How to allow programs to communicate through Windows Firewall

Here's quick way to allow programs through the Windows 7 firewall.

Windows Firewall logo
Windows 7: By default most programs are blocked by Windows Firewall to help keep your computer secure; in other cases it will give you a warning when a new program tries to communicate through the firewall and letting you can choose whether or not to allow the program, giving you more control. But if for any reason, you want to allow a blocked or newly installed program through the firewall, here is a quick and easy way to do just that.

1-  Click Start and in the search box “Search programs and files” type “allow a program through windows firewall” and under “Control Panel” title select Allow a program through Windows Firewall.

2-  Next, browse and select — by checking the box on the left — the program or feature that you want to allow through the firewall, and also choose in which type of network(s) should the program have the ability to communicate: Domain (Corporate network), Home/Work (Private network, like the one in your own house), and/or Public (Starbucks, Library, School, etc.)

Windows Firewall settings

Or if you don’t find the program in the list, click Allow another program… Windows will populate all the programs installed in your computer, browse the list and select the program that you want to communicate through the firewall. Then click Network location types… button, choose the best option that suits your network environment, click OK, Add & OK again to finish.

Add Windows Firewall settings

And as a last resource you can click the Browse button, locate the program and click Open, next click Network location types… button, choose the best option that suits your network environment, click OK, Add & OK again to finish.

3-  After you made and saved all your choices, you are now done!

If you want to disallow a program or feature to communicate through Windows Firewall repeat step #1, and next uncheck the box at the left of the name and click OK. Or to complete remove a program or feature from the firewall access list select one and click the Remove button.

But remember that as easy as it is to change the Windows Firewall settings, the less secure your computer becomes. Because a firewall is basically a barrier that keeps unwanted “forces” away from your system. When you allow a program or open a port in the firewall, your computer opens a small hole and the more holes you open, the more opportunities hackers or malicious software have to find an opening to spread viruses, steal data, access files, or even your computer can be use to spread malicious software to others. So, choose wisely when to allow programs or open ports to communicate through the firewall.

TIP: It’s safer to allow a program to access the firewall than to open a port, because an open port remains open until YOU close it and if you allow a program, the port will only open when communication is needed; otherwise it will close.

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 15 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 21 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].