If you are lending your PC to someone or if you have kids that use your PC from time to time, then you might want to restrict those users from accessing certain programs like email clients, FTP clients, browsers, Skype so that they don’t mess with your content or settings. This situation is particularly true if you have multiple user accounts, and the application has been installed for all users. Yes, you can use a built-in utility like AppLocker, but it is aimed towards Pro users and system administrators, and there is a lot of work to block and unblock programs.
If you are looking for an easy way to block programs from running, here is how to do it.
Block Programs from Running in Windows
To block programs from running in Windows, we are going to use a portable software called AskAdmin. To start, download the software, extract the contents and place it somewhere you can easily access it.
To start using the app, launch it, and you will be prompted to agree to the terms. Just read it and click on the “Agree” button to use the application.
As you can see, the app has a simple user interface where you can add any installed applications or software you want to block from running.
To add an application to the list, select the option “Add File” from the “File” menu.
The above action will open the Add File window. Navigate to the program folder, find the .exe file of the program or any file with an extension you want to block and then click on the “Open” button.
Note: AskAdmin is also capable of blocking any file type (like .bat, .reg, etc.,) from being opened.
This action will add the program to the block list.
From this point onward, any user, including the administrator, cannot run the program. Every time the user tries to launch the program, Windows will throw out an error saying that you don’t have sufficient permissions to run or access the program or file.
As you can see from the below image, AskAdmin utilizes the native Windows features to block the application from running, and the error message never reveals that AskAdmin is responsible for blocking the program or file.
If you want to unblock a program, just uncheck the checkbox next to the item you want to unblock or right-click on the item and select the option “Unblock.”
If you want to run an application without unblocking it, simply double-click on the item (application) you want to run, and it will launch. However, since you are running AskAdmin as an administrator, any application you launch from AskAdmin will also run with administrative privileges.
By default, AskAdmin is configured to block any added app for all users, but if you want to block the added app for only the current user, you can do that too. Just right-click on the item you want to configure, navigate to “Users” and then select the option “Current User.”
If you ever want to remove an app from AskAdmin, either select the item from the list and press the Delete button on your keyboard or right-click on the item and select the option “Remove.”
Moreover, you can also password protect the entire AskAdmin application to avoid any unauthorized changes. But to activate the password protection, you need to buy the one-time license. However, to open and modify the AskAdmin application, you need to have administrative privileges which simply means that unless a user has admin privileges, they cannot open the application.
So the password option is only useful if you have multiple admin users who know of AskAdmin. Remember, AskAdmin never reveals itself in the error message, and being a portable application, you can easily hide it from plain sight.
Do comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above program to block programs from running.