On Windows, any user can open a program unless it requires administrator rights. In that case, you need the admin permission. While this is a good thing, there might be situations where you need to block users from opening a certain program. Whether you’re a parent looking to safeguard your kids from inappropriate applications, an IT administrator tasked with securing a network, or simply someone who wants to keep distractions at bay, the ability to block users from opening a program is pretty helpful. In this tutorial, we’ll show you a simple way to restrict or block users from opening an application in Windows 10 & 11. Let’s get started.
Note: The steps detailed below can be followed in Windows 7 and 8 too.
Note: You require admin rights.
Steps To Block Users From Opening a Program
To block non-admin users from opening an application, we will use a free application called AskAdmin. Here’s how.
First, head over to the developer website, scroll down, and click on the download link to download AskAdmin.
Once downloaded, open the ZIP file and extract its contents to your desktop or some other drive.
After extracting, open the AskAdmin folder and double-click on the AskAdmin.exe or AskAdmin_x64.exe file.
In the main window, click the Add (+) icon.
In the browse window, find the application’s exe file you want to block, select it, and click the Open button.
The above action will add the program to the block list. To help you recognize which programs are blocked, AskAdmin will highlight it in red color. Additionally, you can also look at the checkbox under the status column. If the checkbox is checked, the program is blocked.
By default, the program is blocked for all users, including your user account. If that’s what you want, proceed to the next steps. Otherwise, right-click on the item, select Target User, and then select the user account.
Finally, click on Options and select Restart Windows Explorer. This will restart the explorer process and apply the security changes.
That is it. You can now close AskAdmin. From now on, anyone who tries to open the blocked application will see error messages like below. I encourage you to check its behavior.
Note: Some applications might not trigger the error but rest assured that they are blocked.
Unblock the Program
To unblock and allow users to open it, simply open the AskAdmin application and uncheck the checkbox next to the application name.
If you want to completely remove a program from the block list, right-click on the list item and select Delete.
And there you have it! It is that simple to block users from accessing or opening an application on Windows. For additional security, you can also enable protection in AskAdmin but it requires a Pro version. If that is something you want then upgrade the AskAdmin program by clicking on the Register icon.
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 as you can easily unblock the application when you want to use that specific application.
If you have any questions, comment below and we’ll answer.