You can control Command Prompt access on Windows 10 – here’s how.

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Although, on Windows 10, the Command Prompt console is a useful tool to quickly execute commands to change system settings, run non-graphical applications, troubleshoot problems, and automate tasks, sometimes, it might be necessary to disable the console to prevent users from running unwanted commands, accessing certain programs, or when you have to comply with your organization policy.

If you must restrict access to the Command Prompt, Windows 10 includes at least two ways to disable the console using the Group Policy Editor or Registry Editor.

Related:How to disable Task Manager on Windows 10

In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through two ways to disable the Command Prompt console for all users.

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How to disable Command Prompt with Group Policy

On Windows 10 Pro (Enterprise or Education), the easiest way to block users from using Command Prompt is with the Local Group Policy Editor.

To disable the Command Prompt console, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for gpedit.msc and select the top result to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System

  4. On the right side, double-click the Prevent access to the command prompt policy.

    Group Policy Editor User Configuration System

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Enabled option.
  6. (Optional) Under the “Options” section, use the drop-down menu to select whether you want to allow or deny running batch files (.bat and .cmd) on your computer when Command Prompt is disabled.

    Group Policy disable Command Prompt

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: If the computer has batch files running at logon, logoff, startup, and shutdown, or use remote desktop services, it is not recommended to disable this feature.

  7. Click the Apply button.
  8. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, users can still open the console, but they will receive a “The command prompt has been disabled by your administrator” message with an option to press any key to terminate the session. Also, depending on your configuration, Command Prompt will no longer process compatible scripts.

If you no longer need to restrict access to Command Prompt, you can undo the changes using the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 5, make sure to select the Not configured option.

How to disable Command Prompt with Registry

If you do not want to use the Local Group Policy Editor or use the Home edition of Windows 10, you can still disable Command Prompt with the Registry.

Warning: This is a friendly reminder that editing the Registry is risky, and it can cause irreversible damage to your installation if you do not complete the task correctly. It is recommended to make a full backup of the device before proceeding.

To disable Command Prompt with the Windows 10 Registry, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for regedit and click the top result to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Browse the following path:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

    Quick tip: On Windows 10, you can now copy and paste the path in the Registry’s address bar to quickly jump to the key destination.

  4. Right-click the Windows (folder) key, select the New submenu and choose the Key option.

    Registry create System key

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Name the key System and press Enter.
  6. Right-click the System (folder) key, select the New submenu and choose the DWORD (32-bit) Value option.

    Registry create DisableCMD dword

    Source: Windows Central

  7. Name the key DisableCMD and press Enter.
  8. Double-click the newly created DWORD and set the value from 0 to 2 to disable Command Prompt while allowing batch files to run on the device.

    Windows 10 Registry disable Command Prompt

    Source: Windows Central

  9. (Optional) Double-click the newly created DWORD and set the value from 0 to 1 to disable Command Prompt while preventing batch files from running on Windows 10.
  10. Click the OK button.
  11. Restart your computer.

After you complete the steps, the Command Prompt will be disabled for all users. Also, depending on your configuration, users will no longer be able to run batch files scripts.

In the case, you want to undo the changes, use the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 4, right-click and delete the System key. However, if the “System” key has additional settings, it is recommended to either set the DisableCMD DWORD value from 1 or 2 to 0 or right-click and delete the DWORD, instead of deleting the “System” key.

We are focusing this guide on disabling Command Prompt for all users, but it is possible to restrict access to the console for specific users with these instructions.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

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