Even if you don't have Spybot, I use it to remove the restrictions. Try it.
I run XP Pro. In Internet Explorer, when I click on Tools/Internet Options I get this message: "this operation has been cancelled due to restrictions in effect on this computer. please contact your system administrator." However, I am the administrator.
The internet options icon is missing from the control panel as well. I was able to find the Inetcpl.cpl file and put a link on the desktop. This is only a temporary fix. I want to regain access to the options from IE and the control panel.
1) I do not have spybot or any other such program.
2) I have searched the registry for this: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions
and I found this instead:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\SystemCertificates (no Internet Explorer)
I suspect this started happening after I downloaded a Windows XP security update from Windows Update, but I have tons of them downloaded.
Thank you for your help,