The Windows Control Panel, Is a native utility that contains an array of settings and features. It allows you to perform a variety of tasks such as creating user accounts, personalizing your operating system, adding & removing programs, and the list goes on. Whilst this Is extremely useful for legit purposes, anyone with malicious Intent can cause significant damage. In this tutorial, I will show you how to restrict access to the Programs and Features option.
To achieve this, I will be using the good old Group Policy Editor which Is native to Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. If you're running either of these editions, then this guide Is for you.
The objective and result of this Implementation, will ultimately prevent users from uninstalling programs, turning Windows features on or off and other relative settings located In Control Panel. Do note, that this does not prevent any third-party tools from performing these tasks. So without further delay, let's rip Into this tutorial.
To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK.
Next, navigate to the following directory:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Programs
Then on the right pane, double-click:
Hide the Programs Control Panel
Now on the left of the window, click the Enabled radio button, and then hit OK to finalize the process.
In my demonstration below, I've navigated to Control Panel and will double-click the Uninstall a program link, with the Intention to do just that (uninstall).
As you can see, a window popped up with a message that Programs and Features has been disabled. Perfect, It's just as I expected.
To test this further, I've done the same by clicking Turn Windows features on or off, and this too, Is Inaccessible.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Implementing this setting does not prevent third-party tools such as Advanced Uninstaller from removing Installed programs on your PC. Inevitably so, there's always a way to circumvent a given entity, but the above methodology Is extremely effective In restricting access to tasks performed within the Windows environment.
To reverse the process and go back to It's original state, go back to Step Three above and select the Not Configured radio button.