Restrict access to Control Panel and and PC Settings in Windows 10/8.1

There may be times when you may want to prevent users from accessing the Control Panel in Windows. This post shows how you can restrict access to Control Panel and Settings in Windows 10/8 or Control Panel in Windows 7, using Group Policy setting and Registry Editor.

Restrict access to Control Panel

Using Group Policy Editor

Restrict access to Control Panel

If your version of Windows 8 has the Group Policy Editor, Run gpedit.msc to open it. Navigate to the following setting:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates, and Control Panel

In the right pane of Control Panel, double click/tap on Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings.

This setting disables all Control Panel programs and the PC settings app. It 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. It removes Control Panel from the Start screen and File Explorer, and removes PC Settings from the Start screen, Settings charm, Account picture and Search results. If users try to select a Control Panel item from the Properties item on a context menu, a message appears explaining that a setting prevents the action.

Using Registry Editor

If your version of Windows does not have Group Policy, you can use the Registry Editor to disable access to Control Panel and PC Settings. To do so, Run regedit and navigate to the following registry key:


In the left pane, create a new DWORD (32-bit). Name it NoControlPanel and give it value 1. The following are the possible values and how they work:

  • 0 will enable Control Panel and PC Settings
  • 1 will disable Control Panel and PC Settings


After you prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings, if any user tries to access them, they will receive the following error box:

This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

Hope you are able to get it to work. If you are an IT admin wanting to restrict access to Windows 10 Settings page then this post will show you how to configure Windows 10 Settings visibility to hide all or select settings.

Visit this link, if you want to Hide, Show, Add, Remove Specified Control Panel Applets in the Windows operating system.

See this post if your Control Panel will not open.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, 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.