Restrict Users From Changing Personalization Settings In Windows 8

Like previous Windows versions, each user can keep their own personalization settings in Windows 8. That means that everyone can have their own customized desktop with respect to theme settings, screen saver, sounds, desktop background, and other visual styles. Yesterday, we published a tutorial on how to restrict users from accessing internet connection settings property sheet in Windows 8, using the Local Group Policy Editor. The Local Group Policy Editor allows users, with administrative permissions of the system, to specify a wide range of system components usage settings, and put restraints on the amount of control a non-administrative user has on the system. In this post, we will show you how to restrict Users from making changes to the Personalization and Visual Style settings in Windows 8.

To begin, make sure that you have logged in as Administrator or have required administrative rights to change local group policies. First, go to Start Screen, type gpedit.msc, select Apps from right sidebar, and then click gpedit.msc in main window.

This will open Local Group Policy Editor. Now, go to the following location and select Personalization to view the list of available policy settings.

Local Computer Policy/ User Configuration/ Administrative Templates/Control Panel

Local Group Policy Editor new

The right side will list all the items in the Personalization category with their policy setting set to Not Configured. You can view the current state of each policy setting by looking under the State column in the right side.

Local Group Policy Editor_2012-05-31_16-32-07

Now, to restrict access for all the Users to any type of personalization option, select the required option from the list and choose edit Policy Setting. This will open a separate window, which allows you to tweak the default policy setting for the selected item. At the top, there are Not Configured, Enabled and Disabled options available. Selecting each setting will let you read about the effect that it will have on your computer in the Help section. To enable the restriction, select Enabled and click OK.

Prevent changing color scheme

Perform the same steps for disabling all the other Personalization options for all Users. When you change the policy setting, the state should be changed to Enabled under the State column.

Local Group Policy Editor_2012-05-31_16-34-47

Now, any users who open up the Personalization dialog box, will not be able to change any of the settings that you have restricted.

Personalization

Such a restriction might come in particularly handy for corporate users, or for people who deal with shared computers and do not want inexperienced users meddling around with any personalization parameters as a precaution.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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