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Securely Disable 'Folder Options' In File Explorer

The good thing about Windows 10, Inclusive of previous versions like Windows 7 & 8, Is the ability to customize It according to your usability by using It's built-In utilities. A very handy feature that allows you to customize how your files and folders operate, Is the Folder Options In File Explorer. Given you can do this, so too can anyone who's sharing your PC. As such, In this tutorial, I will show you how to securely disable Folder Options from functioning.

Before I begin, here's what I'm referring to. Navigate to File Explorer, click on View > Options and the Folder Options window will open as per the Image below. You can apply a few changes via the radio buttons and checkboxes.

When selecting the View tab, there's an array of options to choose from In the Advanced settings, which can significantly change how your files & folders function.

Whether It's Intentional or otherwise, you don't want other users messing around with what you've already applied, thus I will demonstrate how to prevent the Folder Options from functioning In It's entirety. 

To do this, I will be using the good old Group Policy Editor that's only available In Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. The process Is extremely simple, so without further delay, let's get this tutorial started.

Step One:

To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK.

Step Two:

Next, navigate to the following directory.
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > File Explorer

Make sure File Explorer Is selected and then on the right pane, double click on Do not allow Folder Options to be opened from the Options button on the View tab of the ribbon.

Step Three:

To the left of the window, select the Enabled radio button, and then hit OK to finalize the process.

Step Four:

Now let's put this to the test. I've navigated to File Explorer, clicked on the View tab and then Options and as you can see, an error message has been received, advising that restrictions are In place. Essentially, Folder Options cannot be accessed.

Step Five:

But what If users try accessing Folder Options via another gateway? Well, let's try opening It In Control Panel, by selecting Appearance and Personalization and then File Explorer Options as shown below.

Last Step:

As expected, the same error message as per Step Four above, has been received. Perfect!

Final Thoughts:

Unlike the Windows Registry Editor that, for the most part, requires a system reboot for changes to take effect, the Group Policy Editor predominantly takes effect there and then. The good thing about this Implementation, Is that the majority of users are unaware that It exists In the GPE. To reverse the change, refer to Step Three above and select the Not Configured radio button. Don't forget to hit OK.


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