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How to Block or Unblock Programs In Windows Defender Firewall

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Windows Firewall is an application that acts as a filter for your PC. It scans the information in the website coming to your system and potentially blocks the harmful details being entered into it. Sometimes you might find some programs that won’t load and eventually you find out that the program is blocked by Firewall. Similarly, you might find some suspicious programs on your device and you’re worried that they might cause harm to the device, in such cases, it is advised to block the programs in Windows Defender Firewall. If you have no idea how to do it, here is a guide on how to block or unblock programs in Windows Defender Firewall

How to Block or Unblock Programs In Windows Defender Firewall

How to Block or Unblock Programs In Windows Defender Firewall

How does a Firewall work?

There are three basic types of firewalls that every company uses to maintain its data security. First, they use this to keep their devices out of destructive elements of the network.

1. Packet Filters: Packet filters analyze the incoming and outgoing packets and control their internet access accordingly. It either allows or blocks the packet by comparing its properties with pre-determined criteria like IP addresses, port numbers, etc. It is best suited for small networks where the entire process comes under the packet filtering method. But, when the network is extensive, then this technique becomes complicated. It must be noted that this firewall method is not suited to prevent all the attacks. It cannot tackle application layer issues and spoofing attacks.

2. Stateful Inspection: Stateful inspection withholds robust firewall architecture that can be used to examine traffic streams in an end-to-end manner. This type of firewall protection is also called dynamic packet filtering. These super-fast firewalls analyze the packet headers and inspect the packet state, thereby providing proxy services to ward off unauthorized traffic. These are more secure than packet filters and are employed in the network layer of the OSI model.

3. Proxy Server Firewalls: They provide excellent network security by filtering the messages at the application layer.

You will get an answer for blocking and unblocking programs when you know about the role of the Windows Defender Firewall. It can prevent some programs from being connected to the Internet. However, it won’t allow access to a network if a program seems to be suspicious or unnecessary.

A newly installed application will trigger a prompt that asks you whether the application be brought as an exception to Windows Firewall or not.

If you click Yes, then the installed application is under an exception to Windows Firewall. If you click No, then whenever your system scans for suspicious content on the Internet, the Windows Firewall blocks the application from connecting to the Internet.

How to Allow a Program Through Windows Defender Firewall

1. Type firewall in the Search Menu then click on Windows Defender Firewall.

To open the Windows Defender Firewall, click the Windows button, type windows firewall in the search box, and then press Enter.

2. Click on the Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall from the left hand menu.

In the popup window, choose Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.

3. Now, click on the Change settings button.

Click on the Change Settings button then check the box next to Remote Desktop

4. You can use Allow another app… button to browse your program if your desired application or program does not exist in the list.

5. Once you have selected the desired application, make sure to checkmark under “Private” and “Public“.

6. Finally, click OK.

It is easier to allow the program or feature rather than blocking the application or part by Windows Firewall. If you’re wondering how to allow or block a program through Windows 10 Firewall, following these steps will help you do the same.

Whitelisting Apps or Programs with the Windows Firewall

1. Click Start, type firewall in the search bar, and select Windows Firewall from the search result. 

2. Navigate to Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall (or, if you use Windows 10, click Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall).

Click on ‘Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall’

3. Now, click on the Change settings button and tick/untick the boxes next to the application or program name. 

Click on the checkbox for both public and private keys and click on OK

If you want to access the Internet on your home or business environment, checkmark the Private column. If you wish to access the Internet in a public place like a hotel or a coffee shop, checkmark the Public column to connect it via a hotspot network or a Wi-Fi connection.

How to Block All Incoming Programs in Windows Firewall

Blocking all incoming programs is the safest option if you deal with highly secured information or transactional business activity. In these situations, it is preferred to block all the incoming programs entering your computer. This includes the programs that are allowed in your Whitelist of connections. Hence, learning how to block a firewall program will help everyone maintain their data integrity and data security.

1. Press Windows Key + S to bring up search then type firewall in the search bar, and select Windows Firewall from the search result. 

Go to the Start menu and type Windows firewall anywhere and select it.

2. Now go to Customise Settings

3. Under Public network settings, select Block all incoming connections, including those in the list of allowed programs, then OK.

How to Block All Incoming Programs in Windows Firewall

Once done, this feature still allows you to send and receive an email, and you can even browse the Internet, but other connections will be blocked automatically by the firewall.

Also Read: Fix Windows Firewall problems in Windows 10

How to Block a Program in Windows Firewall

Now let’s see the best way to block an application from utilizing the network using the Windows Firewall. Even though you need your applications to have free admittance to the network, there are a variety of circumstances where you may wish to keep an application from getting access to the network. Let’s investigate how to obstruct an application from getting to the local network and Internet. This article illustrates how to block a program on a firewall: 

Steps to Block a Program in Windows Defender Firewall

1. Press Windows Key + S to bring up search then type firewall in the search bar, and select Windows Firewall from the search result. 

2. Click on the Advanced settings from the left menu.

3. To the left of the navigation panel, click on the Outbound Rules option.

Click on Inbound Rules from the left hand menu in Windows Defender Firewall Advance Security  

4. Now from the far right menu, click on New Rule under Actions. 

5. In the New Outbound Rule Wizard, note the Program is enabled, tap the Next button.

Select Program under the New Inbound Rule Wizard

6. Next on the Program screen, select the This program path option, then click on the Browse button and navigate to the path of the program you want to block.

Note: In this example, we are going to block Firefox from accessing the Internet. You can choose any program you wish to block. 

Click on Browse button the navigate to the program you wish to block then click Next

7. Once you are sure about the file path after making the changes mentioned above, you can finally click the Next button.

8. Action screen will be displayed. Click on Block the connection and proceed by clicking Next.

Select Block the connection from the Action screen to block the specified program or app

9. Several rules will be displayed on the Profile screen, and you have to select the rules that apply. Three options are explained below:

  • Domain: When your computer is connected to a corporate domain, this rule applies.
  • Private: When your computer is connected to any private network at home or in any business environment, this rule applies. 
  • Public: When your computer is connected to any public network in a hotel or any public environment, this rule applies. 

For example, when you are connected to a network in a coffee shop (public environment), you have to check the Public option. When you are connected to a network in a home/business place (private environment), you have to check the Private option. When you are unsure of what network you use, check all the boxes, this will block the application from being connected to all the networks; after selecting your desired network, click Next.

Several rules will be displayed on the Profile screen

10. Last but not least, give a name to your rule. We suggest that you use a unique name so that you can recall it later. Once done, click the Finish button.

Give the name of the Inbound Rule your just created

You will see that the new rule is added to the top of Outbound Rules. If your primary motivation is just blanket blocking, then the procedure ends here. If you need to refine the rule you have developed, double-click on the entry and make the desired adjustments.

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to block or unblock programs in Windows Defender Firewall. If you have any queries/comments regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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