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Tip of the Week: Prevent Others From Messing With Your PC’s Settings By Locking the Control Panel

Tip of the Week: Prevent Others From Messing With Your PC’s Settings By Locking the Control Panel

Let’s say that you don’t want someone else accessing the Control Panel on your Windows desktop or laptop. That’s perfectly reasonable, but you might not know how you can prevent them from doing so. Thankfully, Windows is flexible enough to allow this function, and with a little know-how, you can implement it without a hitch.

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll want to check with your internal IT department first before implementing a feature like this. You’ll also need to be able to log into the machine as an administrator (which is a good thing, since you won’t want standard end-users messing with the registry).

Your Control Panel is the interface that lets you change various settings within the Windows operating system. Normally, users would just customize their own settings, but if you’re trying to keep users from changing settings on company machines (or on your personal computer), this tip is for you.

To start, you need to log into Windows with the account that you want to prevent from accessing the Control Panel. Next, open up the Windows Registry, which can be done by simply searching for the phrase Regedit in Windows 10’s Search function next to the Start menu. You may be prompted by User Account Control. If so, just select Yes. The Registry Editor will then open.

Next, look for the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Policies

Look for the subkey Explorer under the Policies key, located in the left-hand column. If this subkey is already here, you can skip this next step.

In order to create this subkey, right-click on the Policies key and select New. Once you’ve done so, click on Key. Give the name Explorer to the key.

Right-click on the Explorer subkey and select New > DWORD (32-bit) value. Once you’ve done this, give the name NoControlPanel to the value.

Lastly, double-click the NoControlPanel value and change the 0 to a 1 in the data box. Click OK and save the settings.

When you close the Windows Registry, the changes will have taken effect. Repeat these steps for any users that you don’t want to access the Control Panel. It’s probably in your best interest, however, to have a professional technician make these changes, as the slightest mistake could cause issues. To learn more about how we can help your business, reach out to us at (703) 621-3900.

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