Can I keep my kids from running a particular program?

We have a family computer that resides in the den. The kids don’t have their own computers. That way we have more control over what they do, but I can’t always be in the room when they’re using the computer. I don’t want them to be able to run Torrents programs to download music and software (possibly illegally). Do I have to buy an extra security program or is there a way I can control this with Windows 7? Thanks! – Alyson

You’re in luck. If you’re comfortable editing the registry, there is a way to prevent a program from running, even if the kids are extra sneaky and try uninstalling and reinstalling the program. Here’s what you do:

  1. Open the registry editor (if you don’t know how, you probably shouldn’t be editing the registry). Back up the registry before making changes.
  2. Navigate to the following key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer
  3. In the right pane, right click an empty space and select New | DWORD (32 bit) Value. Name it DisallowRun
  4. Double click the new value and in the Value Data field, make its value 1 (Hexadecimal).
  5. Click OK.
  6. Back in the left pane of the registry editor, right click Explorer.
  7. Select New | Key. Name the key the same thing (DisallowRun).
  8. Right click in an empty spot in the right pane again, and select New | String Value. Give it whatever name is descriptive (for example, Block Bittorrent).
  9. Double click the new value and in the value data field, type the executable file name (for example, bittorrent.exe).
  10. Restart the computer.

Now when the kids try to run the Bittorrent application, they will get an error message that says “This operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer.”

To see screenshots of the process described above, see

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