How to Manage Windows Firewall Communication Rules

It is time to continue our series of articles about the Windows Firewall. In this article I will show how to edit the list of allowed programs and features. You will learn to edit existing connection rules, add new programs to the list of exceptions or remove them from it.

Where to Find the List of Allowed Programs

First, open Windows Firewall and, in the main window, click on ’Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall’.

Windows Firewall

You will now see a list with all the programs which are allowed to communicate through the Windows Firewall. The list is pretty long and the active rules are only those which have a check-mark near their name. All the rules can be enabled either for one type of network locations (home/work or public) or both.

Windows Firewall

How to Edit the List of Active Communication Rules

To change the list of active communication rules, you need to first click on the ’Change settings’ button.

Windows Firewall

The list of rules will no longer be gray and you will be able to edit it. You can enable a predefined rule by checking the mark next to its name. You can also change the type of network location the rule applies to by checking the appropriate column: home/work, public or both. If you want to know more about a rule before changing it, select it with the mouse and then click on Details.

Windows Firewall

You will now see a small window, giving you an additional description of the selected program or feature it applies to. When done reading it, click OK.

Windows Firewall

How to Remove Items from the List of Allowed Programs

If you want to remove a program or feature from the list, click on it and then on Remove.

Windows Firewall

You will be asked to confirm. Click on Yes and the program will be removed.

Windows Firewall

How to Add Items to the List of Allowed Programs

If you cannot find a program on the list of allowed items, you can click on the ’Allow another program’ button to add it.

Windows Firewall

In the ’Add a Program’ window, you will see the list of all programs installed on your computer. Select the one you desire. If you cannot find it, click on Browse and select its main executable file.

Windows Firewall

You can set up which location type the exception will be applied to. For this, click on ’Network location types’. Then you can check any of the location types: home/work or public. When done, click OK and then on Add.

Windows Firewall

The program is now added to the list of allowed connections and should start functioning correctly.

Conclusion

Working with Windows Firewall is not very complicated. As you can see from what I’ve written above, adding or removing programs from the list of allowed connections is reasonably easy. If you have questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Also, to find out more about this tool, check out the articles recommended below.