HOW TO: Hide Control Panel Tools in Windows Server 2003

For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see
261241 .

IN THIS TASK

Summary

This step-by-step article describes how to hide Control Panel tools and folders by using Group Policy in Windows Server 2003.

You can use a policy to hide Control Panel tools and folders in the Control Panel window and the Start menu. You can configure Group Policy settings to hide specific Control Panel tools or hide all Control Panel tools except for the items that you specify. The Group Policy settings that you configure can apply to the local computer, sites, domains, and organizational units.

NOTE: These settings apply only to the Control Panel window and the Start menu. They do not prevent users from running Control Panel tools.

Hide Control Panel Tools

  1. Click Start, click Run, type mmc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Click Group Policy Object Editor, and then click Add.
  5. Click the target Group Policy object (GPO). The default GPO is Local Computer. Click Browse to select the GPO that you want, and then click Finish.
  6. Click Close, and then click OK.
  7. Expand User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, and then click Control Panel.
  8. In the right pane, double-click Hide specified Control Panel applets.
  9. Click Enabled. This setting removes Control Panel tools from the Control Panel window and the Start menu. To specify the Control Panel tools that you want to hide, click Show.
  10. In the Show Contents dialog box, click Add, type the file name of the Control Panel tool that you want to hide in the Enter the item to be added box, and then click OK. Control Panel tools use the .cpl extension and are located in the %Systemroot%\System32 folder. To find the file name of a Control Panel tool, search for .cpl files in the %Systemroot%\System32 folder. To do so:
    1. Click Start, and then click Search.
    2. Click All files and folders. In the
      All or part of the file name box, type
      *.cpl, in the Look in box, click
      Local Disk (drive:), where
      drive is the drive on which Windows is installed, and then click Search.
  11. Repeat step 10 for each Control Panel tool that you want to hide, and then click OK.
  12. Click OK, and then quit the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in.

Show Only Specific Control Panel Tools

  1. Click Start, click Run, type mmc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Add/Remove Snap-in.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Click Group Policy Object Editor, and then click Add.
  5. Click the target GPO. The default GPO is Local Computer. Click Browse to select the GPO that you want, and then click Finish.
  6. Click Close, and then click OK.
  7. Expand User Configuration, expand Administrative Templates, and then click Control Panel.
  8. In the right pane, double-click Show only specified Control Panel applets.
  9. Click Enabled. This setting removes all Control Panel tools from the Control Panel window and the Start menu, except for the items that you specify. If you do not specify any tools or folders to display, the Control Panel window is empty. To specify the Control Panel tools that you want to display, click Show. Control Panel tools use the .cpl extension and are located in the %Systemroot%\System32 folder. To find the file name of a Control Panel tool, search for .cpl files in the %Systemroot%\System32 folder. To do so:
    1. Click Start, and then click Search.
    2. Click All files and folders. In the
      All or part of the file name box, type
      *.cpl, in the Look in box, click
      Local Disk (drive:), where
      drive is the drive on which Windows is installed, and then click Search.
  10. In the Show Contents dialog box, click Add, type the file name of the Control Panel tool that you want to display in the Enter the item to be added box, and then click OK.
  11. Repeat step 10 for each Control Panel tool that you want to display, and then click OK.
  12. Click OK, and then quit the Group Policy Object Editor snap-in.

List of .Cpl Files

The following is a list of .cpl files and the corresponding Control Panel tool.

.cpl File Control Panel Tools
============== ===============================
Access.cpl Accessibility
Appwiz.cpl Add or Remove Program
Desk.cpl Display
Hdwwiz.cpl Add Hardware
Inetcpl.cpl Internet Options
Intl.cpl Regional and Language Options
Joy.cpl Game Controllers
Keymgr.cpl Stored User Names and Passwords
Liccpa.cpl Licensing
Main.cpl Mouse
Mmsys.cpl Sound and Audio Devices
Ncpa.cpl Network Connections
Nwc.cpl Netware client connectivity
Odbccp32.cpl ODBC Data Source Administrator
Powercfg.cpl Power Options
Sysdm.cpl System
Telephon.cpl Phone and Modem Options
Timedate. cpl Date and Time
Sapi.cpl Speech
Properties

Article ID: 325852 - Last Review: Jan 7, 2008 - Revision: 1

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