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Windows 95, NT, and upward have a number of policy keys that are used by system administrators to govern what users can change on their machines. These keys can be used to restrict access to control panel pages, remove menus and icons in explorer, and shutoff helpful "features" such as Active Desktop. Some of these keys will work under the "HKEY LOCAL MACHINE" branch as well as under "HKEY CURRENT USER". I think that most of the items here should be pretty self explanitory, but refer the the Windows Resource Kits for more information.

Note that changing values in the registry can be hazardous to the health of your system. You can really make a mess in the registry editor. Here is a list of keys (All DWORD's set to 1 to activate, except where noted):

    Under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  • DisableTaskManager
  • RestrictRun
  • NoDispAppearancePage
  • NoDispBackgroundPage
  • NoDispCPL
  • NoDispScrSavPage
  • NoDispSettingPage
  • NoAdminPage
  • NoConfigPage
  • NoDevMgrPage
  • NoFileSysPage
  • NoProfilePage
  • NoPwdPage
  • NoSecCPL
  • NoVirtMemPage
    Under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  • NoAddPrinter
  • NoClose
  • NoDeletePrinter
  • NoDesktop
  • NoDrives
  • NoDriverTypeAutoRun
  • NoFind
  • NoNetHood
  • ClassicShell
  • ClearRecentDocsOnExit
  • EnforceShellExtensionSecurity
  • LinkResolveIgnoreLinkInfo
  • NoActiveDesktop
  • NoCommonGroups
  • NoFavoritesMenu
  • NoFileMenu
  • NoFolderOptions
  • NoInternetIcon
  • NoLogoff
  • NoNetConnectDisconnect
  • NoRecentDocsHistory
  • NoRecentDocsMenu
  • NoRun
  • NoPrinterTabs
  • NoSaveSettings
  • NoSetFolders
  • NoSetTaskbar
  • NoTrayContextMenu
  • NoViewContextMenu
  • NoSetActiveDesktop
  • NoStartMenuSubFolders
    Under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer\RestrictRun
  • String values, names are a set of sequential numbers starting at 1, data contains the allowed programs.
    Under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Network
  • NoEntireNetwork
  • NoNetSetup
  • NoNetSetupIDPage
  • NoNetSetupSecurityPage
  • NoWorkgroupContents
  • NoFileSharingControl
  • NoPrintSharingControl
    Under HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ActiveDesktop
  • NoChangingWallpaper
  • NoComponents
  • NoAddingComponents
  • NoDeletingComponents
  • NoEditingComponents
  • NoCloseDragDropBands
  • NoMovingBands

On some corporate networks where group policies are used, registry changes may be overwritten after you log in again. This is because when you login to a network that has a set of group policies defined on it, the keys defined in that policy may overwrite any changes you have made. See Windows Group Policies for information about how group policies work.

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