How to Block Users from Opening Certain Software in Windows 10

Have to restrict a person from accessing or opening an application? Here is a simple method to block users from opening restricted software.

Recently, one of my buddies is in a situation where he must lockout a course so that other users, like his nephew, cannot open it up. These kinds of restrictions are occasionally important if you are sharing the same user account with multiple people. Now, as possible guess, locking programs and blocking users from accessing certain programs is pretty helpful sometimes.

So, if you’re ever in this situation, stick to the below steps to bar users from opening certain software or programs in Windows 10.

Note: The steps detailed below can be followed in Windows 7 and Windows 8 too.

Windows AppLock Feature

In case you have no idea, Windows has a built-in feature called AppLocker to lock applications, software, and programs with a set of rules. Using those rules, you can either outright block a user from ever opening it or place meaningful restrictions. Just like the AppLocker feature is, it is only available in the Enterprise and Education versions. As a result, we need to find a different way to get things done.

Thankfully, Windows has an application for everything. Simply put, we are going to make use of a free, lightweight, and portable software called AskAdmin to block users from accessing certain programs. Just stick to the steps out of the box and you’ll be completed in virtually no time.

Steps to Block Certains Programs for Users in Windows

1. Like I said before, we are going to use the AskAdmin tool to create things work. So, download the software, open the ZIP file and extract its contents to desktop or some other drive.

2. After extracting, open the “AskAdmin” folder and execute the EXE file depending on the body architecture. With my case, I’m opening the “AskAdmin_x64.exe” file.

3. The application’s interface is fairly simple to follow. To add an application towards the block list, click on the “Add (+)” icon.

4. Within the browse window, find the application you want to block, select it, and then click the “Open” button.

5. As soon as you do this, the target application will be put into the block list in the AskAdmin’s main UI.

6. You may see a prompt asking to restart explorer. Click “Yes”. If you don’t begin to see the said prompt, go to the “Options” tab and choose the “Restart Windows Explorer” option. Restarting the explorer applies the security changes.

That’s it. Now you can close the applying. From now on, anyone who tries to open the blocked application might find error messages like below.

Remove Applications from Block List

When you wish to access the blocked application, uncheck the checkbox near the list item and restart explorer as shown in step six.

If you wish to completely remove an application from the block list, right-click on the list item and choose “Delete”.

Overall

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to block users from accessing or opening an application in Windows. Do keep in mind, if a user can find the AskAdmin application they are able to take away the restriction and open the prospective application anyway.

To avoid that, you are able to password protect the AskAdmin application. However, for your feature, you need to purchase the Pro version. The Pro version also provides you with the ability to target specific users rather than all users. However for most scenarios, the disposable version is sufficient enough.

Over fifty percent of Windows 10 Users Aren’t Running the Latest Version

The most recent version of Windows 10 isn’t even the most-used form of Windows 10, as up to 50 % of people who upgraded to Microsoft’s operating system continue to be running a one-year-old release.

Statistics supplied by AdDuplex show that the number 1 Windows 10 version may be the May 2019 Update, or version 1903, that is powering 50.7% of Windows 10 PCs available.

The November 2019 Update, or version 1909, is improving each month, however this doesn’t necessarily mean it can take over version 1903 before a brand new release arrives. Microsoft is anticipated to ship Windows 10 version 2004 in the spring of the year, probably in April or May, and given the difference between these latest two feature updates, there’s a high probability more time is needed for a switch of places.

“November 2019 Update has grown in a steady pace over the last few months,” AdDuplex explains.

“One interesting tidbit is the fact that using all old versions of Windows 10 increased a bit since recently. This is likely because of the fact that people in self-isolation are using unusual PCs that weren’t up graded.”

Older Windows 10 versions

And of course, there are many those staying with even older Windows 10 versions.

For example, at least 11.4% of Windows 10 products are still running Windows 10 October 2018 Update, or version 1809. As a side note, Windows 10 version 1809 was considered the buggiest of all releases, with Microsoft pulling it only a couple of days after the original launch as a result of bug potentially causing loss of data.

A total of 5.5% of products are powered by Windows 10 April 2018 Update, or version 1803, according to AdDuplex, while Windows 10 Creators Update and older are currently running on 2.2% of all Windows 10 computers.

This is actually the New Start Menu That may Are available in Windows 10

The beginning menu remains among the key features of Windows 10, and Microsoft knows this perfectly, so the clients are thought to be focusing on a number of improvements within the coming feature updates.

In fact, the software giant itself teased further Start menu refinements in an Instagram video a few days ago, therefore it was obviously only a matter of time until someone took these ideas and used them for any high-resolution concept.

The project we see here was created by Ben Ward and shared on Twitter, imagining a Start menu only the way Microsoft itself suggested it might end up looking.

While user concepts are typically ideas that rarely make their way to production, this is different now. Since the concept itself is based on a teaser dropped by Microsoft, there’s an opportunity this is how the beginning menu would eventually be polished unless the software giant doesn’t give up on its plans or implements an even more substantial facelift.

Live tiles sticking around for any bit longer

The good news for a lot of users is that it appears like the live tiles won’t disappear too early.

Speculation that made the headlines last year suggested the live tiles could be removed as Microsoft no longer found them useful, especially as more and more users disabled them in the favor of the more static Start menu. This made many believe the Start menu would look a lot more like the main one in Windows 10X, the new Windows version that is specifically targeted at foldable and dual-screen devices.

For the time being, however, the Start menu won’t change dramatically, however the refinements also envisioned within this concept are expected to improve the knowledge by using it. At this point, it’s still not known when these Start menu improvements are supposed to go live.

How to Fix Windows Defender Skipping Files During Scans

Windows Defender may be the pre-loaded antivirus solution on Windows 10, and given the performance that it offers, that is on par with the main one of third-party security products, it’s no real surprise that many users just stick to it to protect their data.

More recently, however, Windows Defender has begun to see what appears to be a problem causing scans, whether quick or full, to skip certain files, with an error message then displayed in the Action Focus on Windows 10.

According to a BornCity, this really is happening because Windows Defender no longer scans network files due to what seems to be an up-to-date behavior silently implemented by Microsoft sooner or later recently.

So technically, the behavior is dependant on enabling Windows Defender to scan network files once again. You can do this in several ways, including while using Group Policy Editor on Windows 10 versions where this tool exists, using the Registry Editor or having a quick PowerShell command.

First of all, let’s begin with the simplest method, which is the PowerShell trick that you can use.

Launch a PowerShell prompt with administrator privileges (Windows key + X > Windows PowerShell Admin) after which type the next command:

Set-MpPreference – DisableScanningNetworkFiles

Be certain that you’re logged in with an administrator account and also you launch the PowerShell version with admin rights. Otherwise no changes can be created to system files.

Microsoft explains the following relating to this command:

?¡ãIndicates whether to scan for network files. If you specify something of $False or do not specify a value, Windows Defender scans network files. Should you specify something of $True, Windows Defender doesn’t scan network files. We don’t suggest that you scan network files.?¡À

With regards to the registry editor method, this is really quite simple. So launch the registry editor by typing regedit.exe in the Start menu and then visit the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender\Scan

Again, be sure you log in with administrator rights and launch the registry editor with admin privileges . Otherwise, you can’t make any changes to the existing registry settings.

What you need to do at the aforementioned path is produce a 32-bit DWORD value called:

DisableScanningNetworkFiles

You must give this new key value 0 to allow the scanning of network files.

After which, the Group Policy Editor enables you to do the same thing on systems where it can be obtained. Launch the app by typing gpedit.msc within the Start menu after which visit the following path:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus > Scan

Double-click the policy called Scan network files and then switch it to enabled. By default, the policy isn’t configured. Making changes in the Group Policy Editor also requires webmaster account.

Windows Defender has evolved to become a fully-featured security product in Windows 10, so and a powerful antivirus engine, it also includes more advanced functionality like cloud-delivered protection, ransomware protection, and parental controls.

In the latest versions of Windows 10, Windows Defender is the heart of a security hub called Windows Security and grouping all of these features. Obviously, while Windows Defender is the pre-loaded antivirus, users may also install third-party security products. Once this happens, Windows Defender is automatically disabled to avoid any compatibility issues.

These issue causing some files to be skipped is going on on all supported versions of Windows 10, including Windows 10 version 1909 (the latest stable release).

Windows 10 Users Are now able to Mirror iPhone Screens on a PC

Microsoft’s very own Your Phone app brings Android devices and Windows 10 PCs in sync with all kinds of features, including not just screen mirroring, but additionally access to the gallery, messaging, and so much more.

But when you are looking at the iPhone, the choices listed here are pretty limited, as Microsoft has clearly focused a lot more on Android.

The rescue, however, comes from Dell, whose Mobile Connect app has just received a major update that makes it this is the right choice if you want to pair an apple iphone having a Windows 10 device.

Dell Mobile Connect version 3.0, which is available these days on Windows 10 (as well as in the App Store for that companion app that must definitely be installed on an apple iphone), brings screen mirroring and file transfer support for Apple smartphones, in addition to MMS support for images and videos on Android.

New Dell computer required

Like all good stuff in everyday life, however, Dell Mobile Connect isn’t an app that is available for everybody. Dell only offers this app to people having a 2018 or newer Dell system running Windows 10, which means you can’t use it on a pc from another brand.

Furthermore, you’ve got to be running at least iOS 11 in your iPhone so that you can install the new version of the app.

Meanwhile, Microsoft hasn’t shared a lot of details regarding its plans for iPhones within the Your Phone app. Obviously, it’s a great deal harder to give the same features in terms of an Android phone given Apple’s walled garden, but now that Dell has proved it’s possible, Microsoft should really begin focusing on developing the same capabilities within the Your Phone app as well.

It remains to be seen when and if this occurs, however for iPhone users, Dell Mobile Connect might serve as another incentive to purchase a Dell computer.

This Is Likely Windows 10’s New File Manager

We’ve known for some time that Microsoft has been working on the modern form of File Explorer, and today the organization itself has teased this highly-anticipated release in an official video.

Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer at Microsoft, published a relevant video on Instagram to celebrate Windows 10 reaching 1 billion active devices, and among the characteristics presented within the clip, there’s additionally a new File Explorer version.

Without a doubt, this isn’t something which happened accidentally, so it’s most likely a teaser of what’s in the future when it comes to file management for Windows 10.

Initially, File Explorer is definitely obtaining a more contemporary experience, with the sidebar substantially redesigned to create more sense within the updated versions of Windows 10. The app also seems to feature optimizations for touch input, especially as Windows 10 is migrating more in this direction.

Google Drive support

Obviously, the brand new File Explorer will come with support for OneDrive, Microsoft’s very own cloud-based storage service that’s already deeply integrated into Windows 10. But simultaneously, this mockup appears to suggest that Google Drive support in File Explorer is originating as well, presumably as Microsoft wants to give users more control over their cloud storage without leaving the desktop.

Overall, the brand new file manager seems to be heavily inspired from the a lot of concepts that made the headlines lately, and this is without a doubt the best thing, as many of them have proved to be pretty popular in the existing Windows 10 user community.

When exactly the new File Explorer is projected to determine daylight is still something that remains discovered. The next form of Windows 10 is version 2004 due in the spring with no major changes for File Explorer are planned.

View this informative article on Instagram

The team made this video to celebrate reaching 1 billion MAD on Windows 10 and I desired to share it with all of you. Now at any given time when so much of our work and communication is taking place through our devices, it’s especially humbling to understand that Windows can help empower a billion people to keep in touch towards the things and individuals they are concerned about #Windows

A post shared by Panos Panay (@panospanay) on Mar 19, 2020 at 12:47pm PDT

Microsoft Showcases a New Start Menu with More Fluent Design

Windows 10 has reached 1 billion active devices, so Panos Panay, the man who brought us everything Surface, chose to publish a celebration video created by the Windows team.

The video itself highlights some of the improvements that the operating system received lately, but simultaneously, it also seems to tease a couple of features that aren’t yet available, including a more polished Start menu.

Microsoft updating the Start menu is something that we’re hearing more often, which new video published by Panay resides proof that more refinements in this region truly are planned.

The brand new Start menu includes additional design improvements for live tiles and is based much more on Fluent Design, Microsoft’s design language that Windows 10 is supposed to use from one end to another. Of course, the beginning menu adapts to both the light and the dark mode, but overall, it appears to appear a little more modern than the current version.

Live tiles are not going anywhere soon

The good thing is that the live tiles aren’t going anywhere for now. Last year, the rumor mill suggested that Microsoft was pondering killing from the live tiles because its data pointed to reduced usage, using the software giant said to be particularly interested in bringing the Windows 10X static Start menu to full Windows 10.

Live tiles were thus expected to obtain the ax, but judging from this teaser, it’s pretty clear they’re not going anywhere soon. Of course, there’s a high probability Microsoft further polishes all of them with additional UI touches, but apart from that, the organization doesn’t appear to plan their complete removal.

The following version of Windows 10 is version 2004 due early in the year. Microsoft is expected to sign off the RTM build in April, while the public rollout should start exactly the same month or perhaps in April.

View this post on Instagram

The team made this video to celebrate reaching 1 billion MAD on Windows 10 and that i desired to share it with all of you. Now at any given time when a lot of our work and communication takes place through our devices, it’s especially humbling to know that Windows can help empower a billion people to keep in touch towards the things and individuals they are concerned about #Windows

A post shared by Panos Panay (@panospanay) on Mar 19, 2020 at 12:47pm PDT

Microsoft Polishes the Way You Mute and Unmute Volume in Windows 10

Microsoft has released a brand new Windows 10 preview build for users enrolled in the Windows Insider program, even though the focus is on bug fixes at this point, there are also a lot of notable improvements as well.

The first of these may be the way you mute and unmute volume in Windows 10, as Microsoft explains it received a ton of feedback in this regard lately.

“Based on feedback, when you have muted your volume, the volume will now not unmute while using the hardware keyboard volume keys before you raise the volume (or manually unmute),” Microsoft explains.

Then, you will find further improvements for that Narrator, including more information in the Add Bluetooth or other devices screen within the Settings app when opening it the very first time.

Additionally, Microsoft says the Narrator now uses what it describes as “a more friendly string” for audio output within the Select playback device dropdown menu within the volume flyout.

A number of bug fixes and known issues

Just as expected, there are several notable bug fixes, including two specifically targeted at File Explorer.

“We fixed a problem in which the new icon alongside Scan with Microsoft Defender in File Explorer’s context menu didn’t possess a transparent background. We fixed a problem where some files couldn’t be opened in win32 apps from File Explorer once the path length to the file was lengthy and parts of the road included East Asian characters,” Microsoft says.

Windows 10 build 19587, that is available just for users within the Fast ring, is a preview of Windows 10 version 2004, which is projected to launch this spring. The RTM build is expected to be signed off sometime next month, as the public rollout to production devices should kick off in April or May.

Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4541331 Fixes Blue screen of death Error During Upgrade

Microsoft has released a lot of new cumulative updates for older Windows 10 releases, including for version 1809, also known as October 2018 Update.

Because this update doesn’t land on a Patch Tuesday, the main focus is on non-security improvements, however it features a couple of welcome fixes anyway.

For example, cumulative update KB4541331 resolves a long-time issue that could result in a Blue screen of death of Death error when upgrading to Windows 10 version 1809. Microsoft doesn’t provide a lot of information on this issue, but it does state that it only occur in certain scenarios, so probably it doesn’t affect a large quantity of devices.

Additionally, this update also has a number of fixes aimed at enterprises.

“Addresses an issue that may cause domain controllers (DC) to join up a lowercase along with a mixed or all uppercase Domain Name System (DNS) service (SRV) record within the _MSDCS.<forest root domain> DNS zone. This happens when DC computer names contain one or more uppercase characters.”

New updates on April Patch Tuesday

Microsoft says it has also included several compatibility improvements to supply a smoother upgrade from older versions of Windows 10 to version 1809 on more device configurations.

“Addresses an issue with evaluating the compatibility status from the Windows ecosystem to help ensure application and device compatibility for those updates to Windows.”

The full changelog will come in the box after the jump.

There isn’t any known issue within this new cumulative update, and just what you should know is it boosts the OS build number to 17763.1131 after deployment.

All the improvements in this update may also be area of the next cumulative update for Windows 10 shipping included in the April Patch Tuesday. Based on Microsoft’s typical calendar, the following Patch Tuesday happens on April 14.

Mission Accomplished: Windows 10 Now Running on 1 Billion Devices

Microsoft has recently revealed that Windows 10 is running on 1 billion monthly active devices, because the adoption of its operating system keeps improving regularly.

Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President, Todays lifestyles, Search & Devices, Microsoft, used this occasion to praise Windows 10, explaining that 100 percent from the Fortune 500 companies are now using Windows 10 devices.

“New Windows 10 features and security updates are now delivered faster than in the past. We’ve evolved from releasing a version every three years, to releasing multiple versions per year. Along with the recent decoupling from the new Chromium-based Edge browser from Windows 10 we can now deliver new builds to customers outside the normal Windows 10 release cadence-and to more versions of Windows,” Mehdi says.

Windows 10 was released in mid-2015, so it took Microsoft nearly five years to create it to 1 billion devices.

But while every new Windows 10 feature update led to achieving this milestone, the death of Windows 7 is also what pushed more customers to the latest form of the operating system.

“As companies transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10, they’re making a commitment to running their business more efficiently, more securely, and positioning themselves to provide better products, services and solutions to their clients,” Mehdi says.

New feature update just around the corner

Windows 10 is projected to get a new feature update in the spring. Microsoft has already confirmed this next release could be called Windows 10 version 2004, which is now available for testing included in the Windows Insider program.

“Reaching a billion individuals with Windows 10 is just the beginning. We will purchase Windows not only within Windows 10 for PCs but also across many other Windows editions, serving diverse customer needs including Windows IoT, Windows 10 Teams edition for Surface Hub, Windows Server, Windows Mixed Reality on HoloLens, Windows 10 in S mode, Windows 10X and much more,” the Microsoft official says.

According to third-party market share, Windows 10 is the world’s number 1 desktop operating system having a share that exceeds 55 percent.