Can't Access Control Panel - Unlock & Block From Start Menu in Computer

Some times you may witness blocked Control Panel on your computer mostly after a malware attack. Some malicious programs lock Control Panel to prevent you from accessing Control Panel items. Most of the times they use Group Policy or Windows Registry to lock Control Panel and it may remain locked even if you remove malware from your computer. This tutorial tells how to unlock disabled Control Panel on your computer with Group Policy and Registry. Even if you are unable to find Control Panel and Control Panel items on Windows Start menu, from Group Policy we can fix it. You can also use the same instructions to lock Control Panel on your computer to prevent others from accessing Control Panel on your computer. Steps to lock and unlock control panel on your computer are provided below.

1. Use Group Policy to Lock and Unlock Access to Control Panel
  1. Type gpedit.msc on Run (Press [Windows] and [R] to open Run window)
    Can't access control panel and how to unlock blocked control panel

  2. On Local Group Policy Editor click on User Configuration

  3. Click on Administrative Template and select Control Panel
    Enable access to prohibited control panel

  4. Double click on "Prohibit Access to the Control Panel" and click on enable to disable Control Panel on your computer. If you select disable, Control Panel will be accessible.
    how to remove control panel from start menu

    1. Select Enable if you want to Remove Control Panel From Windows Start menu and prohibit access to it.
    2. Select disable if you want to unlock Control Panel and Control Panel items on your computer

    Do not forget to save settings before closing the window.

  5. Reboot your computer to see the effect

If you select enable radio button users cannot start Control Panel or run any Control Panel items on your computer. More over users will never see Control Panel in Windows start menu. So if anyone is not seeing Control Panel in Windows start menu, you can easily tell them it is being disabled either in Group Policy or in Registry.


2. Unlock and Lock Control Panel From Windows Registry

Once you have done with unlocking Control Panel from Group Policy, if the issue persists, next you have to look at Registry. Malwares can disable Control Panel from there and you must unlock it manually. Before going to change any settings in Registry, I recommend you to take a backup of current registry by following the steps below.
How to Backup Registry On Your Computer

  1. Type regedit on Run and press OK
    how to enable access to Control Panel items

  2. Go to the location
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\Explorer

  3. Select Explorer and right click on the right side to create a new DWORD(32-bit) Value.
    Disable Control Panel From Registry

  4. Change the name to NoControlPanel and double click on it. Now change the value data to 1. Click OK.
    Enable Control Panel from Registry

    1. If the value data is 1, after reboot Control Panel will be disabled on your computer. You will no longer see Control Panel in Start menu

    2. If the value data is 0, after reboot Control Panel will be enabled. You will be able to see Control Panel in Windows Start menu

From this tutorial you have learned how to resolve the issue if you are unable to access Control Panel and Control Panel items on your computer using Group Policy and Registry. You have already understand the trick to disable Control Panel on your computer. Like this if you want to disable unwanted startup programs on your computer click on the link below.
How to Disable Unwanted Startup Programs From Your Windows Computer

Just like Group Policy and Registry another important tool in Windows is WLAN AutoConfig. To learn how to tweak with it, follow the link below.
How to Start WLAN Autoconfig in Windows 7 and Windows 8

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1 comment:

Robert said...

I knew it is the registry which stops me from control panel. I was not sure about which value. Thanks to you now I found the culprit.