Hiding pages in Settings with Windows 10 1703
A common request from organizations is to have a way to hide some of the pages inside the Windows 10 “Settings” app, like you could do before with the Control Panel applets. There is a new policy available in Windows 10 1703 that now enables this. It’s available in Group Policy at “Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Control Panel” with the name “Settings Page Visibility”:
It’s also available via MDM, https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/commercialize/customize/mdm/policy-configuration-service-provider#settings-pagevisibilitylist. Even if you aren’t using MDM management (e.g. Intune) today, be sure to read the information at the MDM link above, because it explains how to specify what pages you want to show and hide in the Settings app.
At a high level, all you need to do is specify a list of pages to show (if you want to be really limiting) or hide (if you just want to get rid of a few). To do this, you can specify string like this:
So you specify a prefix of either “showonly:” or “hide:”, and then the short URIs (without the “ms-settings:” prefix) of the pages you want to show or hide; multiple pages are separated by semicolons.
Let’s look at each one of those to see exactly what it looks like, first starting with the “extreme” of showing only the two pages specified. First, we need to set the policy:
To make sure the policy is applied and respected, close the Settings app (if it’s opened) and then update the policy on the local computer with the command “gpupdate /target:computer”. If everything was done properly, this is what you should see as the result, showing just the categories containing the pages specified:
And if you click on either of those, you’ll see just the pages enabled, e.g.:
If you flip that policy around to just hide those pages:
And again do the “gpupdate /target:computer” (elevated), you should then see this:
Much more subtle – you have to drill into the categories to see that the pages are indeed hidden. See under “Devices” that there is no “Bluetooth” page:
And that under “Update & Security” there is no “Windows Update” page:
That’s all there is to it – almost. The only challenge then is knowing the URIs to specify. Here’s a few of them (although you can probably find better lists through a Bing search), remove the “ms-settings:” prefix to specify them in the policy:
Curious what pages these point to? Try them out by pressing Windows-R to get a “Run” dialog, then type in the full string, e.g. “ms-settings:yourinfo” as the command line. That will take you to the page you specified. (And no, I didn’t test each one of these – if one doesn’t work, i.e. it takes you to the main settings page, then it must be invalid. Some seem a little slow to open too, so be patient.)