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Join Date: Jul 2009
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How to Enable or Disable Access to Control Panel and PC settings in Windows 8 and 8.1

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to enable or disable access to the Control Panel, PC settings, and all settings in them for all or specific users in Windows 8 and Windows RT.

You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.

Note   Note
When disabled, this setting prevents Control.exe and SystemSettings.exe, the program files for Control Panel and PC settings, from starting. As a result, users cannot start Control Panel or PC settings, or run any of their items in them from any other location as well.

This removes Control Panel from:
The Start screen
File Explorer

This removes PC settings from:
The Start screen
Settings charm (ex: "Change PC settings" link)
Account picture
Search results


EXAMPLE: Restrictions message
NOTE: This is the Restrictions error seen if users try to open the Control Panel, PC settings, or any settings in these two.

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Control Panel and PC settings - Enable or Disable Access OPTION ONE Control Panel and PC settings - Enable or Disable Access
Enable or Disable Control Panel and PC settings using a REG File


Note   Note
The downloadable .reg files below will add and modify the DWORD value in the registry keys below,

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

NoControlPanel DWORD

0 = enable Control Panel/PC settings
1 = disable Control Panel/PC settings


1. Do step 2 or 3 below for what you would like to do.

2. To Enable Access to Control Panel and PC settings for All Users
NOTE: This is the default setting.

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.


Enable_App_Switching.reg

download

3. To Disable Access to Control Panel and PC settings for All Users

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.


Disable_App_Switching.reg

download

4. Save the .reg file to your desktop.

5. Double click/tap on the downloaded .reg file to Merge it.

6. If prompted, click/tap on Run, Yes (UAC), Yes, and OK to approve.

7. Sign out and sign in, or restart the PC to apply.

8.
When finished, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.







Control Panel and PC settings - Enable or Disable Access OPTION TWO Control Panel and PC settings - Enable or Disable Access
Enable or Disable Control Panel and PC settings in Group Policy

NOTE: This option for using group policy is only available in the Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise editions.

1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.

2. In the left pane, click/tap on to expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and Control Panel. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

3.
In the right pane of Control Panel, double click/tap on Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings. (see screenshot above)

4. Do step 5 or 6 below for what you would like to do.

5. To Enable Access to Control Panel and PC settings

A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below step 6A)
NOTE: Not Configured is the default setting.

6. To Disable Access to Control Panel and PC settings

A) Select (dot) Enabled, click/tap on OK, and go to step 7 below. (see screenshot below)

Click image for larger version

7. You can now close the Local Group Policy Editor window if you like.





That's it,
Shawn


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