How to allow apps through firewall on Windows 10

Sometimes the firewall will block trusted apps from accessing the internet, but Windows 10 makes it easy to change the settings to manually allow apps through the firewall — here's how.

Allow app through firewall on Windows 10
Allow app through firewall on Windows 10

Windows 10 has several security features to protect your device and data against unauthorized access, malware, and other attacks, including a powerful built-in firewall known as Microsoft Defender Firewall.

Although the Microsoft Defender Firewall does a pretty good job managing which applications and features are allowed to connect through the network, sometimes you may need to manually allow or deny an app.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to allow or deny app access through the firewall on Windows 10.

Allow apps through firewall on Windows 10

To allow an app through the Windows 10 firewall, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Firewall & network protection.

  3. Click the “Allow an app through firewall” option.

    Windows Defender Security Center firewall settings

  4. Click the Change settings button.

  5. Check the app or feature you want to allow through the Windows 10 firewall.

    Allow apps through firewall on Windows 10

    Quick tip: If the app isn’t on the list, click the “Allow another app” button to locate the application you want to allow.
  6. Check on which type of networks an app can access the network:

    • Private — Allows the app access to the network at home or work.
    • Public — Allows the app access to the network at a public place, such as in a coffee shop.
  7. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the app will have full access to the network on Windows 10.

If you want to block an app through the firewall, you can follow the instructions outlined above, but in step 5, clear the checkmark for the app or feature you want to deny access to the network.

This guide focuses on the Windows 10 firewall, but if you have another security solution, check your vendor support website for specific instructions.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].