How to Enable or Disable the Control Panel in Vista and Windows 7

information   Information
This will show you how to Enable or Disable the Control Panel in all user accounts on the computer.
Note   Note
This will add or remove the Control Panel shortcut icon from the Start menu and Windows Explorer. If a user tries to open the Control Panel while disabled, they will get a Restrictions message. (See example below)
warning   Warning
If you did not disable the Control Panel, then it may have been done by some kind of malware or spyware. You should do a complete scan of your computer for a virus and other malware to be safe.

EXAMPLE: Control Panel Disabled Restrictions Message
-restrictions-jpg




OPTION ONE

Using a REG File Download

1. To Enable Access to the Control Panel
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Enable_Control_Panel.reg
download
B) Go to step 3.
2. To Disable Access to the Control Panel
A) Click on the download button below to download the file below.
Disable_Control_Panel.reg
download
3. Click on Save, and save the .reg file to the Desktop.

4. Right click on the downloaded .reg file and click on Merge.

5. Click on Run, Continue (UAC-Vista) or Yes (UAC-Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.

6. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

7. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.




OPTION TWO

Through the 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)
-group_policy-jpg
3. In the right pane, right click on Prohibit access to the Control Panel and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)

4. To Enable the Control Panel
A) Dot Disabled or Not Configured. (See screenshot below step 6)

B) Go to step 6.
5. To Disable the Control Panel Icon
A) Dot Enabled.
6. Click on OK.
-properties-jpg
7. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window when done.




OPTION THREE

Manually in Registry Editor

1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press Enter.

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

3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (See screenshot below step 4C)
NOTE: If you do not have Explorer, then right click on Polices and click on New and Key. Type Explorer and press Enter.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
4. To Disable Access to the Control Panel
A) In the right pane, right click on a empty area and click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value.

B) Type NoControlPanel and press Enter.

C) Right click on NoControlPanel and click on Modify.
-registry-jpg
D) Type 1 and click on OK. (See screenshot below)

E) Go to step 6.
-modify-jpg
5. To Enable Access to the Control Panel
A) In the right pane, right click on NoControlPanel and click on Delete. (See screenshot below step 4C)

B) Click on Yes to confirm deletion.

C) In regedit, go to: (See screenshot below)
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
D) In the right pane, repeat steps 6A and 6B if NoControlPanel is there to.
-hklm_reg-jpg
6. Close regedit.

7. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.
That's it,
Shawn