If you are looking for a way to prevent others from making changes to your computer, below are the steps to disable access to Control Panel and Settings in Windows 10/11.
Disable access to Control Panel and Settings in Windows 10/11
The control panel and settings menu on a Windows computer provide access to various tools and options that can be used to change a variety of settings on the computer, including user accounts, privacy, and security settings.
However, this also means that anyone with access to your computer can accidentally make unwanted changes to your computer, which can lead to performance, privacy, and security issues.
A good solution to this problem is to simply disable access to the Control Panel and Settings menu on your computer using Registry Editor and Group Policy Editor.
1. Disable Control Panel and Settings using the registry editor
Although the Home Edition of Windows 10 & 11 does not have a Group Policy Editor, you can still restrict access to the Control Panel and Settings menu in the Home Edition of Windows by using the Registry Editor.
Note: Before making changes to registry files, you should back up your computer. Also, do not make any changes to registry files that you do not understand.
1. Right click on the beginning click and click To run. In the Run Command window, type the following regedit and click OK to open the registry editor.
2. On the Registry Editor screen, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies and expand the guidelines folder.
Note: If you don’t see “researcher” Right-click folder guidelines > Choose New > button and name the new key “Explorer”.
3. Next, right-click researcher and select New > DWORD value (32 bits). in the context menu that appears.
4. In the explorer folder, rename the newly created key as No control panel.
5. Next, right-click No control panel and select that Change… option in the context menu.
Note: You can also double click No control panel This will take you to the “DWORD VALIEN” edit screen.
6. On the Edit DWORD Value screen, change the value data for No control panel from 0 to 1 and click OK.
After this registry change, you will still see the Settings icon and Control Panel shortcuts on your computer. However, if you click on the “Control Panel” or “Settings” symbol, you do not receive any access to the “Settings” menu or elements of the Control Panel.
In fact, anyone attempting to access or control settings on your computer will be greeted with an error message that provides information about restrictions on that action by the system administrator.
You can always enable access to the control panel and settings menu on your computer by changing the value data to No control panel DWord back to its original value (0).
2. Disable Control Panel and Settings using Group Policy Editor
If you are using Windows 10/11 Professional or Enterprise edition, you can easily disable access to Control Panel and Settings menu by using Group Policy Editor.
1. Right click on the beginning click and click To run. Enter the command in the window gpedit.msc and click OK To open the local group policy editor.
2. On the Local Group Policy Editor screen, navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel and click the Switchboard folder.
3. Next, double click Forbid access to control panel and PC settings Policy in Control Panel (see image above).
4. Select on the next screen Allowed option and click OK to save this setting on your computer.
After this change, the control panel and settings screen will no longer be accessible to anyone using your computer.
Anyone attempting to access the settings menu or control panel on your computer will see a notification about restrictions the system administrator has placed on that activity.
You can change this policy at any time and grant access to the settings menu and control panel on your computer by selecting Not configured Option in Local Group Policy Editor screen.