When you configure the firewall, it is important that you backup all Windows Firewall rules just to be safe and secure. Here’s how.
Though Windows Firewall looks simple at first glance, open the Advanced Settings window and you will see a host of options to configure the firewall rules to meet your needs. Windows Firewall gives you granular control on what can and cannot access the network or internet. Once you configure the Firewall to your needs, it is important that you backup Windows Firewall rules.
That way, you can import Windows Firewall rules on other computers or when you reinstall Windows. The backup also helps you restore any unwanted changes and set firewall status to a know good state. So, in this quick guide, let me show you steps to backup Windows Firewall rules in Windows 10.
Note: The guide is also applicable to Windows 7 and 8 along with Windows 10.
Step-By-Step Guide to Backup Windows Firewall Rules
To backup Windows firewall rules, we are going to use the built-in export feature in the Advanced Settings. Since this single export file contains all the firewall rules, you can simply restore the file to restore all the rules at once.
1. First, open the Start menu, search for “Windows Defender Firewall” and click on the result to open the Windows Firewall. If needed, you can also use the Run command “control firewall.cpl” to open the same.
2. Once you are in the Firewall screen, click on the “Advanced Settings” link appearing on the left pane.
3. In the advanced settings window, select the “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security on Local Computer” option on the left panel.
4. Next, click on the “Action → Export Policy” option on the top navigation bar.
5. You will see a save as window. Here, select the destination folder/drive, name the file and click on the “Save” button. In my case, I’m choosing to save it on the desktop.
6. That is it. The Windows Firewall rules are successfully backed up. You can see the file in the destination.
Import or Restore Backup
When you want to import the firewall rules, you can do it just as easily.
1. First, open Windows Defender Firewall and go to the Advanced Settings screen (see steps 1 and 2 in the first section).
2. Now, select “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security on Local Computer” and then click on the “Action → Import Policy” option.
3. You will see a warning message letting you know that importing will overwrite all the existing rules. Click on the “Yes” button to continue.
4. Go to where the import file is saved, select it and click on the “Open” button.
That is it. The Windows firewall backup file will be imported and all the rules will be restored according to the previous backup.
That is all. It is that simple to backup Windows firewall rules in Windows Windows 10, 8, and 7. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, do check out how to block an application from connecting to the internet with Windows firewall.