Windows offers a list of administrative tools to let users have full control over their computers. These tools like Disk Cleanup, Event Viewer, Performance Monitor and many more are located under the ‘Administrative Tools’ options in the control panel. But as helpful as they can be, they can also prove to be a nuisance if misused by people who are trying to harm your computer. Therefore, it is always advised that you hide their access while handing over your computer to guest users. This can be done in two ways. You can use any of the methods.
Restrict Access To Windows Administrative Tools with Registry Editor
One of the most basic methods is to edit the registry.
1. Start by pressing the Windows + R keys together to launch the Run dialog box. Type in ‘regedit’ and press enter.
2. Once the Editor launches, navigate to the following address – HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
3. On the right hand panel, find a file named ‘StartMenuAdminTools’, double click on it, and change the ‘Value data’ to 0 from 1. Click on OK to finish the process.
4. This will hide the Administrative Tools menu. If and when you want to revert back the changes, you can easily do the same by changing the value data of the file back to 1. It’s that simple.
NOTE – If in step 3 you cannot see a file named ‘StartMenuAdminTools’, you can simply create the file yourself. To do so, right click anywhere in the right hand panel, select New –> Dword (32-bit) Value. Then name the file ‘StartMenuAdminTools’ and you are good to go to step 4.
Restrict Access To Windows Administrative Tools by Hiding From Start Menu
You can also directly hide the tools from the start menu of windows 8-8.1
1. Open the start menu of the Windows. Now open the charms menu on the right by sliding the cursor in the lower right corner and click on Settings.
2. In the next menu, click on Tiles.
3. You will now see an option to toggle the access of the Administrative Tools. Click on the slider once to slide it towards No.
Restrict Access To Windows Administrative Tools by Changing the Properties
You can also use this method to hide the Administrative Tools menu from standard users. Follow these steps –
1. Go to the location C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. This is where the shortcut for the Administrative Tools is located. If you cannot find the ProgramData folder, make sure viewing the hidden folders is enabled. You can do this with the Folder Options menu in control panel.
2. Once you are here, right click on the Administrative Tools folder and select Properties. Now go to the Security section.
3. Select Everyone and click on Remove. This will restrict any user without Admin rights to access these tools.
4. Next click on the Add button and select the domain Administrators to give them full control.
NOTE – The same can also be done with the help of the Group Policy Editor but I am not covering the method as it works only on some of the Windows versions.
In case you have any doubt with any of the methods, please get back to me with your queries through the comments section.