How to allow apps through firewall on Windows 11

Did Windows 11 block an app from accessing the internet? Here are the steps to allow it through the firewall manually.

Windows 11 allow app in firewall
Windows 11 allow app in firewall
  • To allow app access through Windows 11 firewall, open Windows Security > Firewall & network protection, click the “Allow an app through firewall” option, click the “Change settings” option, allow the app in the firewall, and click the “OK” button.

Microsoft Defender Firewall is one of the many security features available on Windows 11 to protect your computer and files from outside threats as well as from inside threats trying to get out.

A firewall works as a gatekeeper and blocks unused network ports, and every time an app wants to communicate outside your device, it checks if a rule exists in its database to allow or deny network access. If a rule doesn’t exist, the firewall will prompt you to identify and grant or deny permission.

While the Microsoft Defender Firewall does a pretty good job managing which apps and features should connect through the network automatically, sometimes you may need to allow or deny an app manually.

This guide will teach you the steps to allow or deny app access through the firewall on Windows 11.

Allow apps through firewall on Windows 11

To allow an app through the Windows 11 firewall, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Security.

  2. Click on Firewall & network protection.

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

    Open Windows 11 firewall configuration

  4. Click the Change settings button.

  5. Check the app to allow it through the Windows 11 firewall.

    Allow app in firewall

    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. Choose the “Private” option for home or work or the “Public” option to allow the app in public places, 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 11.

If you want to block an app through the firewall, you can follow the instructions outlined above, but on step No. 5, make sure to clear the checkmark for the app or feature you want to deny access to the network.

This guide focuses on the Microsoft Defender Firewall. However, if you have another security solution, the instructions will be different, as such, you should check your software company support website for more specific steps.

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 About.me. Email him at [email protected].