Windows 8.1 - Prevent Users from Changing the Desktop Theme

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Windows - Disable Desktop Customization Options

Prevent users from changing the desktop themes, background and other visual settings on a Windows 8.1 PC.


An administrator account.
Any version of Windows 8.1 allowing access to the Group Policy Editor


Open the Group Policy editor
  • Open the Run tab and type gpedit.msc.

In the window that opens, go to User Configurations > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization.
Double-click on Prevent Changing desktop background and select Enabled.

Blocking access to other features

You can also enable other restrictions from this menu:
  • Prevent users from enabling the screensaver
  • Prevent users from changing the desktop icons.
  • ...etc
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