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How to Prevent Others From Changing Your Windows Desktop Icons and Theme

There are several ways to change the desktop icons and themes on Windows. However, it is uncomfortable when other users make these changes without letting you know.

If you want tips on restricting access to the desktop icon and theme settings, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll show you how to disable these settings using Local Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor.


1. How to prevent others from changing your desktop icons

First, let’s explore how to disable desktop icon settings using Local Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor.

Using the Local Group Policy Editor

You can tweak various Windows settings with the Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE). This incredible tool is available in every Windows edition except Windows Home.

Luckily, there are some LPGE tricks you can use on Windows Home. From there you have full access to this tool.

However, applying these LGPE tricks can sometimes take too long. So it might be best to skip straight to the next method if your device doesn’t support LGPE.


Otherwise, you can use LGPE to restrict access to the desktop icon settings as follows:

  1. Press victory + R to open the Run Command dialog box.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization.
  4. Double-click the Prevent changing desktop icons options on the right.

Next, select Allowed from the options. Finally press ApplyPress OKand then restart your computer.

If you want to verify that these settings have been applied, you can do the following:

  1. Press victory + me to open System Preferences.
  2. press the personalization option and then select subjects on the left side window.
  3. Then click on the Desktop Icon Settings options on the right.
  4. The option that appears on the next screen should be greyed out. This shows that the settings are not accessible and nobody can tweak them.

If you want to re-enable desktop icon settings, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Follow the previous steps and double click the Prevent changing desktop icons Possibility.
  2. Next, choose either the Disabled or the Not configured Possibility.
  3. Press Apply and then press OK. Finally, restart your device to save these changes.

Using Registry Editor

You can also disable desktop icon settings using Registry Editor. However, the Windows Registry Editor contains sensitive keys and must be handled with care.

If you tweak the wrong registry keys, your system may run into problems. Therefore, to be on the safe side, back up the registry before proceeding.

Alternatively, you can back up your entire Windows device to the cloud before working with Registry Editor. That way, all your system files are safe in case backing up the registry doesn’t help.

To restrict access to desktop icon settings using Registry Editor:

  1. Press victory + R to open the Run Command dialog box.
  2. Type regedit and press OK to open the registry editor.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Personalization.
  4. Right-click a blank space on the right and select New > DWORD (32-bit) value.
  5. Name the value as NoDesktopIcons and then press Enter.

Double-click the NoDesktopIcons value and set his reading to 1. click OK and then close the Registry Editor. From there, restart your PC to save these changes.

To re-enable the desktop icon settings, you need to do the following:

  1. Follow the previous steps and double click the NoDesktopIcons Value.
  2. Set those reading to 0 and then click OK.
  3. Finally, close the Registry Editor and restart your device to apply these changes.


2. How to prevent others from changing your desktop theme

Now let’s explore how to restrict access to desktop theme settings using LGPE and Registry Editor.

Using the Local Group Policy Editor

To disable desktop theme settings using Local Group Policy Editor:

  1. Press victory + R to open the Run Command dialog box.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and press OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization.
  4. Double-click the Prevent topic change Possibility.

Next select the Allowed Possibility. From there, press ApplyPress OKand then restart your computer.

Here’s how you can now check whether these settings have been applied or not:

  1. Press victory + me to open System Preferences.
  2. press the personalization option and then select subjects on the left side window. The options that appear on the next screen should be greyed out.

If you decide to re-enable the desktop theme settings, do the following:

  1. open that personalization Option as in previous steps.
  2. Double-click the Prevent topic change option and choose either the Disabled or the Not configured Possibility.
  3. Press ApplyPress OKand restart your device to save these changes.

Using Registry Editor

Alternatively, you can use the registry editor to restrict access to desktop theme settings. Let’s look at how you can do this:

  1. Press victory + R to open the Run Command dialog box.
  2. Type regedit and press OK to open the registry editor.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Personalization.
  4. Right-click a blank space on the right and select New > DWORD (32-bit) value.
  5. Name the value as No themes and then press Enter.

Double-click the No themes value and set his reading to 1. click OK and then close the Registry Editor. Finally, restart your PC to save these changes.

To turn desktop theme settings back on, follow these steps:

  1. open that personalization Key (folder) as in previous steps.
  2. Double-click the No themes value and set his reading to 0.
  3. click OKclose Registry Editorand restart your device to save these changes.

Choose your favorite desktop icons and themes

Sharing a Windows device with others is pretty awesome. However, it can be quite irritating when other users keep changing your system settings.

If you want to restrict access to the desktop icon and theme settings, try the solutions we’ve covered. From there, you can check out more incredible tips such as: B. How to customize your desktop icons and themes.

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