How to block access to the Control Panel

Updated: 05/19/2017 by Computer Hope

The Control Panel in the Microsoft Windows operating system provides access to many different settings and features for Windows. Users can enable, disable, or change settings as they feel necessary. However, some computer owners do not want other users to access the Control Panel and change Windows settings.

To block access to the Control Panel for one or more user accounts on a computer, follow the steps below.

  1. Log in to Windows with the user account that you want to block access to the Control Panel.
  2. Open the Windows Registry.
  3. Navigate to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies
  4. Check for a subkey named Explorer under the Policies key. If the subkey exists, skip to the next step. If the subkey does not exist, right-click on the Policies key and select New > Key. Type Explorer as the name of the new subkey.
  5. Right-click the Explorer subkey and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type NoControlPanel as the name of the DWORD value.
  6. Double-click the NoControlPanel value, change the 0 to a 1 in the Value data box, and click OK to save the value change.
  7. Close the Windows Registry.

Registry Key to block Control Panel access

Note: If you want to block Control Panel access for another user account on the computer, repeat the steps above.

Additional information

  • See our Control Panel and Registry definitions for further information on these terms and related links.