How can I setup a computer to make it only let the users access email?

by on March 24, 2011

Q: Hi! totally new to the site but i has a question for the geek gods. im straying at a hostel till its time to head to the next job and it happens that im the best thing thats being near a IT guy – the owner wants me to set up the public pc so that the only thing that can be done is to check email and not to be able to use any of the usb ports to upload photos and not allow anyone to download any files.. i did a little research and im not sure of what should and shouldn’t be done.. so far there is the admin account and a guest account and the OS is XP… its a older pc and only has about 1 gig of ram if that much.. but after talking to her she said she wants it on total lock down because she is getting tired of someone screwing it up 1 – 2 times a month.. ( i had to straighten it out the last few times – malware) the only thing i have done is put spyboy s&d on it.. thanks for your time

3 Responses to “How can I setup a computer to make it only let the users access email?”
    Picked as best answer

    Your best option is to use Microsoft Steady State.

    Not only does SteadyState return the PC back to its original state, but you can set it up to restrict what the user can access. You can lock down virtually every aspect of the computer from programs to websites and more. Of course you’ll need to be the administrator, and the first thing to do is install current drivers and Windows Updates. Then install programs and configure settings you want to how you want the machine to be every time it’s restored. Once everything is set up and you create different user account, you can let the public have at it. Any changes they make to the configuration will be undone just by restarting the machine.

    See this page for a nice guide on setup and configuration

    Sadly Microsoft discontinued the program, but you can still find a download of it on a mirror here:


    Also for anyone looking for information on Steady State and Windows 7, see this blog post and comments from Microsoft:


    Thank you very much!