A common request we get is to limit a users ability to uninstall app on their Windows devices. To do this, certain things have to exist:
1 – The user cannot be an administrator, administrators by design have the ability to do whatever they want on the machine. To get around this, you have to create separate users on the Windows machine (e.g., Administrator and Standard user). Guide to create a standard user.
2 – Remove the standard users ability to uninstall apps. Creating the separate users is only the first step, next you must remove the users ability to use the uninstall feature. This guide will assume you have done #1, and show you how to do number two using the system registry.
Caution: Modifying registry keys can introduce irreversible changes to the machine that might cause you to rebuild the machine. Do this with caution, and seek professional help if you don’t know what you’re doing; CleanBrowsing is not liable for the actions you take on your machine.
Step 1 – Open Registry Editor (RegEdit)
Different flavors of Windows have different functions (e.g., GPO) but all have RegEdit, so for this example we’ll show you how to do this using RegEdit as it will ensure everyone can do it.
Click in your search menu, and type “regedit” it should auto-populate.
Step 2 – Navigate to Windows Directory
You will use the RegEdit window the same as you would Windows Explorer. You want to navigate to this directory:
Step 3 – Create New 32-bit Key
Right-click the right-hand panel and choose the DWORD (32-bit) Value. This will create a new key
Name the key: NoUninstallFromStart
Right-click the new key, and enter 1 as the Value data.
Step 4 – Restart Windows
This is the last step, once you restart it should remove the ability for standard users to uninstall but preserver it for administrators.