How-To Geek

How to Enable or Disable the Control Panel and PC Settings in Windows 8


Disabling the Control Panel is a pretty common thing for admins to do. Here is how to do it in Windows 8 using both Group Policy as well as a manual registry hack.

It’s worth noting that this is something you probably won’t want to do on your home computer. But it’s useful to understand how it works in case yours is disabled and you want to enable it again.

Using a Local Group Policy Setting

Press the Win + R keyboard combination to bring up a run box, then type gpedit.msc and press enter.


When the Local Group Policy Editor opens navigate to:

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel


On the right hand side you should see a setting called “Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings”. Double click on it.


Then change the radio button over to Enabled.


Once you have applied the setting you will want to refresh your group policy settings, this can be done by running:

gpupdate /force


Hacking It Manually In The Registry

In the event you you don’t want to muck around with Group Policy objects, we have prepared two registry keys for you. Simply run the Disable file to disable the control panel and run Enable should you want to enable it again.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 06/21/13


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