How to stop users from installing software on your Windows computer

Xiaobai Software  2022-09-05 23: 22  read 57 views

Whether you're using your employer or your PC, it's a huge security risk if anyone can install software on your device.An unknown app could lead to a malware infection, or it could spy on your activity, which is quite a threat to personal security.

Also, it's really annoying to constantly have to delete useless apps that other people have installed.Next, we'll show you how to use Windows' built-in tools to prevent anyone from installing software on your computer.Also, there are some third-party apps that you can use as well.


1. Add a local user (non-admin) account

If you don't want to install apps or keep changing your system settings to prevent others from installing software on your computer, adding a standard account should be enough.Local user accounts do not have elevated privileges to manage applications or change your system settings.

Here's how to quickly add a local user account in Windows 11:

1. Launch Windows Settings and go to Accounts.

2. There, select Home and other users.

3. Click the "Add Account" button next to "Add Family Member".

4. Follow the steps, making sure to select a non-admin account.


2. Block users from installing third-party apps

There's a chance that preventing other users from installing third-party apps on your PC might be enough to keep you safe from any malware.Here's how you can set your system to only allow Microsoft apps to be installed.

1. Press Windows key + I to open the Settings menu.

2. From the left pane, select Applications.

3. Tap Apps & Features.

4. Open the drop-down menu next to "Choose where to get the app" and select Microsoft Store only (recommended).


These methods are not complicated, and they may not prevent a user with a basic understanding of Windows from installing software.So, we're going to look at more sophisticated solutions to keep your PC safe.

3. Edit the Group Policy Editor

Group Policy contains multiple policy groups that allow you to change administrative-level settings.There is a Windows Installer specific policy that you can disable and prevent users from installing new software on your computer.Here's how you do it:

1. Press Windows key + R to bring up the "Run" dialog box.

2. Enter gpedit.msc and click OK.

3. In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Installer.

4. In the right pane, find and turn off Windows Installer.

5. Select Enabled.

6. Click Apply > OK to save the new system changes.


The change will take effect after you restart your computer.If you want to undo your changes, go through the steps above and select Disable in step 5.

4. Do not run the specified Windows application

Another way to block the use of Windows Installer can be found in another area of ​​the Local Group Policy Editor.

Go back to the main menu of the Policy Editor window and navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System.In the right window, scroll down until you find "Do not run the specified Windows application".As the title implies, this is used to block certain programs from running, but we can also use it to block Windows installers.


Double click it and another window will appear.When you click "Enable", a new option will appear called "Disallowed Apps List".Click "Show" and a third window appears, where you can enter the path of the program to be blocked.

You have to list the route to the Windows installer location so that the policy editor can find it. The Windows installer is called msiexec.exe and is located at C:\Windows\System32\msiexec.exe.

Copy and paste it into the space provided in the box, then click OK.The Windows installer should now be blocked.

5. Edit the Registry Editor

Similar to Group Policy Editor, Registry Editor contains settings about your operating system and all installed software.Before editing the registry, create a restore point in case something goes wrong and ends up messing up the registry.

1. In the Start menu search bar, search for Registry Editor and select the best match.

2. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Classes > Msi.Package > DefaultIcon.

3. In the right pane, turn on the (Default) key.

4. Change the Value data to C:\Windows\System32\msiexec.exe,1.

5. Restart your computer.


6. Disable the USB port

Even if you don't have your computer connected to the Internet, someone could still use a USB flash drive to install software on your computer.To prevent this from happening, you should disable the USB port.The process is simple and you can re-enable these ports if needed.

7. Software Options

If you're not comfortable editing Group Policy or Registry Editor, you can try an app that stops other users from installing software without your approval.


It prevents anything from being installed by looking for certain keywords in applications running on your system.So if someone tries to install something and notices a certain keyword,Install-Blockwill automatically prevent it from continuing.

Install-Block will ask for a password when someone tries to install an application on your computer.If they don't know the password, they can't proceed.


Install-Block prevents anyone from making changes to your system, even if you are logged in with an administrative account, as it blocks access to the Start Menu, Task Manager, Control Panel, and more.

Additionally, you can use Install-Block to block access to folders, software and even games.

Download: Install-Block (Free trial)

Deep Freeze

The last intriguing option isDeep Freeze, which resets your system to its previous state on every reboot.This way, any changes made to your computer will be erased upon restart.So if someone dares to install something, it will be removed when you shut down the computer.


Of course, the only downside to this is that it also erases your changes.So it's not perfect.

Download: Deep Freeze (Free trial)

No more unauthorized applications

As we've already discussed, there are many options when it comes to preventing other users from installing software on your computer.Even Windows-native solutions are enough to keep your PC safe.However, if you want to go a step further, you can choose one of the software options.

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