Enable/Disable Control Panel Access in Windows XP, 7 or 8

Control Panel! Control Panel was introduced with Windows 2.0 which allows users to view and manipulate basic system settings. Users can see Control Panel option on Start menu, Windows Explorer Screen. Administrator is allowed to Enable or Disable the Control Panel. Sometimes, it is better choice to disable the Control Panel if a number of anonymous users use the system i.e. for cafe etc. 

But Sometimes, Control Panel disappears from Start Menu or Explorer Screen unknowingly and users are not allowed to change system settings like Add/Remove programs, change Screensaver or desktop wallpaper etc. Whenever they try to open Properties (in Windows XP) or Personalise , an Warning message appears :

"This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer"

Due to this, users are restricted and can`t use their system properly. It is really annoying. 

Recently, My friend experienced the same problem in Windows XP. When I came to know that Control Panel is not showing in the Start Menu, I thought Someone has unchecked the Control Panel option from 

  • Start Menu Properties >> Customize Start Menu. 
When I checked, It was surprising that there is no option for control panel at all. Why is Control Panel not showing there? and further, When opening 
Properties ( Right Click on Desktop >> Properties ), the above error appeared.

That makes me to have a deep search either the Control Panel access is Enabled or not ?

So, Here`s the way How i Enabled the access to Control Panel again and to get rid of  "This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer" this error.

How to Enable the Access to Control Panel using Group Policy Editor :

  • Go to Start >> Run...  or  Ctrl + R
  • Type gpedit.msc  and Enter.
  • A new window opens, Click on User Configuration >> Administrative Templates
  • Control Panel >> Double Click on Prohibit access to the Control Panel
  • In the new window, Select Disabled
  • Then, Click on Apply >> Ok and close the gpeditor screen,

How to Enable or Disable Control Panel Access in Windows XP, 7 or 8
Click on Image to Zoom

Now, the Control Panel option is again appearing on Start Menu and Explorer Screen. Also, You can access your all system settings of windows. 

Note : To Disable Control Panel from appearing in Start Menu or Explorer and To 
         Prevent access to the System Settings, Choose Enabled instead of 
         Disabled in Prohibit access to the Control Panel.

This was all about to access the control panel if access restricted or to prevent access to all the control panel items in Windows XP/7 or 8. 

The method is the same but the options might differ in name like in win 8 , you will see Prohibit access to the Control Panel and PC Settings instead of Prohibit access to the Control Panel option.

Hope, this will help you.

Have Fun!


  1. thank god..........solved. it worked...feeling great now.
    thanku so much

    1. Hi there :)

      Thanks for stopping by here and for this excited comment.


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