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Friday, April 8, 2011

Windows 7 Tips

Hide Control Panel Items Through Group Policy

Sometimes you might want to hide an item in the Control Panel permanently or for a short period of time. Here we take a look at hiding them through Local Group Policy Editor.

Note: Keep in mind Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows. For this demonstration we’re going to hide QuickTime & Sync Center since we never use them.

To open Group Policy type gpedit.msc into the Search bar in the Start Menu and hit Enter.

Local Group Policy Editor opens and you want to navigate to 

User Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Control Panel

In the right pane double-click on Hide specified Control Panel items.

Select Enabled and under Options you will see List of disallowed Control Panel items. Click on the Show button.

This will bring up a window where you can enter in the items you don’t want displayed in the Control Panel. In each Value field we’ll type in QuickTime and Sync Center then click OK.

Note: You might want to use proper Canonical names so for example Microsoft.SyncCenter. In our tests we had success without using the Canonical names. If you experience problems not using Canonical names leave a comment and let us know.

Click OK again and close out of Group Policy Editor. If you already had Control Panel open close and reopen it again to refresh the view. As you can see, QuickTime and Sync Center is no longer listed.

The neat thing about using Group Policy Editor is that you can unhide an item if you need to by going back and deleting a certain value. For instance we want to show QuickTime again, so we’ll delete the Value.

All you need to do is highlight the value and clear the field and we’re done. The QuickTime icon is back.

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