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How to Configure or Disable Kiosk Mode in Windows 10

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Assigned Access (or kiosk mode) on Windows 10 is a feature that enables administrators to restrict the usage of a specific machine to only a select few purposes by converting it into a kiosk device. Typically, you'll see such as the kiosks at the airports or PCs that are used to display digital signage.

Windows 10 isn't the first Microsoft OS that has the kiosk mode. However, Microsoft redesigned the feature in 2018 to make configuring it a lot more user-friendly. Here's how to use it.

Lay the Groundwork for Kiosk Mode

Once you've configured kiosk mode on your Windows 10 PC, it will always sign in automatically into a user account with restricted access and run only one app at a time. Nobody that has access to the device will be able to view the desktop, multitask, or modify anything on it. You'll be able to restrict a guest user's access to one or more Universal Windows Provisioning (UWP) apps and gate their access to anything else on the machine.

Before you begin to set up kiosk mode on your PC, you should see if your PC meets the pre-requisites for setting up kiosk mode. If it does, make sure you've got the required settings in order so you don't run into a problem while you configure kiosk mode on Windows 10.

1. Find Out Which Version of Windows You Have

Windows kiosk mode isn't available on Windows 10 Home edition. To set up kiosk mode, your computer must be running Windows 10 Pro (v1709 or later), Enterprise, or Education, so check which version of Windows 10 you're running beforehand.

Related: Every Single Windows 10 Version You Must Know About

2. Creating a User Account for Kiosk Mode

You can't set up kiosk mode on an administrator account. If you don't have one already, you'll need to create a new standard user account so you can configure kiosk mode for that account. Make sure you're able to create a standard user account before you start configuring kiosk mode.

3. Checking If Your Chosen Apps Can Run in Kiosk Mode

You'll need to determine the app(s) that you want to provision under the kiosk mode. You can only allow UWP apps (aka metro-style apps).

How to Enable and Configure Kiosk Mode

The process to configure kiosk mode isn't complex. All you need to do is set up a standard user account, choose the app(s), and add relevant settings for them.

1. Create a User Account

Start by pressing Ctrl + I to launch the Settings app and go to Accounts > Family & other users. From the right pane, click on Add someone else to this PC.

add-standard-user-windows

When you're asked for an email or phone of the person so they can sign in, just click on I don't have this person's sign-in information and click Next. You'll now need to create a local user account for your PC. Just give it a name and a password (or leave the password blank if you want them to sign in automatically).

2. Set up Kiosk Mode

Once you've created the account, go back to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users. Now, click on Assigned access to configure kiosk mode on your PC. You'll now need to select a user account (select the one you just created).

You'll see a list of apps from which you can choose your kiosk app. Just select the app you want and click Next.

select-kiosk-mode-apps

Depending on the app you choose, you may need to enter a few more details. Just fill in the details that you see along the way. Once you're done, restart the PC and select the guest user account you created earlier to log in.

How to Disable Kiosk Mode in Windows 10

To disable kiosk mode, go back to the Settings app and navigate to Accounts > Family & other users. Click on Assigned access. On the next screen, select the kiosk you set up under the Kiosk info section and click on the Remove kiosk button.

Alternatively, you could just delete the user account for which you enabled the kiosk mode. To delete that account, you'll need to use two commands.

Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated Command Prompt. First, run the following command:

net user

This will give you a list of all the user accounts on your system. Identify the one you created for enabling kiosk mode. Next, run the following command:

net user "username" /delete
cmd-delete-user-disable-kiosk

Of course, replace the word username with the actual user account name. This command will delete the user from your system.

Potential Problems With Kiosk Mode

While Kiosk Mode is a handy way to set up a one-app machine for public use, it can sometimes encounter problems.

1. Freezing

You're still using a PC with Windows 10 that's prone to the occasional freezing. When you're in the kiosk mode and your screen freezes, just press Ctrl + Alt + Del and log out of the standard user account. Log back in and see if it fixes the issue. If not, restart your PC.

2. Unauthorized Actions

If your kiosk is in a public place, someone could just shut the PC down unless you stand guard for the full duration that the kiosk remains on. However, you could get around this issue by tweaking your power settings.

Go to Control Panel and navigate to Hardware and Sound > Power Options. Click on the Choose what the power buttons do option from the left pane and select Do nothing for the When I press the power button option.

power-options-do-nothing-power-button

3. Kiosk User Account Not Visible

If you don't see your kiosk user account in the Settings app from where you created it, don't be alarmed. It's usually still there even if it's not visible. You can, of course, verify its existence using the Command Prompt. Just use the net user command to get a list of the user accounts on the PC and you should find the standard user account you created for the kiosk mode in the list.

Enjoy Singularity on Your PC

Kiosk mode is a great way to turn an old laptop into a jukebox or something of more value for others without allowing them access to your personal files. However, if you're trying to just restrict access for other users rather than limiting them to one or a couple of apps, there's a better way to go about it.

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