The Categorizer

the categorizer logo

How To Block Users from Installing Programs in Windows 11


It appears that you are a system administrator in an organization searching for various methods to stop users from installing apps in Windows, or you’re a parent who wants to prevent your child from spending too much time playing online games by stopping programs from being installed on Windows.

Just Kidding! Let’s get back to the topic.

prevent users from installing software windows 11

To disable the Program Installation in Windows all we’ve to do is to block/disable the Windows Package Installer from the device. Once the Package Installer in Windows is restricted to install programs, the Windows will have no other modules to install any application.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to stop users from installing in Windows:


Step 1: Open the Windows Settings from the Start Menu or press the “Windows Key + I” Key Combination.

windows setting app in windows 11
Windows Settings App

Step 2: Select the “Apps” option from the left sidebar and click the “Apps and Features” button.

click apps button and select apps and features option
“Apps and Features” option

Step 3: Select the “Microsoft only (Recommended)” option from the dropdown menu.

select the "Microsoft only" option to block installing apps in windows
Select “The Microsoft only (Recommended)” option

Note: If you frequently keep making changes to your device’s group policy configuration, then it’s recommended to backup Group Policy on your device to recover data in case of a data loss.

Step 1: Open the Local Group Policy from the Start Menu or press the “Windows Key + R” Key Combination to open Windows Run, type “gpedit.msc”, and press the enter key.

local group policy app icon in windows 11
Group Policy App

Step 2: Navigate to the following file path:
Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Windows Installer and you’ll find the “Prohibit User Installs” policy.

navigate from windows computer configuration to windows installer policies and select the prohibit user installs policy
Computer Configuration > Windows Installer

Step 3: Double-click the “Probihit User Install” and select the “Enabled” option.

set the prohibit user installs policy to enabled to prevent users from installing programs in windows
Enable: “Prohibit User Installs”

Step 4: Restart your computer to refresh group policy and GPOs to make changes take effect properly.

restart device to make changes take effect in windows
Restart the Device

Note: If you do not configure this policy setting, or if the policy setting is enabled and “Allow User Installs” is selected, the installer allows and makes use of products that are installed per user and products that are installed per computer. If the installer finds a per-user install of an application, this hides a per-computer installation of that same product.

If you enable this policy setting and “Hide User Installs” is selected, the installer ignores per-user applications. This causes a per-computer installed application to be visible to users, even if those users have a per-user install of the product registered in their user profile.


Step 1: Open the Registry Editor from the Start Menu or press the “Windows Key + R” Key Combination, type “regedit”, and press the enter key.

registry editor icon in windows 11
Registry Editor Icon

Step 2: Navigate to the following file path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes\Msi.Package\DefaultIcon.

navigate from hkey_local_machine to msi.package in registry editor in windows
Hkey_Local_Machine > msi.package

Step 3: Double click the Default Key and change the value data from “C:\Windows\System32\msiexec.exe,0” to “C:\Windows\System32\msiexec.exe,1” and press the “OK” button to disable Windows Package Installer.

set value data from 0 to 1 to disable windows installer
Value Data:

Step 4: Restart your computer to make changes take effect properly.

restart device to make changes take effect in windows
Restart the Device

Note: If you frequently keep making changes to your device’s group policy configuration, then it’s recommended to enable automatic Registry Backup on your device to recover data in case of a data loss.


Does blocking the program installation in Windows affect downloading?

No, blocking a program installation in Windows doesn’t affect downloading files, apps, etc in Windows. Once the program installation is blocked in Windows, the other functions will continue to perform appropriately. You can download and listen to audio, watch videos, view images, PDFs, and other files as you normally do.


Conclusion

We’ve covered how to stop the users from installing programs in Windows using Local Group Policy Editor and Registry Editor.

We’re effectively restricting the source of program installation, which is the Windows Installer, in order to prevent software from installing in Windows. Because the Windows Installer has been disabled, the program will not be able to get installed.

In the nutshell, using the methods above, we can download the setup of applications, but cannot install them as the Windows Installer is blocked.

Further, customize your device’s configuration by following the related articles below.


how to disable notifications in windows

Disable Notifications in Windows 11

Increase your productivity by disabling the notifications on your computer.

how to find product key in windows 11

Find Product Key on Windows 11

Verify whether or not your version of Windows is genuine by checking all the possible ways to find product keys on Windows.

how to disable visual effects in windows 11

Turn off Visual Effects in Windows 11

Find out if turning off the visual enhancements helps the device to function better.

Take a Minute to Share This Article.
How To Use Clipboard History in Windows 11