How to Block Desktop Apps Access on Windows 11 and 10?


If you want to disable access to specific applications running Windows 11/10 on your computer or laptop, then this is possible on Windows 11/10. There may be various reasons to strict some apps on your computer like you want to prevent users from launching built-in tools (such as PowerShell and Command Prompt), running scripts, or making unwanted system changes. You may also have installed some apps on your PC and do not want to access someone else. You need to restrict access to some of the best Windows apps to comply with your organization’s policy.

Whatever may be the reason, if you want to restrict access to some specific application on Windows 11/10, it is possible in at least two ways, through Group Policy Editor or the Security Policy console.

This risewindows article will guide you on the steps to disable access to one or more desktop applications on your computer.

How to disable apps access using Group Policy on Windows 11/10?

You need to perform the following steps to disable access to certain apps on Windows 11/10 with Local Group Editor:-

Step 1. Now, press Windows logo + R keys to open the Run dialog box. Then, type gpedit.msc and press Enter from the keyboard to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.

gpedit.msc_ (4)Local-2BGroup-2BPolicy-2BEditor-2Step 2. Next, browse for the following path under the Local Group Policy Editor window:-

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System

Local-Group-Policy-Editor-SystemStep 3. After that, double-click on the policy “Don’t run specified Windows applications” from the right side pane.

Dont-run-specified-Windows-applicationsStep 4. Then, the “Don’t run specified Windows applications” policy properties will open.

Step 5. Now, select the Enabled option and click on the show button.

ShowStep 6. Next, confirm the names of the apps you want to block.

Show-contentsNote: You have to enter the app one per line. Also, you need to specify the “.exe” file extension to block the app. For example, to block Command Prompt, you should add cmd.exe, and powershell.exe will block the PowerShell.

Step 7. After that, click on the OK.

Step 8. Then, click on the Apply followed by the OK button.

When you complete the steps, the specified apps will no longer be accessible by any users configured on your computer. The settings are applied immediately; moreover, you can restart your computer to ensure the policy has been applied.

You will get an error message, “This operation has been canceled due to restrictions on this computer. Please contact your system administrator,” when you try to open the blocked app.

Operation-cancelledIf you want to revert the changes, on the above step 5, select the option Not configured. Restrictions are removed immediately.

How to Disable apps access using Security Policy?

This is the second option to disable app access on Windows 11/10 PC. Follow the below-given steps to prevent or stop all users from launching specific apps on Windows 11/10 PC.

Step 1. Now, click on the Start button and type Local Security Policy. Then, click on the Local Security Policy from the available search results.

Local-Security-PolicyStep 2. Next, double-click on the Software Restriction Policies branch to expand it.

Software-Restriction-PoliciesStep 3. After that, right-click on the Additional Rules category and select the New Hash Rule option from the drop-down that appears.

New-Hash-RuleStep 4. Then, a New Hash Rule window will open when you click on the “New Hash Rule.”

New-Hash-Rule-windowStep 5. Now, click on the Browse button and select the application to which you want to restrict access to all users on your Windows 11/10.

Browse-and-select-applicationNote: Only select the executable file which you want to block.

Step 6. Next, click on the Open button.

Step 7. After that, click on the Apply button.

Step 8. Then, click on the OK button.

Step 9, Finally, restart your computer to take effect the changes.

All users will no longer be able to launch the specified application when the above steps are completed. You can repeat the steps to block access for other desktop applications to restrict more apps.

Delete the entry you have made on Step 5 above to allow access to the apps or remove the restriction.

You can also restrict access to the Task Manager and Registry similarly.

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