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I wish to disable the ability of a user to refresh or reset the PC, it should only be an admin right.

How to go about this ?

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@harrymc appears to have figured out what you're actually asking. Could someone who understands edit the question so it makes sense? As entered, the question is just asking to block reset which is what the accepted answer says. – Joshua Nurczyk Apr 27 '14 at 21:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Set the UAC slider to top position. This disables both entries in the new fullscreen control panel. UAC apps can't run elevated and so this workaround disables both features..

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Okay but you can access Advanced Startup, and can refresh/reset PC from there. – user197008 Feb 10 '13 at 21:23
sure, you still need admin rights – magicandre1981 Apr 24 '14 at 4:27
No, I have found even a guest can access Advanced Startup as @user197008 has said. – Steven Penny Apr 24 '14 at 4:59

I understand that the only problem left with the accepted answer is that of blocking Advanced Startup Options.

Getting to Advanced Startup Options can be done by various means:

  1. Holding F8 key before Windows starts.
  2. From any Power icon, either hold Shift and click on Restart.
  3. From the charms bar (or Win+ I), click Settings / Change PC settings / Update and recovery / Recovery/ Advanced startup / Restart now.
  4. Use the command shutdown /r /o
  5. Boot from Windows 8 installation media.

From these methods, method 4 can be blocked by UAC and method 5 is unblockable. The rest can be more or less blocked as follows.

Holding F8 key before Windows starts

At this point login wasn't yet done and no user account exists and so everything is permitted, as one has in effect logged-in as Administrator.

Disabling F8 is done by editing the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) information from the Windows Command Prompt:

  1. Press the Win key and type cmd in the search box, then hold Ctrl+Shift and press Enter to launch the Command Prompt with administrator privileges.
  2. Type the following command into the Command Prompt:
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu no
    This turns off the Advanced Boot Options menu completely so pressing F8 doesn’t do anything.
  3. To enable F8 again, type the following into Command Prompt:
    bcdedit /set {bootmgr} displaybootmenu yes

However, a knowledgeable user can still force it via :

  • The Safe Boot option from MsConfig (needs Administrator privilege).
  • This won't work for a multiboot system.
  • The boot menu will still show after an improper startup/shutdown or sudden loss of power etc.

Disable Access to Control Panel and PC settings

To enable or disable access to the Control Panel, PC settings, and all settings in them for all or specific users in Windows 8.

When disabled, this setting prevents from starting Control.exe and SystemSettings.exe, which are the program files for Control Panel and PC settings. As a result, users cannot start Control Panel or PC settings, or run any of their items in them from any other location as well.

You must be signed in as an administrator, as this requires using regedit to do some registry work. At the key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer create a DWORD item named NoControlPanel, whose value is 0 to enable Control Panel/PC settings, 1 = to disable Control Panel/PC settings.

This can also be achieved via the Local Group Policy Editor for all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators. Expand User Configuration, Administrative Templates, and Control Panel, then modify the setting for Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC settings.

Remove "Power Options" Button from Start Screen

This is done in the registry at
Create a new sub-key named Launcher under ImmersiveShell key so the final key path would be:
Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD item named Launcher_ShowPowerButtonOnStartScreen and keep its value as 0.
Finally log off or restart Windows Explorer.

For more information:

How To Access Advanced Startup Options in Windows 8 or 8.1
How to Enable or Disable Access to Control Panel and PC settings in Windows 8 and 8.1
How to Add or Remove “Power Options” Button from Start Screen in Windows 8.1

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Could you specify exactly the sequence of operations that you wish to block? – harrymc Apr 23 '14 at 21:11
"Advanced Startup" can be accessed through Windows, F8 is not necessary. This is what needs to be disabled. – Steven Penny Apr 24 '14 at 5:04
I added above some more ways to block it. – harrymc Apr 24 '14 at 8:44
Note the Group Policy is only available with Windows 8 Pro. – Steven Penny Apr 27 '14 at 2:08
"The boot menu will still show after an improper startup/shutdown or sudden loss of power etc." This can be prevented by running the following command: bcdedit /set {current} bootstatuspolicy ignoreallfailures – and31415 Apr 27 '14 at 10:24

Prevent users from shutting down or restarting Windows computer: This is the only thing you can do.

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Note this only works with Windows 8 Pro. – Steven Penny Apr 27 '14 at 2:08
Question is to prevent non-admin users from resetting the PC (as in factory reset), not restart the PC. – Chirag64 Apr 27 '14 at 5:37

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