Lock Your Programs with Lockup
By on April 5th, 2010

lockup-icon [Windows Only] Do you manage or share user accounts on a PC? Are there certain programs that you don’t want someone to use? A tiny stand-alone freeware application named Lockup‘ will let you lock programs so they won’t run at all.

Lockup is very easy to use, but you should be very careful with it. If you make one wrong move, you can accidentally lock an entire user account so that it’s difficult to return to a usable state.

How to use Lockup:

Here’s a screenshot of one of the two modes of operation, Only the listmode.

lockup-block-internet-explorer

In the screenshot above, you can see that I’ve added Internet Explorer to the list of executable files that will not run. To add more executables to the list, click the Browsebutton to select an EXE file, then click the little green check-mark icon at the bottom of the Lockup window. After you reboot or log off the PC and log back in, you’ll find that the EXEs you’ve listed will bring up a message telling you that the program is restricted.

Below, you can see a screenshot of Lockup in the All except the listmode.

lockup-block-everything

This is a fairly risky mode since all executable files will be blocked from running, except those you add to the list. Make sure you don’t remove Lockup from the list or you may have a little trouble getting back access to it. I tried this mode briefly and it works great. All of my autorun (startup) applications failed to load when I logged in, even my antivirus application was blocked. This mode would be perfect for a PC that was used in a public place such as a library, school or cafe.

How does it work?

Occasionally, I run into a little program like this and I have to figure out what it’s doing. I learn lots of neat tricks this way. I suspected that Lockup was only making some changes to the Windows Registry and I was correct. I used an installation monitor to find out what changes it made in the second mode I showed you above.

lockup-block-registry-settings

As you can see in the image above, Lockup made changes to the Current_User policy to achieve the blocking it does. Anyone with the knowledge of these registry keys can do the same thing using the Windows Registry Editor (regedit.exe). Here’s a link to more information on the DisallowRun and RestrictRun registry keys.

Final Tips:

If you do get blocked from using programs or a specific program, you can still launch them using the Windows Run menu (Press Windows key + R) or from the command console (Press Windows key + R / type CMD’ without quotes / press Enter). For example, if I wanted to run Notepad, I could type notepad’ into the Run menu.

You can run Lockup from a USB flash drive if you want to make sure that nobody using the PC has access to the Lockup program. This could also be used for a practical joke if you are feeling mean (not recommended).

Also … here’s how to:

* Password Protect Programs and Files
* Lock and Hide Files and Folders
* Hide Your Secret Files in Zip Folders

Download: Home page for Lockup (requires .NET Framework 3.5)

Techie Buzz Verdict:

If you need to keep people from running specific applications on your PC, this little freeware app could be one of your favorite tools. It’s small, easy to use and it’s free.  The only thing missing from this application is a password protection feature.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)

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Author: Clif Sipe Google Profile for Clif Sipe
Promoting Freeware and Free information since 2004. Owner of FreewareWiki.com with over 2000 pages of freebies. Please subscribe to my Google Feed or follow me on Twitter @clifnotes.

Clif Sipe has written and can be contacted at clif@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://dtechwiz.blogspot.com Karthik Prabhu

    Another nice Freeware Clif..! :).. Nice.. I actually wanted one of those freewares.. As everyone in my family uses the PC, I really need to lock certain apps..

  • http://www.johnmoses.co.cc JOHNMOSES

    Its a nice post…….
    I also going to use LockUp..

  • http://www.johnmoses.co.cc JOHNMOSES

    How to Download LockUp?????

 
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