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Windows 7 "Parental Controls"?

by conwellt2008 / September 6, 2010 10:40 AM PDT

My grandparents are constantly getting viruses on their current machine (WinXP), we know these viruses are coming from my cousins installing virus ridden games, etc. They will soon be upgrading to a new machine that has windows 7, is there anyway to set it up to have it so that they cant install programs? (Whether in Windows or another program)

Tommy Conwell

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 7, 2010 7:04 AM PDT

Windows 7 has it's own Parental Controls and hopefully the Microsoft guidance below will help your grandparents understand them;

The best way to combat this though is, give your cousin a Limited User account. Set it up so he cannot install anything.

Also, when this new computer arrives, the first account that it opens with is the pre-installed "System Administrator" account. Password that, and then forget about it. From inside that account create a new Administrator account with a password, and the Limited account for your cousin. The new administrator account is for your grandparents, and the limited user account is for your cousin.

Make sure there is plenty of protection on the computer, eg a firewall, an anti-virus that updates itself and scans daily, and a couple of anti-malware scanners.

I hope that helps.


PS: Your grandparents must never forget their accounts passwords, and they should both be something your cousin cannot figure out, so no family names, no birth dates, anything like that.

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by conwellt2008 / September 7, 2010 10:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep.

When I look under create new account, there are two options, standard and computer administrator, when I researched this, it seems that I should create the cousin a "standard" account, but when I tested on my laptop (Win7 Home Premium) This is not the case, I can still install programs. Is there some other setting I need to change in order to make it so that he can't install programs?

As far as virus protection and firewall, that's all going to be taken care of.

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Did you disable UAC?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 7, 2010 8:36 PM PDT
In reply to: ......

many users disable UAC, User Account Control, which is designed as a further step towards preventing unauthorised changes to the computer, but which 'pops-up' with a warning window at inconvenient times;

Even though I am the only user on my system I have left UAC enabled.

There's more about configuring limited user accounts in Microsoft's article here;

See if they help.


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In general, no
by Jimmy Greystone / September 7, 2010 11:29 PM PDT

In general, no, this can't really be done with Windows short of some expensive software and hardware to go with it.

Windows is designed to give the person using it pretty unfettered access.

Long term, the better solution is to sit the offending kids down, explain to them why they can't keep doing what they're doing, how it is affecting their grandparents' ability to enjoy the system, and tell them if they don't change their behaviors pretty quickly, they'll loose the privilege of using that system. Odds are they will think you're bluffing, so be prepared to back it up pretty much immediately.

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