How to enable or disable the ability to change the theme in Windows 11

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The article outlines how to enable or disable changing desktop themes in Windows 11. Users can personalize their desktop with predefined themes, but administrators can restrict modifications. The instructions depict two methods: using the Local Group Policy Editor or through the Windows Registry. These steps give administrators control over the uniformity of Windows 11’s visual…

This article describes steps to enable or disable changing the desktop themes in Windows 11.

Windows 11 has predefined desktop themes that one can use to change the look of Windows’ background, color, sound, and mouse cursor. In addition, there are themes for different seasons and styles.

Windows lets users change and add custom themes easily. Administrators can also choose a defined theme, apply it to all users, and disable the ability to modify it.

Below is how to restrict changing desktop themes in Windows 11.

How to prevent or restrict users from changing desktop themes in Windows 11

As described above, Windows 11 comes with predefined desktop themes that one can use to change the look of Windows’ background, color, sound, and mouse cursor. In addition, there are themes for different seasons and styles.

There are multiple ways administrators can prevent users from changing desktop themes. Below are two methods to do this.

Restrict users changing desktop themes via Local Group Policy Editor

One way administrators can restrict users from changing the desktop themes in Windows 11 is to use the Local Group Policy Editor.

First, open the Local Group Policy Editor.

Click on the Start menu button and search for “Edit group policy. “ Under Best match, select Edit group policy result.

windows 11 edit group policy
windows 11 edit group policy

In the left pane of Local Group Policy Editor, expand the tree: 

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization

Then, in the Personalization details pane on the right, locate and double-click the setting that says “Prevent changing theme. “

windows 11 personalization prevent changing theme
Windows 11 personalization prevents changing the theme

On the Prevent changing theme window set the option to Not ConfigureEnabled, or Disabled.

  • Not Configured (default)
  • Enabled  – Users cannot change or save a theme.
  • Disabled – If disabled or not configured, there’s no effect. Users can change the same theme.
windows 11 personalization prevent changing theme options
Windows 11 personalization prevents changing theme options

Save your changes, exit, and reboot.

Prevent users from changing desktop themes via Windows Registry

If you can’t open the Local Group Policy Editor, use the Windows Registry instead.

Open the Windows Registry, and navigate to the folder key path below.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

If you don’t see the Explorer folder key, right-click on the Policies key, then create the subkey (Explorer) folders.

windows 11 prevent changing theme via registry
Windows 11 prevents changing themes via registry.

Right-click on the Explorer folder key’s right pane and select New -> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Next, type a new key named NoThemesTab.

Double-click the new value name (NoThemesTab) and enter the Value data as 1 to prevent users from changing themes in Windows 11.

Value data of 0 will enable or allow users to change themes in Windows 11.

windows 11 prevent changing theme registry value data
windows 11 prevents changing theme registry value data

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to allow or prevent users from changing desktop themes in Windows 11. Please use the comment form below if you find any errors above or have something to add.

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