How to Block Programs and Apps for any Account in Windows 8.1

Windows 7 has Parental Control settings by using which you can control the programs that you want to run in any guest account or your Kids account. Windows 8.1 too has these settings but it is named as Family Safety. Basically you can do the same, if not more than what you used to do in Windows 7. You can allow or block certain programs for any user account, except for the Guest account in Windows 8.1.

Program Access in Windows 8.1

The tutorial starts from creating a new account and then configuring it to allow and block programs and apps for that account. If you already have a account and want to manage it, then you can skip to Step 5.

1. Go to charms, type Add Account in the search box, and then click on Add, delete, and manage other user accounts.

Launch User Accounts

Launch User Accounts

2. You get several options on what kind of account you want to create. You can use a Microsoft account or simply click on Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended) option.

Sign in Options

3. Accordingly click on the account type. If you want to configure programs access to a local offline account, click on Local account button.

4. Enter a account name and then finish the account creation. Password is optional.

Account Name

Account Name

5. Go to charms, type Family Safety in search box and click on the first result.

Family Safety

Family Safety

6. Click on the account you want to manage and then click Edit button.

7. From the drop-down list, select Child option and click OK. Unfortunately in Windows 8 you have to convert an account to a Child account for configuring program access. Don’t worry, it just one of the way to go around, but doesn’t make any implications.

Convert to Child Account

Convert to Child Account

7. You will now see that the account will be named as Child – Local Account if it is a offline account, else Child – Microsoft Account if you have Microsoft login for that account.


Child - Local Account

Child – Local Account

8. Go to charms, type Family Safety in search box and click on the first result.

Family Safety

Family Safety

9. You now have two options to setup the Family Safety. You can either manage settings on the Microsoft’s Family Safety website OR you can only set up the Family Safety locally only on your PC. Let’s say we want to manage it locally, so click remove it from the Family Safety website.

Setup Family Safety

Setup Family Safety

10. You will now see the child account that you created. Click on it.

11. You will now head over to Family Safety User Settings. You can control several aspects of the account in this dialog box. This article is focused on allowing and blocking particular programs. So you need to click on Desktop app restrictions.

Family Safety Settings

Family Safety Settings

12. Select the second option that says your account name can only use the apps I allow. This setting will make all non-Windows applications to not run under the chosen user account. You can browse and select the programs that you want to allow just incase you want it that way.

Program Restrictions

Program Restrictions

Similarly you can apply restrictions to selected Windows Store Apps too. For that you need to click on Game and Windows Store app restrictions and then similarly check the allowed apps. Enjoy!

Share it with your Friends

Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.