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Windows Cannot Open This Program… [Fixed]


software restriction

“Windows cannot open this program because it has been prevented by a software restriction policy.” If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely intimately familiar with this message popping up on your screen. I’m also willing to bet that you’re pretty frustrated with trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Well, help has arrived.

I think what surprised me the most about this issue is how simple the fix is. I’d done a lot of searching on the internet, and every solution involved setting up group security policies, using a program called gpupdate.exe, and a slew of other options; none of which resolved the issue.

The Solution

Now on to the simple solution (I’m assuming you’re using Windows Vista Home Premium). In the Start Menu, click “Default Programs.” Next, click “Set Program Access and Computer Defaults.”

Now, scroll down to the “custom” box and check that. It will drop down a menu, giving a list of programs. Look for the heading “Choose a default media player:.” To the right of these programs, you’ll see a list of boxes saying, “Enable access to this program.”

All you have to do is locate Windows Media Center, or whatever program is giving you the headache, and click “Enable access to this program.” That’s it. You now have access!

I hope this helps!

Read a book. It’s good for you.

  1. Pentti Tarnanen
    Monday November 15, 2010 at 6:40 AM

    What aboout Windows 7 Home Premium? I just updated my Vista to Windows 7 and I have the same problem with Windows Media Center. Media player is allowed by Default Programs but the error message still occurs.

  2. Webbie
    Tuesday January 3, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    Unbelievable !!!!utterly Unbelievable Unbelievable am baffled and speechless!? Thanks a bunch got back my windows media player and now its fine wow I’m completed shell shock so many hrs of searching n this this simple fix ah THANKS DUDE

  3. gumper
    Saturday November 10, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Thanks for that! Solved my problem with two minutes! Appreciate you posting this.

  4. Braden
    Sunday May 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    I tried that but the option was greyed out.

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