Need to restrict a user from accessing or opening an application? Here's a simple way to block users from opening restricted software.
Recently, one of my friends is in a situation where he needs to lockout a program so that other users, like his nephew, cannot open it. These kinds of restrictions are sometimes important if you are sharing the same user account with multiple people. Now, as you can guess, locking programs and blocking users from accessing certain programs is pretty helpful at times.
So, if you are ever in this situation, follow the below steps to block users from opening certain software or programs in Windows 10.
Note: The steps detailed below can be followed in Windows 7 and 8 too.
Windows AppLock Feature
In case you don't know, Windows has a built-in feature called AppLocker to lock applications, software, and programs with a set of rules. Using those rules, you can either outright block a user from ever opening it or place meaningful restrictions. As good as the AppLocker feature is, it is only available in the Enterprise and Education versions. As such, we need to find another way to get things done.
Thankfully, Windows has an application for everything. Simply put, we are going to use a free, lightweight, and portable software called AskAdmin to block users from accessing certain programs. Just follow the steps as is and you will be done in no time.
Steps to Block Certains Programs for Users in Windows
1. Like I said before, we are going to use the AskAdmin tool to make things work. So, download the software, open the ZIP file and extract its contents to desktop or some other drive.
2. After extracting, open the "AskAdmin" folder and execute the EXE file depending on your system architecture. In my case, I'm opening the "AskAdmin_x64.exe" file.
3. The application's user interface is pretty easy to follow. To add an application to the block list, click on the "Add (+)" icon.
4. In the browse window, find the application you want to block, select it, and click on the "Open" button.
5. As soon as you do that, the target application will be added to the block list in the AskAdmin's main UI.
6. You might see a prompt asking to restart explorer. Click "Yes". If you don't see the said prompt, go to the "Options" tab and select the "Restart Windows Explorer" option. Restarting the explorer applies the security changes.
That is it. You can now close the application. From now on, anyone who tries to open the blocked application will see error messages like below.
Remove Applications from Block List
When you want to access the blocked application, uncheck the checkbox next to the list item and restart explorer as shown in step 6.
If you want to completely remove an application from the block list, right-click on the list item and select "Delete".
As you can see, it is pretty easy to block users from accessing or opening an application in Windows. Do keep in mind, if a user can find the AskAdmin application they can remove the restriction and open the target application anyway.
To avoid that, you can password protect the AskAdmin application. However, for that feature, you need to buy the Pro version. The Pro version also gives you the ability to target specific users rather than all users. But for most scenarios, the free version is plenty enough.
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.