If you want to restrict the applications that users can access and run in Vista from the Start menu, the desktop, and the Control Panel, you can make a few simple modifications to the registry. For example, you can remove common programs, you can remove the All Programs menu, and you can remove the Run command.

To get started, launch the Registry Editor. Then, once the Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer.

Adding DWORD values

To add a new DWORD value to the Explorer key, pull down the Edit menu and select the New | DWORD Value command. When you see the New Value appear in the Explorer key, you can identify it using the names described in the next section Once you name a value, press [Enter] twice — once to activate the new name and once to open the Edit DWORD dialog box. You can then add the appropriate setting in Value Data text box.

Remove common programs

In the default configuration, the All Programs menu contains items from the All Users profile as well as items from the current user’s profile. If you want to remove those items that appear in the All Users profile and leave only those items that appear in the user’s profile, you can add a DWORD value named NoCommonGroups and set the Value Data to 1.

Remove the All Programs menu

If you want to prevent users from running any programs besides those that you have configured to run at startup, you can remove the All Programs menu from the Start menu. To do so, add a DWORD value named NoStartMenuMorePrograms and set the Value Data to 1.

Remove the Run command

If users know the name of an executable file, they can run the program manually by using the Run command. However, you can remove the Run command from the Start menu and thus further restrict users from running applications. To do so, you add a DWORD value named NoRun and set the Value Data to 1.

Remove the Control Panel

If you would rather not have users run applications in the Control Panel and change Vista configuration settings, you can remove it from the Start menu. To do so, you add a DWORD value named NoControlPanel and set the Value Data to 1.

Hide items on the desktop

Since applications can be run from shortcuts stored on the desktop, you may want to lock down the desktop. To do so, you add a DWORD value named NoDesktop and set the Value Data to 1.

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