Incorrect Software Restriction settings in Windows’ Group Policy can keep you from running your own software. But there’s an easy fix.
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Remove bogus program blocks from Group Policy
Reader Neil McPherson has a really annoying problem. He can’t install software on his own PC!
- “On a number of occasions, my attempts to install new programs in Windows 7 Professional have been blocked with this error message: This program is blocked by Group Policy. For more information, see your system administrator.
“How can I unblock my PC for all programs?”
The most common reason for this error message is a change in your PC’s Software Restriction Policies (SRP). It’s a Windows feature often used in businesses to lock down PCs; it helps ensure that only licensed and known-safe software runs.
Microsoft formally describes SRP as a “Group Policy–based feature that identifies software programs running on computers … and controls the ability of those programs to run. You use software restriction policies to create a highly restricted configuration for computers, in which you allow only specifically identified applications to run.”
SRP’s extensive blocking capabilities include software type, version, publisher, and user level (e.g., administrator vs. standard user). It can also block programs by location on your hard drive, by associated security certificates, and even by Internet zone (for downloads).