AskAdmin: block program executions on Windows
AskAdmin is a specialized program for Microsoft Windows devices that may block access to certain programs or system functions. It has been designed for situations where you hand over your computer (and user profile) to another user, e.g. a child, and want to prevent that certain applications are run.
The application is free but some features are restricted to a premium version. The main limitations of the free version are that it limits blocked items to a maximum of 10, that you cannot use the export feature, cannot protect the application itself with a password, and cannot block access for specific users of the operating system only.
A scan of the program on Virustotal returned 0 hits. The application is compatible with all supported versions of Windows and Windows XP and Vista. Run the application after download and extraction.
Note: the program does not need to be running in the background for the blocking to be active. It is important that you are careful when selecting programs or folders to block as you may run into issues, e.g. Windows loading issues, if you block the wrong files or folders.
AskAdmin may block the execution of executable files, e.g. exe, bat or reg, on the system it is run on. You have two main options to add executable files to the block list:
- Use drag and drop.
- Use the built-in file browser.
You may add individual Win32 programs, batch or Registry files, Windows Store applications, certain Windows components, or all files in a folder structure.
Checked items in the listing are blocked while unchecked items are not. You can change the blocking status of each item easily in the interface, and run them from the interface with a double-click even if they are blocked system-wide.
The blocking worked fine for most types during tests. I could not get the folder blocking to work initially; it seems that the program has issues when you select special folders, e.g. Downloads or Documents directly. Selecting these folders manually by following the path on the drive works, however. The program may need to restart Explorer when you select folder blocking for the first time.
Windows displays a message when you attempt to run a blocked executable.
A click on Extras in the program interface displays special block options; there you find options to block Windows Store or built-in Windows apps (if the operating system support these), and the Windows components Task Manager, Registry Editor, and Microsoft Edge. You may also block the Settings page or Network browsing.
Items that you have added to the block list may be deleted at any time or toggled so that they are not blocked. Handy features like the option to block or unblock all, and to delete all, are provided as well.
AskAdmin is an easy to use program that blocks the execution of executable files efficiently. It is easy to set up and the ability to block all executable files in a folder and its subfolders is certainly useful.
It is mostly suitable for home environments where access to certain programs or features needs to be blocked; organizations may prefer to use Software Restriction Policies and other means to block the execution of applications.