What is Kiosk Mode?
Before getting to know about kiosk mode, it’s important to understand the basic concept of the term ‘kiosk’ in the digital world. Kiosks are stand-alone terminals that consist of specialized hardware and software features to help users access/feed data or use applications for various purposes like commerce, entertainment, education, communication, etc.,
Now, kiosk mode in a PC is nothing but locking or restricting devices to a single or multiple applications to function as a kiosk. It is a Windows operating system feature that only allows a single activity to run at a time, which helps IT teams monitor app use and restrict applications access to authenticated users.
What are the benefits of using Kiosk mode in Windows?
When combined with an MDM solution, kiosk mode makes many tasks simpler and easier for IT professionals to administer and allows them to control devices remotely. At the same time, they can lock and restrict devices to limit applications and data usage.
It has a lockdown mode that ensures that users can only access the pre-approved apps, converting devices into dedicated-purpose tools. Furthermore, in a kiosk mode, unauthorized use of kiosks can be prevented.
The IT admin will have complete control over the configurations and the functioning of the devices when running on kiosk mode. In addition, corporate data is fully secured, and access to restricted websites can be detected immediately and blocked.
How does the kiosk mode work for Windows?
In kiosk mode, IT uses an MDM solution to manage and control the default device launcher and entirely replaces the default launcher with a new and customized one so that the apps, app drawers, websites, hardware and software controls, display settings, and troubleshooting controls can be configured by the IT team using the MDM server.
For instance, when a Windows 10 device uses kiosk mode, the device signs in automatically, and the restricted local user account can run only one Microsoft store app in full screen, allowing IT to have complete control over the device and related activities. It also prevents the device and the applications from unauthorized user access or changes to the apps or settings.
How to set up Kiosk mode in Windows 10 devices?
In Windows 10, to activate a single app kiosk mode, the assigned access feature runs a single app above the lock screen. The app is launched automatically when the user signs into a kiosk account. This restricts the user to have access only to the kiosk mode’s extended apps, and the user cannot work on anything on the device outside the kiosk app.
It is important to note that the User Account Control (UAC) feature must be turned on to enable the kiosk mode. Windows 10 kiosk mode cannot be set on a remote desktop connection. It requires a separate kiosk device to run this mode, and copy and paste features cannot be used in kiosk mode-enabled apps.
Below are the options to set up a single app kiosk in Windows 10:
- Through Settings – Enabling the “Set up a Kiosk” option from ‘Settings’ is the easiest and quickest way to configure a single app lockdown in a kiosk device. This option is for local and standard account users.
- PowerShell – In the Windows PowerShell framework, a single app kiosk can be set up using PowerShell cmdlets. A user account needs to be created on the device first to work on this option, and then the kiosk app has to be installed for that particular account.
- The Kiosk Wizard in Windows Configuration Designer – The provisioning package feature in the Windows configuration designer tool is used in this method to set up the kiosk app. The provisioning package includes the configuration settings for one or more devices to run the kiosk mode. Using the Kiosk wizard, the kiosk user account is first created, the kiosk app is then installed, and finally, all the necessary settings to run the kiosk mode are configured.
- Through MDM providers – To run kiosk mode in organization managed devices, Mobile Device Management (MDM) software is used to set up kiosk configuration wizards, which is then used to enable the kiosk mode on relevant devices.