The Control Panel is the crucial area in any version of Windows. This is perhaps because it is the only user-friendly interface via which one can manage the settings of different applications, user accounts, and devices.
Therefore, you might have a strong desire that no one should access the Control Panel of your computer for making any kind of accidental or intentional change. Have you ever thought of doing so? Well, you must have thought of it if you are a real geek.
Well, the good news is that you can disable Control Panel. This is particularly useful if your computer is a public machine, which means that any family member or guest can access it anytime. If you are using Windows 7, you have two ways to disable Control Panel. Let us check them out now!
Problem: Shared Computer’s Security Is At Risk
Let us consider a scenario where you have a shared computer running the Home version of Windows 7 on your home network. This means that anybody can access this machine. For security reasons, you have set user accounts such as guests, son, and daughter along with their corresponding access permissions and application settings. However, you do not want anybody to access the Control Panel because you want to prevent any kind of tampering. So, what to do now ?
Solution: Disable the Control Panel
Well, the only solution to the above problem is to disable the Control Panel in Windows 7. You can disable the Control Panel either by using Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor. The latter is the only way to disable Control Panel if you are running the Home version of Windows 7, as given in the scenario. Nevertheless, it will actually work in any version of Windows 7.
Implementing Solution: Smartly Create A DWORD Value In Registry
Pinching the registry is actually not safe, as any careless mistake can turn off the machine permanently. Therefore, this method is not advisable for the beginners. However, if you start with a smart move by taking a backup of your registry and then following the below steps, you will surely become a wise geek. Here are the steps to disable Control Panel in Windows 7.
1. Log in as administrator.
2. Enter regedit in the Search text box of the Start menu.
4. Browse to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows Current Version Policies Explorer. The corresponding keys are seen on the right side.
5. Right-click the right pane. A shortcut menu is displayed.
8. Double-click the new name. The Edit DWORD Value dialog box is displayed.
9. Change the value to 1 in the Value data text box.
11. Close the Registry Editor.
12. Restart the computer. Now, you will see that Control Panel is not present in the Start menu.
Even if anybody tries to access it by searching in the Search box, she or he will get an error message.
Tip: To re-enable the Control Panel, just change the value to 0 in the Edit DWORD Value dialog box.