If you’re wondering how to prevent others from changing desktop icons and themes, you’ve come to the right place. Next, we will tell you How to prevent others from changing desktop icons and themes in Windows using Local Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor step by step.
Prevent others from changing desktop icons and themes with the Local Group Policy Editor
From the “Local Group Policy Editor” or “Local Group Policy Editor” (LGPE) you can edit various Windows settings, available in all versions except Windows Home. In the latter case, it is best to go directly to the other method, since it will be faster and easier.
Now here’s how you can use LGPE to restrict access to desktop theme and icon settings:
- Start by pressing the “Win + R” key to open the “Run” command dialog box.
- Then, type gpedit.msc and click “OK” to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
- Next, go to “User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization”.
- Once there, position yourself in the option “Prevent changing desktop icons” by double clicking on the right side, as shown in the image to prevent others from changing desktop icons.
- The next thing will be to select “Enabled options” and click “OK > OK”.
- To prevent others from changing desktop themes, go to “Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization > Prevent changing theme and select the option “Disabled” or “Not configured”.
- Finally, restart your computer and you’re good to go.
If you want to verify that these settings have been applied correctly, do the following:
- Press “Win + I” key to open system settings.
- Next, go to the “Personalization” option and select “Themes” on the left panel.
- Then click on the settings option from the desktop icon, on the right of the screen.
- If you have done all the steps correctly, the option on the screen will be grayed out. This shows that the configuration is not accessible and cannot be edited by anyone.
In the future, if you want to re-enable the desktop icon setting, here’s what to do:
- Follow the steps mentioned above and double-click on the “Prevent changing desktop icons” option. Then select the “Disabled” or “Not Configured” option.
- Finally, click “Apply > OK” and save the changes.
Remember to restart your computer so you can verify that the changes have been applied correctly.
From the Registry Editor
Before you begin, you should be aware that Registry Editor contains sensitive keys, so it should be handled with great care. If you modify the wrong keys, the system may crash.
The best thing to do to prevent this from happening is to create a backup of the Registry before you start. You can also back up your entire Windows device to the cloud, so all your system files are safe.
Having said that, here’s how to restrict others’ access to prevent them from changing desktop icons and themes with Registry Editor.
- Just like the previous method, start by pressing “Win + R” keys to open “Run” command dialog box.
- Next, type “Regdir” and click “OK” to open the Registry Editor.
- Next, navigate through the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Personalization” options.
- Right-click on the empty space on the right side and select “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value” and name the value “NoDesktopIcons > Enter” by double-clicking.
- Set the value data to 1 and click “OK” to prevent others from changing desktop icons.
- “Instead, to prevent others from changing your desktop theme, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Personalization.”
- Then right-click in the empty space on the right side and select “New > DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
- Name the value “NoThemes” and set the value data to 1 then “OK” and you are done.
- Finally, close the Registry Editor and restart your PC to save the changes properly.
To re-enable the settings you had previously, follow all the steps above. Then double click “NoDesktopIcons” and set “Value Data 0 > OK”. Lastly, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer.