The Windows registry allows us to review the configuration of the computer, change all the parameters of the system. You may have never accessed it or you are not interested in doing so, but you may also want to block access because the computer is in more hands and this can pose a risk if someone touches it without knowing what they are doing. In this case, we can disable access to the Windows registry editor so that no one can access it without your permission.
But, as we said, it can be a risk if someone unknowingly touches Windows’ registry, deletes something by mistake. That is why it may be interesting to temporarily disable it or prevent access. When is it a good idea? For example, on shared computers or on computers that are going to be used by many people: at work, in a computer class or even in your own home if there are minors and you don’t want them to delete or damage anything by mistake.
What is the Windows registry
The Windows registry or Regedit allows us to modify settings and parameters of the computer, as we have explained before. It is a default tool from Microsoft that it has been offering for years and which we can access by touching the Windows icon on the keyboard + R to later type REGEDIT. From here we can see all the directories, the keys and the values…
What do we use it for? To make backup copies, to solve a failure, to find solutions, to remove programs that are installed by default and much more.
How to disable from regedit
The steps may vary slightly from one version of the operating system to another, but generally it will be enough to do it from the registry itself, following a few simple steps and changing some parameters from it, and it will only take us a couple of minutes whenever we want to activate or deactivate it.
To disable access to the Windows registry from the registry itself, we first need to follow two initial steps. The first thing we must do is press the Win + R keys on the computer so that a Run window opens. When you press the keys you will see that the window appears in the lower left corner of the screen with a box in which we must write, as so many other times, regedit. Once we have it, press Enter and we will be inside the registry.
When we have entered we will see that all kinds of folders appear on the left side of the screen and we must go to a specific path. We must go to:
Or we can also copy the route:
In the event that the System key does not exist or we do not see it on the screen , we must create it. How? The steps are simple and it will only take a few seconds.
- We click on Policies with the right button
- We play in “New”
- A dropdown menu will open with options
- We choose “Key”
- We change the name to “ System ”
The next thing we have to do is within the System key, create a new value with the name DisableRegistryTools. So, we right-click on the right pane inside System and select the “New” option. Here, we choose the option “32-bit DWORD Value” in the options menu, in the context menu. When we have already created it we have to change its name and put “DisableRegistryTools”
Once the name has been changed, double click on the new value created and a window will appear where we can change the name, choose the base or the value information. In “value information” you will see that there is a 0 and we must change it to “1”. When you have it, confirm with “ OK ” and close the window.
We save the changes by closing the Windows registry and from that moment, we can already verify how when trying to access the Windows registry a window appears informing us that the administrator of the computer has disabled the modification of the Windows registry.
Block network access
There are options that allow us to access the Windows registry remotely, from another connected computer. It is available although it is deactivated by default and we do not run any risk if we have not previously activated it, but we can make sure that it is and it will only take us a few seconds to do so.
We touch Windows + R again to open the run window. But we do not open regedit now but we write services.msc and the computer services window will open. Here we must look for “remote registration” in the list. We double click on it and a window will open that tells us: general, start session, recovery, dependencies… in addition, we will see a drop-down menu with the access path and that allows us to choose between automatic (delayed start), automatic, manual, disabled. Mark the last option and confirm with “Accept” to prevent the registry from being accessed from the corresponding path.
Use third-party tools
There are other applications that we can use specifically for this if we don’t want to have to touch the registry and follow the steps above every time we want to disable access or enable it. There are specialized programs that will allow us to do it quickly. Free and portable programs like Policy Plus, for example.
Policy Plus is a free, portable and open source program. We can download it from Github and we don’t need to install anything, just download it to the computer and we can launch the executable to start using it. It does not require installation and it is very simple if we want to activate or deactivate these options.
What Policy Plus does is give Windows Home users the ability to disable access to the system registry as if they had access to Windows Group Policy. Once we have launched Policy Plus, we go to the Help > Acquire ADMX Files option to make sure we have the latest policy files and then we accept the destination folder. Later we click on Yes to open and load the ADMX files in the tool and we are ready to use it.
To disable access to the Windows registry, go to System in the left pane and then double-click the Prevent access to registry editing tools option. This will open a new window in which we must mark the Enabled option and click OK to save the changes. We may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Once we have done it, we check if it works and if we can access it or not.