Hardentools Disables “Risky” Features in Windows

For all the Windows users who have been using their favorite operating system for past many years, features like Microsoft PowerShell and CMD shell are perhaps things to be used casually whenever they need it. But according to the developer of an open-source software Hardentools, these features are risky as they can be used by hackers, attackers and other malicious programs. He goes on to explain that these features are basically useless for the regular users of Windows computers and make sense only for the enterprise customers. As such, he has developed this tool called Hardentools that can disable all these useless features in Windows at the click of a button.

Hardentools is a portable program for Windows and can disable many of the features that are supposed to be only useful for the advanced users. When you launch it just by double-clicking, it informs you that it can disable many more risky features in your Windows PC if you run it with administrator privileges.


After a few seconds of checking different available features in your PC, it shows a number of features that you can select and then click on the Harden button to disable them. These features include Windows Script Host, Office ActiveX, Acrobat Reader Embedded Objects, Acrobat Reader Enhanced Security, UAC Prompt, Windows ASR, Office Packager Objects (OLE), Office Macros, Office DDE Links, Acrobat Reader JavaScript, Acrobat Reader Protected Mode, Acrobat Reader Protected View, AutoRun and AutoPlay, Powershell and cmd.exe, File Associations and Show File Extensions.


Interesting thing is that Acrobat Reader options were displayed on our test PC even though it was not even installed on it. As you click on the Harden button, it will make changes to your system and then inform you that changes will take effect after the system reboot.


After reboot, you won’t be able to use those features in your PC anymore. But what if you change your mind later and want to enable them once again? In that case, you can launch Hardentools once again and this time it will show an option to Restore all the previously disabled features.


Hardentools is able to disable all the less commonly used features for the novice PC users. It can prevent some of malicious programs to take advantage of these features. But if you install a good antivirus software in your Windows PC, it should be able to block all these threats without having to disable any features.

You can download Hardentools from https://github.com/securitywithoutborders/hardentools/releases.

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