Drake in Sarnia, Ontario listens to Into Tomorrow online and asked us about turning off very specific Windows features:
I was wondering if there was a program that could restrict certain features of a computer. For example, to disable right-click or only allow access to certain parts of the control panel.
Not using the Home edition of Windows, no. The Professional edition has something called the Group Policy Editor that allows you to control exactly what the users on the computer can do and it’s a fairly simple thing to disable Control Panel access.
Note that disables all of the Control Panel. You can’t select functions individually. Now, as for the mouse, again there isn’t an easy way to do this. You may be able to edit the registry and disable functions, but you won’t find a neat pre-built screen ready to do what you need.
We wracked our brains trying to figure out why you’d want to do this and all we could come up with is that you want to run some kind of automatic kiosk that users couldn’t break out of. Is that correct?
If you’re using Windows 8.1 or above, the simplest way is to create a user account on the PC and configure it for “Assigned Access Mode.” This special mode, added with this latest version of Windows, lets you configure an account to run one program and one program only. If you lock it to Internet Explorer, they can run the web browser and nothing else. It’s really quite slick.