Re: How do I prevent Windows XP Pro Users (children) from making chang
- From: mikkl <nospamhere@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 08:15:08 -0500
On Fri, 3 Feb 2006 03:44:48 -0800, Peter Schwartz wrote:
Basically, I want to restrict them to using MS Office 2003, Internet
Explorer, MS Encarta, games, and some accessories. How can I set up Windows
and/or these other programs to prevent software installation, access to other
software programs I installed, downloading, and system changes?
Panda_man has some good advice in his document.
Fundamentally, set up multiple user accounts and give the children accounts
that are set for Limited access. This will prevent most of what you are
looking to control. Please note, running as limited can cause some games
to have headaches either because they need to access configuration files in
their parent directory or need to write to the registry on the first run.
There are two ways (that I know of) to handle the configuration file
The first approach is to create a shared file (named something creative
like "Shared Program Files") and install all games and/or shared
applications in this location. As a shared folder, the programs will have
write permissions to this location, avoiding the configuration file
The second approach is to install the program in the normal location but
give all users full access to that particular directory. You can do this
in File Explorer by right clicking on the directory, selecting Properties
and then Security and giving the Users group "Full control". Note--do not
do this on the entire Program Files directory or you have essentially
undone the security you added by having the kids run as Limited.
For the registry issue, this is typically something that is done on the
first run of the program. You can address this issue by temporarily
changing each child's account to administrator level and launching the
game. After you have played a bit of the game the first time (and
confirmed that it works) you should be able to downgrade the child's
account to Limited and the game will function. Please note, you typically
have to perform this for each child's account.
As for keeping them away from your programs, the *simplest* way is probably
to make it less obvious that they are installed. When multiple accounts
are created, separate Start button (and other) configurations are created
for each user. You can find these by right clicking the start button and
selecting "Explore All Users". As the name suggests, this will show you
the configuration entries that apply to all users. You can limit what
programs appears Start button of the children's user accounts by modifying
the Start Menu folder which is found under each account. Essentially, move
all program shortcuts that you do not want the children to access from All
Users to your personal account name.
Also, within each account, you can modify what icons appears on the desktop
and on the Start button using the Task Bar and Start Menu control panel
tool. Again, this is one that you would adjust from within each child's
YMMV, but here at my house the children are also told that using the
computer is a privilege and not a right. There are rules (such as Dad is
the only one allowed to install software and change system settings, etc.)
and if the rules are broken, the password on their accounts will be changed
to something that only I know.
Locking them off of the computer a couple of times due to missteps has
helped a great deal.
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