How to Enable / Disable Changing Themes, Wallpapers, Screen Savers and Other Desktop Settings in Windows?

In Windows you can change desktop wallpaper, screen saver, themes and other appearance settings by right-click on Desktop and select "Properties".

Sometimes you might want to disable all or a few options in Desktop Properties to restrict users or you might want to enable those options in case they are disabled by your system administrator or a virus infection.

Following tutorial will help you in enabling or disabling all or a particular option in Desktop Properties:

NOTE: This tutorial will work for almost all Windows versions.

A. Disable Themes Tab in Desktop Properties:

Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer

If "Explorer" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoThemesTab and set its value to 1 to disable it.

Restricted_XP_Themes.jpg

B. Disable Desktop Tab in Desktop Properties:

Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System

If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispBackgroundPage and set its value to 1 to disable it.

Restricted_XP_Desktop.jpg

C. Disable Screen Saver Tab in Desktop Properties:

Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System

If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispScrSavPage and set its value to 1 to disable it.

Restricted_XP_Screen_Saver.jpg

D. Disable both Themes and Appearance Tabs in Desktop Properties:

Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System

If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispAppearancePage and set its value to 1 to disable it.

Restricted_XP_Appearance.jpg

E. Disable Settings Tab in Desktop Properties:

Type regedit in RUN dialog box and press Enter. Now go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System

If "System" key is not present, then create it. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD value NoDispSettingsPage and set its value to 1 to disable it.

Restricted_XP_Settings.jpg

BONUS TIP: In case you want to enable a restricted tab in Desktop Properties, just delete the required DWORD value as mentioned above or change its value to 0 instead of 1.





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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP


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Comments

  • For such a long time I have been trying to figure out how to enable Themes which had been disabled... months and months!! In less than 1 minute you have helped me to fix this!!! THANK YOU!!!!

  • how to enable if its disabled

  • VG

    ^^ Either remove the DWORD values or change their values to 0

  • Dear Vishal,

    love your tips, do you have a simple way to simply stop Users from saving files (shortcuts etc) to their desktop?

    Thank you

    Dee

  • VG

    ^^ I hardly think its possible. Desktop is essential place for users and if we restrict it, it might create new unwanted problems.

  • i want to know how do i will block the entry of usb (old as well as new).

  • it does only for current user(admin). what about other limited users. iwant to disable for limited users. if i go to regedit in limited user account its not allowing me to change registry. help pls

  • VG

    ^^ You can apply this for all users by modifying HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER key.

  • love your tips, do you have a simple way to simply stop Users from saving files (shortcuts etc) to their desktop?

  • VG

    ^^ Open that user profile folder, look for Desktop folder, right-click on it and select Properties. Now go to Security tab, click on Edit button, select the username from the list and enable the checkbox for "Write" permission in DENY section. Apply changes. Now that user will not be able to save anything on his Desktop.

  • The desktop one to prevent wallpaper change doesn't seem to work for windows 7

  • VG

    ^^ Try following:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-prevent-users-from-changing-desktop-wallpaper-in-windows/

  • Dear Sir,

    I need your help i want to disable printers and faxes option to all users from windows xp so how can i do this..

  • VG

    ^^ You can restrict printer using permissions:

    technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc776374%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

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