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Published on 05.26.09 by Brent Trahan

Set Windows 7 to Only Run Specified Applications

Learn how to set Windows 7 to only run certain programs.

Limits the Windows programs that users have permission to run on the computer.

If you enable this setting, users can only run programs that you add to the List of Allowed Applications.

This setting only prevents users from running programs that are started by the Windows Explorer process. It does not prevent users from running programs such as Task Manager, which are started by the system process or by other processes. Also, if users have access to the command prompt, Cmd.exe, this setting does not prevent them from starting programs in the command window that they are not permitted to start by using Windows Explorer.

Note: It is a requirement for third-party applications with Windows 2000 or later certification to adhere to this setting. Note: To create a list of allowed applications, click Show. In the Show Contents dialog box, in the Value column, type the application executable name (e.g., Winword.exe, Poledit.exe, Powerpnt.exe).

Allow Only Specified Programs to Run

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Start menu’s search box and then press Enter.

    Note: This guide shows you how to make changes to Windows 7 using Group Policy. Group Policy is not available in Home versions of Windows 7.

  2. Navigate to User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and then select System in the left column of the Group Policy editor.


  3. Double-click Run only specified Windows applications in the Settings section of the Group Policy editor.
  4. Select Enable and then click the Show button.


  5. Type the application’s executable name(s) (Winword.exe in this example) that you want to run and then click OK.


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