructables user frenzy put together a simple, step-by-step guide to create wall drops. You’ll need a stripped down USB drive, plumber’s tape, quick-dry patching cement, and something to chip away cement with. If you can get a cordless drill, that’s best.

Wrap your stripped USB drive with plumber’s tape so that it’s waterproof. Then dig a small hole in the wall using the drill or any other tool you got. Put your drive in there, apply the cement to patch it up. There you go, you just got your own USB wall dead drop!

Please don’t go around making holes in walls that don’t belong to you, or you’ll be liable for property damage.

Buy, Don’t Build

Sometimes, you don’t need to roll up your sleeves and take out your tools. All you need is your credit card. Here are some cool disguised USB drives you can buy without building.

Credit Card USB (UK) — It fits into a credit card slot in your wallet. No one is going to know it’s a USB flash drive until you take it out and flip open the tiny USB key.

Usbkingdom 8GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Pen Drive Black Credit Card Bank Card Shape USB Drive Memory Stick Pendrive Usbkingdom 8GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Pen Drive Black Credit Card Bank Card Shape USB Drive Memory Stick Pendrive Buy Now On Amazon

Lipstick USB (UK) — The aforementioned lipstick USB can be bought instead of made. It doesn’t look as good or convincing, but hey, it’s much easier!

PORTWORLD Fashion Girly 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Special High Speed Lipstick Data Storage Thumb Jump Drive Pink PORTWORLD Fashion Girly 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Special High Speed Lipstick Data Storage Thumb Jump Drive Pink Buy Now On Amazon

Condom Wrapper USB (UK) — In case of emergency, you reach into your wallet and take out a condom wrapper. You open it. And it’s a USB flash drive, ready to copy whatever you want. No more floppy disks.

D-CLICK TM 4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/Cool Shape USB Flash Drive Flash Memory Stick Pen Drive Disk (16GB, Condom) D-CLICK TM 4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/Cool Shape USB Flash Drive Flash Memory Stick Pen Drive Disk (16GB, Condom) Buy Now On Amazon $14.98

How Would You Hide a USB Key?

For me, the frayed USB cable is the most ingenious way to hide a USB key from unsuspecting people. No one is going to try and plug that into their computer.

What about you? Which disguised USB flash drive caught your eye?

Related topics: File Sharing, USB Drive.

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  1. Kanishi
    February 28, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Inside a mouse. i saw something on the internet before. when he plugged in the mouse, it also plugs in a flash disk