When you use a network of computers, for example, at a school or business, it is important to know how to block access to the Windows 10 settings menu and control panel.
Keeping these pages accessible will make it easier for users to uninstall programs, mess with system settings, and potentially cause problems for other users who later gain access to this computer.
You can follow the guide below to learn how to disable Control Panel and Settings or limit what is and isn’t in Control Panel.
If you want to go further, read our other articles on using Group Policy to block command line access and prevent your PC from shutting down.
Disable access to all control panel and settings
There are two methods for disabling the Control Panel and accessing the settings in Windows 10. The first method is the easiest, so we’ll explain it first. This method requires you to be running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. If you are using Windows 10 Home, don’t worry, you can try the second method.
First press the Windows key and then type Group policy – click Edit group policy when it appears.
On the left side, click to open the Administrative Templates under User Configuration. Then click on “Control Panel”.
In the right side panel, double-click Block access to Control Panel and PC Settings. Then click Enabled. Then click Apply. Finally, click OK.
After making this change, you must change this account to a regular user. Without switching to a regular user, you can delete it at any time by following the steps above, but choosing “Not configured”.
Disable Control Panel for Windows 10 Home users
If you are using Windows 10 Home, you can use the method we explained below instead. This method involves modifying the registry, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
For Windows 10 Home users, first you need to turn the account you want to make changes to into an administrator account. By following the steps below, you can switch back to the standard account.
Press the Windows key and enter registry. Then click on “Registry Editor” in the search results.
On the left side, click to open HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then follow the path below.
Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer
Don’t see the Explorer folder in the Policy? You can right-click it and select New, then Key. After creating a new folder, rename it in Explorer, then click outside the folder to finally confirm the name.
Then click the Explorer folder. After that, right-click an empty space on the right side of Registry Editor Then click New, then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Where it says New Value # 1, type NoControlPanel and press Enter. Then double click NoControlPanel and change the data value from 0 to 1. Click OK.
This is it! Now restart your computer and check if the settings menu and control panel are locked. If so, you can revert to the default account so that this setting cannot be removed.
Hide the selected control panel items
The two methods above explain how to completely disable both control panels, what if you want to restrict only certain control panel items? You can do just that with the method described below.
First press the Windows key and type Group Policy. Click on the Edit Group Policy option that appears.
- Then click User Configuration on the left.
- Then click to expand the Administrative Templates folder.
- Then click Control Panel.
- Finally, on the right, double-click Show Only Specified Control Panel Items.
In the next window, click Enabled. After that, you can click Show. From here, you can manually enter each control panel item that you want the user to have access to. If he is not on this list, he will not appear!
This means that you will need to carefully select and enter each control panel item that you want to add. You can find the names of all Control Panel items on the Microsoft website.
You can follow the steps above at any time, but select Disabled to re-enable all Control Panel items.
I hope this tutorial was helpful. Have questions about the three methods I’ve included? If yes, please leave a comment below and I will happily contact you when I can.