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

Sometimes you may witness blocked Control Panel (CP) on your computer mostly after a malware attack. Some malicious programs lock this window to prevent you from accessing Control Panel items. Most of the times they use Group Policy or Windows Registry to lock it 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 CP and Control Panel items on the Windows Start menu, from Group Policy we can fix it. You can also use the same instructions to lock it on your computer to prevent others from accessing this feature on your computer. Steps to lock and unlock the 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

  2. On Local Group Policy Editor click on User Configuration

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

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

    1. Select Enable if you want to Remove CP From Windows Start menu and prohibit access to it.
    2. Select Disable if you want to unlock the Control Panel and its items on your PC

    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 CP items on your PC. Moreover, users will never see it in the 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 CP from Group Policy, if the issue persists, next you have to look at Registry. Malware 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 the current registry by following the steps below.
How to Backup Registry On Your Computer

  1. Type regedit on Run and press OK

  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 From Registry

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

    1. If the value data is 1 after reboot CP 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 it in the Windows Start menu

From this tutorial you have learned how to resolve the issue if you are unable to access the Control Panel and its items on your computer using Group Policy and Registry. You have already understood the trick to disable ControlPanel 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 Laptop

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  8

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