Prevent unauthorized software installs

How to prevent unauthorized software installs and why you should want to.

One of the nightmares that many administrators face is users installing unauthorized software on their notebook computers. Such installations can have very bad consequences, but tracking them can be difficult. Here are a couple of approaches you can take to counteract this user behavior.

Consequently, organizations may want to limit the installation of applications on notebook computers that they assign to employees. One way to do this is to make sure that all users are members of the users group, and NOT a member of the administrators group. This will prevent the user from installing applications that can alter the configuration.

Another approach is to modify a sub key in the registry, which can be done by performing the following:

Start regedit
Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersion PoliciesExplorer
Double-click the PromptRunasInstallNetpath value (If this is not present you can create a new string value)
Set this value to 1
Click OK

The above procedure can lock the system down thereby preventing the user from installing any new software.


Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.


This was first published in June 2002

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