Configure Windows 10 Settings visibility to hide all or select settings

Windows 10 Settings have recently got a couple of updates in v1703 and now it has become even more useful than earlier. If as an IT admin you do not want to give access to Windows 10 Settings, you can configure Group Policy Object or tweak the Windows Registry. We have already see how to restrict access to the Control Panel, now let us see how you can restrict access to the Settings panel.

Hide Settings in Windows 10

Restricting access to the Settings page is not difficult on Windows 10 v1703. Moreover, you can either hide all the settings pages of Settings app if you do not want to use that anymore or you can show or hide particular settings page only. There are two ways to do it. First, you can use the Group Policy Editor or you can use the Registry Editor.

Before you begin, do remember to create a system restore point first.

Restrict access to Windows 10 Settings page using Registry Editor

Run regedit to open the Registry Editor and then navigate to the following path:

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

Here you have to create a String Value on the right-hand side. Right-click on an empty space, select New > String Value. Name it SettingsPageVisibility. Now, double-click on that string value and enter the following in the Value name field-

To show a particular page and hide all the others:

showonly:pageURL

To hide a particular page and show the rest:

hide:pageURL

Configure Windows 10 Settings visibility to hide all or select settings

For example, to hide the About page, enter the following value:

hide:about

If you want to show Bluetooth and About page, and hide all the other page, enter the following value;

showonly: bluetooth;about

In this fashion, you can show or hide any Settings page of Settings app.

Hide Windows 10 Settings using Group Policy Editor

Using Group Policy Editor to hide Settings page in Windows 10 is even easier than using the Registry Editor.Run gpedit.msc, to open the Group Policy Editor and then navigate to the following setting:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel

On the right-hand side, you can find an option called Settings Page Visibility. By default, it should be set to Not Configured. Select Enabled and enter a value in the Settings Page Visibility box just like you did in Registry Editor.

This policy specifies the list of pages to show or hide from the System Settings app. This policy allows an administrator to block a given set of pages from the System Settings app. Blocked pages will not be visible in the app, and if all pages in a category are blocked the category will be hidden as well. Direct navigation to a blocked page via URI, context menu in Explorer or other means will result in the front page of Settings being shown instead. This policy has two modes: it can either specify a list of settings pages to show or a list of pages to hide. To specify a list of pages to show, the policy string must begin with “showonly:” (without quotes), and to specify a list of pages to hide, it must begin with “hide:”. If a page in a showonly list would normally be hidden for other reasons (such as a missing hardware device), this policy will not force that page to appear. After this, the policy string must contain a semicolon-delimited list of settings page identifiers. The identifier for any given settings page is the published URI for that page, minus the “ms-settings:” protocol part.

Hide Settings page in Windows 10 using Group Policy Editor

Technet has listed the URIs to use along with showonly or hide keyword to show or hide a particular settings page:

  • about
  • activation
  • appsfeatures
  • appsforwebsites
  • backup
  • batterysaver
  • bluetooth
  • colors
  • cortana
  • datausage
  • dateandtime
  • defaultapps
  • developers
  • deviceencryption
  • display
  • emailandaccounts
  • extras
  • findmydevice
  • lockscreen
  • maps
  • network-ethernet
  • network-mobilehotspot
  • network-proxy
  • network-vpn
  • network-directaccess
  • network-wifi
  • notifications
  • optionalfeatures
  • powersleep
  • printers
  • privacy
  • personalization
  • recovery
  • regionlanguage
  • storagesense
  • tabletmode
  • taskbar
  • themes
  • troubleshoot
  • typing
  • usb
  • windowsdefender
  • windowsinsider
  • windowsupdate
  • yourinfo

In this way, you can hide all the Windows 10 Settings or hide only selected settings in the Settings app using Group Policy Object or Windows Registry.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.