This tutorial on how to disable the Control Panel in Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 R2 has the following two parts. It assumes you have already created an Organizational Unit (OU) for the users.

  1. Creating a GPO or Group Policy Object.
  2. Linking that GPO to an OU or Organizational Unit.

Creating a Group Policy Object

Step 1: Open server manager dashboard. Click Tools and scroll the menu. Click Group Policy Management.

Open server manager dashboard

Step 2: Expand the node tree: <domain name>. Right-click Group Policy Objects and click New.

Expand the node tree

Step 3: Provide some meaningful name of GPO and click OK.

Enter the name

Step 4: Right-click the GPO you created in above step and click Edit.

Right-click the GPO

Step 5: Right-click Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings and click Edit.

Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings

Step 6: Choose Enabled and click OK,

Enable the option

Linking the GPO to Users in an Organizational Unit

Step 1: Right-click the OU (In my case, it's student) on which you want to apply this policy of disabling control panel and click Link an Existing GPO.

Link an Existing GPO

Step 2: Choose the GPO you created above and click OK. The policy has been applied to all users in that OU.

Choose the GPO you created

Step 3: Go to your client machine and login with any user from organizational unit. Try to open control panel.

login with any user from organizational unit

Step 4: A message will pop up showing you that the restrictions have been in effect on this computer and the operation can not be completed. Click OK and you are done. Similarly, you can also link this GPO to other OU's and disable the users from opening control panel.

Access blocked sucessfully

How to Disable Control Panel Using Group Policies in Active Directory on Windows Server 2012 R2

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. He blogs at LinuxWays.

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