How to Block Users from Settings in Windows 11
Want to protect your PC settings from unauthorized access? You can limit settings access on Windows 11 easily. Here’s how.
If you’re the admin of a Windows 11 PC, you might want to block users from the Settings app. There are a lot of changes (and frustration) that a user with that level of access can bring.
For example, someone could mess with your network settings, personalization, privacy, language settings, etc. To avoid this, you’ll need to configure your PC to block settings access for certain users. You can do this by modifying the Registry or by configuring Group Policy settings, depending on your version of Windows.
To block users from the settings app on Windows 11, here’s what you’ll need to do.
How to Block Settings Access on Windows 11
If you’re using Windows 11 Home, your best option to block settings access on Windows 11 is to use the Registry. You can set up a Registry key that limits user access to settings by their user account.
Note: Editing the Registry can be risky and cause instability or a PC that won’t work if you enter an incorrect value. Before making any changes, back up the Registry, create a Restore Point, or do a full backup of your system first.
Use the following steps to block users from Settings on Windows 11:
- Open Run by pressing Windows key + R.
- In Run, type regedit and click OK.
- Once Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following path:
- Right-click the Explorer key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Now, name the new key as NoControlPanel and press Enter.
- Double-click the NoControlPanel DWORD key you just created and set its Value data to 1, and click OK.
- Exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows 11.
- After following the steps correctly, when a user tries to get into the Settings app (or the older Control Panel), a message appears saying it’s restricted.
- If you want to change it back for any reason, go back into Registry Editor and change the NocontrolPanel DWORD from 1 to 0.
If you’re using Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, you can also use this method, or use the Group Policy method outlined below.
How to Disable Windows 11 Settings Access via Group Policy
If you are running Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, or Education, you can use Group Policy to block users from Settings and Control Panel.
To block users from accessing Control Panel or Settings:
- Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog.
- Type gpedit.msc and click OK.
- When Local Group Policy opens, navigate to the following path:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel
- Now, double-click on the Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings policy on the right.
- When the following window comes up, select Enabled.
- Click Apply and OK to save your choice.
- If a user tries to access Settings, nothing will happen, and the Settings app won’t even open—there will be no alert notification. However, Settings may go into a loop of trying to start. In that case, restart the PC, which will fix the looping problem.
- If a user tries to open Control Panel, they’ll receive a message saying it’s not available due to restrictions.
If you need to change the settings back, open Group Policy and set the Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings policy to Not Configured. Restart the PC, and the user will have access to Settings and Control Panel again.
Configuring Windows 11 Settings
If you’ve followed the steps above correctly, you should have blocked users from accessing the Settings app on Windows 11. Of course, don’t forget the most obvious method for limiting user access—-creating a local user account without administrator access.
Settings aren’t the only thing you can block on Windows 11. For example, you make users install apps from the Microsoft Store only. You could also create a guest account instead.