Most options to manage and configure the Windows computer are located in the new PC Settings app. As such, it is important that you restrict access to it to prevent any unwanted or unauthorized access. This is especially true if you are sharing your computer with others. If you ever need to make sure no settings are changed, you can disable the PC settings app quite easily. Follow the below steps to disable Windows 10 Settings app.
Do keep in mind that this also disables the Control Panel, which is the same as the PC Settings app.
Change Group Policy to Disable PC Settings App
The easiest way to disable settings app or control panel is to use the group policy editor. In the group policy editor, all you have to do is change a single policy and you are done. If you want to, you can backup group policy before changing the policy.
Note: This method only works if you are using the Pro or Enterprise version of Windows 10. If you are using the Home edition, follow the second method.
1. Open the run dialog box (Win + R), type gpedit.msc and click on the Ok button to open the group policy editor. You can also search for the same in the start menu.
2. Once the group policy editor has been opened, you can see a bunch of folders on the left panel. Go to the User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel folder.
3. On the right panel, you will see all the policies related to Control Panel. Here find and double click on the Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC Settings policy.
4. In the policy settings window, select the Enabled radio option. Click on the Apply and Ok buttons to save the changes.
5. To apply the policy settings, either reboot Windows or open the Command Prompt as admin and execute gpupdate /force command.
That is it. After applying the policy, the PC Settings app won’t open no matter how many times you try to open it. If you try to open the Control Panel, the system will greet you with below message.
To enable PC Settings, simply select the Not Configured radio option in step 4 and reboot your system.
Registry Edit to Disable Settings App
If you are on a Windows 10 Home edition, you can easily disable PC Settings app via the Registry editor. All we have to do is create a key and a value. So, backup registry settings and follow the below steps.
1. Just as always, open the run dialog box (Win +R), type regedit and click on the Ok button to open the registry editor.
2. In the registry editor, copy and paste the below path in the registry address bar and press Enter. This action will take you to the folder we need.
3. Here we need to create a new folder. So, right-click on the Policies folder on the left panel and select New > Key.
4. Name the new folder as Explorer. In case you are wondering, in the registry editor, folders are called Keys.
5. Now, select the Explorer key. On the right panel, right-click and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
6. Name the value as NoControlPanel and press Enter to confirm the name.
7. We now need to change the value. To do that double click on the newly created value. In the Value Data field, type 1 and click on the Ok button to save changes.
8. Close registry editor.
9. To apply the changes, reboot Windows.
That is it. After rebooting the system, you cannot access the Settings app. Try opening the PC Settings app and it will close automatically. If you try to open the Control Panel, you will be greeted with the following message.
If you like this article, do check out, how to disable automatic maintenance in Windows 10 and how to enable active hours so that Windows will not restart while you are working to install updates.