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How To Disable Network Access to Windows Registry?

Luther Riggs

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Messing with your Windows registry can offer up some cool tricks and features that your basic Windows user doesn’t know about. However, changing items in your Windows registry can also lead to some intense system failures.

If you don’t properly back up your registry, you could really screw up your computer. That’s why, before making any changes to your Windows registry, it’s smart to back it up.

Once you’ve backed up your Windows registry, you can mess with it however you want with the knowledge that it can be returned to that working state. However, if you don’t back it up before making changes, something can go wrong and returning your computer to the working state can be difficult.

For this reason, many computer users want to disable access to the Windows registry, so no one can get in and mess around with it.

disable access to windows registry

How does one go about disabling access to the Windows registry? It’s a rather simple process and one that anyone can do, no level of computer science degree necessary. It all starts with what version of Windows you have.

Here, we are going to focus on Windows 7 and Windows XP, but the steps performed can be easily translated into later versions of Windows. Without further ado, here is how to disable access to Windows registry.

Disable Network Access to Registry in Windows 7

Step#1 – Open your “Local Group Policy editor“. This can be found by pressing the “Win+R” and typing gpedit.msc into the “Open” bar. This will open up a separate window of options where you will then navigate.

how to open a local group policy editor

Step#2 – Once this window opens, find the “User Configuration” option on the side. Click on this and it should open up a drop-down list of further options.

Step#3 – Navigate down until you see “Administrative Templates”. This will again open up a drop-down list of further options. Here you should see the folder labeled “System” which you should open up.

local group policy editor

Step#4 – This will show you the files within the System folder. Scroll down until you find “Prevent Access to Registry Editing Tools”. Double click on this file.

Step#5 – Here, you should see a window with three fill-in bubble options. They will be labeled “Not Configured”, “Enabled”, and “Disabled”. Fill in the bubble next to “Enabled”. Once you’ve done this, any user access to the Windows registry will be denied network access by the system

Prevent Access to Registry Editing Tools

This can be undone by following the steps and clicking “Disabled” at the very end. Preventing access to the Windows registry will help stop anyone from ruining your computer internally.

Disable Network Access to Registry in Windows XP

While the above option is for Windows 7, some computers still contain processors that work with Windows XP. The steps for these computers will be different from the above-listed steps so it’s important to know which processor your computer is running on:

Step#1 – The first step for Windows XP users is to close down any programs you currently have running. This will prevent any issues from occurring to the running apps.

Step#2 – Once everything is closed down, hit the start button at the bottom corner of your screen, and open “Settings”. Within this, you’ll find the option for “Control Panel”. Click this, and a separate window should pop up where you’ll find the “System” option.

Prevent-Access-to-Registry-Editing-Tools-on-windows-xp


Step#3 – Double-click this to open the System Properties window where you will find a tab labeled hardware. Open this tab and click the button labeled “Device manager”. A drop-down list should appear and the option “Network Adaptor” will be visible.

Step#4 – Click the “+” symbol next to it and a few options should appear. Right-click on the one with the same icon as the “Network Adaptor” and a text bubble should appear next to it. Click “Disable” and you will have successfully disabled Network access for your computer temporarily.

This is slightly different from Windows 7’s registry, but only because Windows XP does not present the registry in the same way.

Please Note

These processes are easy and important to prevent someone from changing around your registry or network access and ruining your computer. Each version of Windows will have a different process to disabling access to your Windows registry, so take note of which version you have. Windows 8 and Windows 10 will have similar steps as for Windows 7, but Windows XP and Vista are completely different. Find out which version of Windows you have and follow the necessary steps.

check windows version

Don’t leave yourself open to someone messing around in your registry. !!! If you don’t understand the Windows registry and don’t have a backup, disabling access to it will prevent any accidental damages !!! At the very least, back up your registry so you have something to return it to. A working registry will keep your computer happy and healthy for a long time.

Luther is a professional Software Engineer and passionate technology Blogger. His main area of research is Software and Business Development.

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