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On Windows 10, you can use the Settings application and Control Panel to change various settings to customize your experience and change your system, network, account and privacy settings.
However, if you are a network administrator for a company or share your PC with others, you know that there are often configuration errors when technical users do not have access to the settings.
Under Windows 10, if you don’t want someone to change your computer’s settings, you can quickly prevent them by disabling access to the Settings application and Control Panel through the Local Group Policy Editor and registry. This not only preserves your configurations at all times, but also prevents users from accidentally changing the settings.
To enable or disable the Control Panel and Windows 10 settings
Under Windows 10, there are several ways to find and change your settings: Application Settings, Control Panel, Application Settings and Search. Most of the settings you want to change can be found in the Application Settings.
In Settings, you can change most Windows settings, such as screen resolution, add and remove devices, customize the lock screen, change the date and time, and add user accounts.
The Control Panel contains some additional settings that you can use less often, such as customizing your desktop.
Using the Windows Registry Editor
This option applies to all editions of Windows 10.
- Open the Run dialog box (press Windows + R).
- In the location marked Open, type regedit, then click OK.
- A User Account Control dialog box opens. Click Yes to continue. However, due to your user account control settings, you may not need this step.
- You will now see the Registry Editor window. Go to the tree on the left. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current version\Policies\Explore
- Now click with the right mouse button on the right side. Then go to New > DWORD (32 bits).
- Enter the name NoControlPanel on the new key. Double-click on it.
- You will see a dialog box to edit the DWORD value (32 bits). Enter the value 1 in the Value field. Then click on OK.
Using the Group Policy Editor
Note: This method does not work for Windows 10 Home Edition users, but only for Windows 10 Pro, Education and Enterprise Edition.
- Press Windows + R, then type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
- Navigate to the next location:
- User Configuration > Administration Templates > Control Panel
- Make sure you have selected the Control Panel option, then double-click on’Restrict access to the Control Panel and PC settings’ in the right pane.
- Under Policy Settings, select Enabled, click Apply, and then click OK.
- Restart your PC to save the changes.
Although blocking access to the Control Panel and Settings menu is particularly useful for network administrators, users of computers sharing their device with children may also need to disable access to the Control Panel and Settings menu on their Windows 10 computer.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.