restrict running of specific applications in windows 98

Posted on 2004-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
Hi, can we restrict running a specific application in windows 98 using the registry?
Question by:therooster
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 12022764

I'm not too sure if this is Win98 also, but this site might have some tips: http://www.geocities.com/budallen98_98/poledit.html

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 12023547
Remove the icon from the screen. Download a shareware program that will hide files. They will be invisable. They can only be seen with a code.


LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 12024298

By the sound of things, judging from a recent question asking how to restrict the odbc icon from Control Panel, you have some inquisitive staff who are causing a nuisance while exploring.

I'm not sure if it would suit your needs, but there are "shell replacements" that can run in place of Windows Explorer that you can customise quite extensively to be very restrictive.

I checked out one fairly recently to make the computer run in a kind of "console mode" where the user was presented with a basic menu similar to the windows Start Menu, and access to programs was created by adding paths to a text-based file.  By booting into DOS through the F8 boot menu or from a win98 boot floppy, an administrator (ME) could easily edit system.ini and change the relevant line under the [boot] section back to explorer.exe to boot normally into Windows again.

shell=Explorer.exe  (or whatever alternative "shell" you chose)

The one I checked out was "LiteShell" available here:


Version 0.9.1

You might like to consider something like this as an alternative to using "policies" to restrict user groups from running things you don't want them to.  There are many such "shell replacements" available, and you could conceivably "clone" the general appearance of a Win98 desktop.

If you wish to pursue Zyloch's excellent comment, then here's another page with good screenshots:


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LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 12024335
By the way, what specific programs/application(s) do you wish to restrict access to?

A good place to start, if you wish to edit the registry and create restrictions manually:


One of the first ones you should consider is disabling access to Regedit.  No sense in creating restrictions via the registry if a wise individual knows where to look:


Next, look at this page:

LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph OLoughlin
ID: 12029822
Hi therooster,
Make a directory called c:\bat
Make a batch file with the same name as the program that you don't want to run - for example
echo. > c:\bat\badprog.bat
echo. > c:\bat\badprog.exe
Change the path statement in Autoexec.bat adding c:\bat;.; before the other entries.
What this dose is looks in the bat directory before the current directory (the dot entry) and subsiquent directories in the path statement for the program.
usual disclaimers apply
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

BillDL earned 500 total points
ID: 12032495

I gave you a link above that tells you to find the key:

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

and create a new DWORD value named "RestrictRun" in it.  Set to 1 to enable restrictions detailed below, or to 0 (zero) to disable the restrictions.

It then tells you to create a new sub-key therein named "RestrictRun".

By adding new StringValues named 1, 2, 3, etc, set to the filenames of the programs that you want to retrict, you can apply this retriction either GLOBALLY with the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key, or to the currently-logged-in user by doing this to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key.

According to all sources, this works in Windows NT, 98, 2000 and XP.

Here's an example of the type of .reg file that could be run to impose the restriction when each user logs in, and also has global restrictions on ActiveDesktop


By creating another .reg file that sets the "RestrictRun" DWORD value to 0, you could quickly enable access to the program files again.


Author Comment

ID: 12037315
Thanks. it was great.
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 12038770
Thank you, therooster

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