How To Allow a Program Through Firewall in Windows 10 & 11

Want to exclude or create an exception for a program in Windows Firewall? Here is how to allow a program through the firewall in Windows 10 & 11.

In Windows 10 and Windows 11, Windows Firewall is enabled by default. It manages and controls all the network connections in the background. Like any host-based firewall, Windows Firewall allows all outbound connections and permitted inbound connections directly responding to the outbound connections. For the most part, Windows Firewall protects you from the most common network threats.

Generally, most programs automatically configure their own firewall rules or follow Windows-specific rules to ensure Windows Firewall doesn’t block them. This means, regular users never need to worry about manually setting or changing firewall rules in Windows 10.

However, Windows Firewall may sometimes block programs from connecting to a network. There might be many reasons, like the program being unable to create its own rules, disabled rules, conflicting rules, etc. In those cases, you can add exceptions and allow a program through the firewall.

This quick and easy Windows Firewall guide will show you how to allow programs through Windows Firewall in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Note: To change Windows Firewall settings, you need administrator rights.

Allow a program through the firewall

To add an exception to the firewall and allow a program through the firewall, we have to create a custom rule via Advanced Settings. Here is how to do it.

Press the Start menu, search for “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security,” and open it. This action will open the Windows Firewall Advanced Settings. You can open the same thing by clicking the “Advanced Settings” link in Windows Firewall.

open Windows firewall

We need to create a new rule to allow a program through the firewall. To do that, select the “Inbound Rules” option on the left sidebar and then click on the “New Rule” option on the right sidebar.

create new rule

In the rule creation wizard, select the “Custom” option. This option allows you to create a custom rule with more refined controls.

select custom option to allow program through firewall

Since we want to allow a program through the firewall, we need to tell the firewall which program it is. To do that, select the “This program path” option and then click the “Browse” button.

select this program path option

Now, find the exe file of the program you want to allow through the firewall, select it, and click the “Open” button.

select the exe file

Click “Next” in the wizard.

confirm the exe file

Select the “Any” option from the “Protocol Type” dropdown menu and click the “Next” button. This ensures the allowed program can communicate in any supported protocol type in any port of its choosing. If you only need a specific protocol or port, you can select it on this screen. For example, to allow pings in Windows Firewall, you can specifically select the “ICMPv4 Echo Requests” option.

select any protocol type

We want to allow the program to connect to any IP address. So, let the default options be and click “Next.” If you wish to restrict the communication to specific IPs, select the “These IP Addresses” option and add them in the blank fields.

select any IP address

Select the “Allow this connection” and click “Next.”

select allow this connection to allow a program through firewall

Select all three profiles. i.e., Domain, Private, and Public options and click the “Next” button.

select all profiles

For the final step, name the rule and click the “Finish” button. This name will appear in the rules list. So, make sure the name is descriptive enough.

name the new custom firewall rule to add exception

That is it. You are done. From now on, the program you added to the firewall is allowed explicitly.

Important Note

Keep in mind that if there is an explicit deny rule for the target program, it takes precedence over the allow rule. That means the target program cannot go through the firewall even when you create the allow rule. In that case, you have to disable the deny rule first.

I hope that helps.

If you need any help, comment below, and I will try to help.

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