How to Hide or Show Icons in the Control Panel in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

information   Information
This tutorial will show you how to hide or show any default icons in the Control Panel for all users in Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Note   Note
If you hide the Administrative Tools icon, it will also hide the Administrative Tools button in the Start menu.

warning   Warning
Hiding certain Control Panel items like below may also cause them to no longer open them from other locations as well in Windows.

  • Display
  • Personalization



EXAMPLE: Vista Control Panel Icons (classic view) and Windows 7/8 Control Panel (icons view)
Control Panel - Hide Icon-classic_control_panel.jpgControl Panel - Hide Icon-windows7.jpg

Control Panel - Hide Icon-w8.1_control_panel.jpg




METHOD ONE

Through Local Group Policy Editor
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 on User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and Control Panel. (See screenshot below)
Control Panel - Hide Icon-group_policy.jpg
3. In the right pane, right click on Hide specified Control Panel items and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)

4. To Show All Control Panel Icons
NOTE: This will unhide all hidden Control Panel icons and clear the list from step 7 below.
A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5B)
NOTE: Not Configured is the default setting.

B) Go to step 6.
5. To Hide or Unhide a Control Panel Icon
A) Select (dot) Enabled.

B) Click on the Show button.
Control Panel - Hide Icon-hide_properties.jpg

C) To Add a Icon Name to the List to be Hidden
  • Click on the Add button. (See screenshot below step E )
  • Type in the name of the Control Panel icon you want hidden exactly as it apppears in the Control Panel. (See screenshots below) NOTE: For example, Printers.


  • Click OK. NOTE: Repeat steps in 7C to add any more Control Panel icons to be hidden.
Control Panel - Hide Icon-add_item.jpgControl Panel - Hide Icon-windows7-add.jpg

D) To Remove a Icon Name from the List to be Unhidden
  • Click on the Control Panel icon name in the list to highlight it. (See screenshots below)
  • Click on the Remove button.

E) Click on OK.
Control Panel - Hide Icon-show_disallowed_contents.jpgControl Panel - Hide Icon-windows7-remove.jpg
F) Click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5B)
6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window when done.
NOTE: If you had the Control Panel open, then you will need to close and reopen the Control Panel to refresh it to see the changes.



METHOD TWO

Manually in Registry Editor
1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog, type regedit, and press Enter.

2. If prompted by UAC, then click on Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7/8).

3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you do not have Explorer, then right click on the Polices key, click on New and Key, then type Explorer and press Enter.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Control Panel - Hide Icon-explorer_reg.jpg
4. In the right pane of Explorer, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value and type DisallowCpl and press Enter. (See screenshot above)

5. Right click on DisallowCpl and click on Modify.
Control Panel - Hide Icon-disallowcpl0.jpg
A) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshots below)
Control Panel - Hide Icon-modify2.jpg

Control Panel - Hide Icon-disallowcpl1.jpg
6. In the left pane, right click on Explorer and click New and Key, then type DisallowCpl and press Enter. (See screenshow below step 7C)

7. To Hide a Control Panel Icon
A) In the right pane of DisallowCpl, right click on a empty area and click on New and String Value.

B) Type in a number 1 for the first item and press Enter. Repeat this process in NUMERICAL ORDER for as many items as you want hidden.
NOTE: The list order has nothing to do with the icon order in the Control Panel. This is just a registry list when entering a Control Panel icon name. You will start with typing 1 for a first name, then 2 for a second name, 3 for a third name, etc...
WARNING: When entering a name, it must be listed in numerical order in the registry. For example: 1,2,3,4 not 1,7,2,6. You cannot skip a number.

C) Right click on the first number (under Name) and click on Modify. Repeat this process for each New String Value number you created in step 7B. (See screenshot below)
Control Panel - Hide Icon-string_value.jpg
D) Type in the Control Panel icon name you want hidden and press Enter. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: For example, Printers.
WARNING: You will need to type in the Control Panel icon name exactly as it appears in the Control Panel.
Control Panel - Hide Icon-modify.jpg
E) The registry will now look like this.
Control Panel - Hide Icon-disallowcpl_reg.jpg
8. To Unhide a Control Panel Icon
A) In the right pane of DisallowCPl, right click on the order list number with the control panel icon name and click on Delete. (See screenshot below step 7E)
WARNING: You will need to modify the other list order numbers so that they are back in numerical order. They must be in numerical order. For example: 1,2,3,4 not 1,7,2,6. You cannot skip a number. Just right click on the number (String Value Name) and click on Rename. Type in the new order number. (See step 7B)
9. To Undo this and Unhide all Control Panel Icons
A) In the right pane of Explorer, right click on DisallowCpl and click on Delete. (See screenshot below step 5)

B) Click on Yes to confirm the deletion.

C) In the left pane, right click on DisallowCpl and click on Delete. (See screenshot below step 7E)

D) Click on Yes to confirm the deletion.
10. Close regedit when done.

11. Log off an log on, or restart the computer to apply.
That's it,
Shawn



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