Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking for a Windows shell replacement, which should have the following features:

  1. Kids-friendly and kids-proof. Just a list of icons for programs that can be executed, everything else should be hidden or password-protected.

  2. Low resource usage. It is going to be used on a computer with 512MB RAM.

  3. Windows XP compatible.

I've looked into different Windows shell replacements, like Rainmeter or Emerge Desktop, but they all seem to be overkill and made for a power user. I need something that is very simple and lean, to be used by an 8 year old kid.

share|improve this question
@slhck: Argh! Maybe I can use it as a sort of punishment? No, I cannot be that cruel to my own kids... I think you should delete your comment or someone might take it seriously. – haimg Dec 11 '11 at 22:44
eww MS bob. Can you customise that in any meaningful way? – Journeyman Geek Dec 11 '11 at 22:48
Also, create a user account for the kids. One where they can just click on the icon to login. Make this account very restricted so that they cannot install applications or anything else. Just do what is intended. You can also put an application in the startup menu of they'll be playing just one game. Also, if you're not going to be around when the kids may or maynot need help, I would install Logmein Free on there so you can remote in from work if needed. – kobaltz Dec 12 '11 at 0:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Something like lightstep or a bb varient might be a good start. Edit the menu to hide anything you don't need, add a dock of some sort and you're good.

share|improve this answer
I've used Emerge Desktop, which is similar to the above suggestions, with Toolbox as a launcher (with very big icons in the middle of the screen), and they worked perfectly for a similar purpose (seniors instead of children). – user33758 Dec 19 '11 at 23:37
toolbox looks shiny. I'll need to poke at it at some point – Journeyman Geek Dec 20 '11 at 14:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.