Block/Unblock Programs in Windows Firewall

In Windows 7 and XP, you can set the Windows Firewall to block or unblock certain applications. Here’s how.

Windows 7

1. Click the Windows orb and open the Control Panel.

2. Select System and Security.

Win7 System and Security icon


3. In the Windows Firewall section, select Allow a program through Windows Firewall.

Win7 Allow a program through Windows Firewall link

4. Unchecking the box to the left of the application name disallows it from accessing network resources, while checking it allows access.

Win7 window to allow or disallow programs

If the program you wish to block or unblock is not listed, you can click the Allow another program… button to add it. Choose the application in the list and select Add. If the program is not in this list, use the Browse… button to select the program file manually.

Win7 Add program to the firewall list

Windows XP

1. Click Start and open the Control Panel.

2. Select Security Center.

3. In the Manage security settings for area, select Windows Firewall.

4. Select the Exceptions tab.

5. Check an application to allow access to the network, uncheck it to block access. If the program isn’t listed, select the Add Program… button to add it to the list.

WinXP Firewall exceptions list


  1. TOROO says

    PLEASE HELP!!! whenever i try to add a program to firewall and press “Add another program. . .” the explorer crashes. i have tried to reload the computer 2 times but it did not help anything. it does the same thing over and over again and again. PLEASE HELP!!!!

  2. R.Kaiser says

    I had my wireless Internet cut off when I clicked to Block an Unidentified Download notification. As it turned out it was an update from my wireless internet, although there was no identification to tell me that. I have Kaspersky Internet Security and included on my laptop is Windows Firewall and Windows Defender (I tried to unblock according to all the instructions, but, alas nothing worked). After contacting Kaspersky I was told that I should turn off my Built in Firewall and Windows Defender on the Laptop, as they are at odds with the Kaspersky Internet Security Firewall . It was then easy to Enable(Trust) the programe on the Kaspersky “Blocked” or “Prending list.”
    Then had to contact my Provider and set up the Wireless Contact again.
    All is working OK now. Hope this helps else with Un-Blocking Problems

  3. Bob jones says

    I checked the box for the program i want, and when i went to the program, it said that it was still blocked. what should i do?

  4. passer-by says

    zwarriorx gives better advice on how to actually block a program in your firewall than the actual article does. Thanks for that!

  5. zwarriorx says

    Currently I’m booted into XP (I dual-boot XP-VISTA) so these instructions apply to XP. A similar process can be done under VISTA, although the steps may vary. When I restart and boot into VISTA I’ll try it. So back to the issue ….

    @ the original article’s author, bm

    To me, the logical (and seemingly correct) way to go about this is to use the ‘Exceptions’ tab in Windows Firewall and NOT the ‘Advanced’ tab as suggested. The ‘Advanced’ tab is to ONLY add your net connections (allow/disallow); be it dial-up, broadband or wifi. So, do this :

    If your net connections is active (check for the two animating monitors icon in the taskbar) –

    Right-click that icon > Change Windows Firewall Settings > ‘Exceptions’ Tab > Add Program > Select your app/program icon from all the listed apps (or use the browse button)> OK > You should now see your app in the list (under Programs and Services) with a checkmark against it > Uncheck the app.


    If you are not connected to the net as yet, access Windows Firewall through : START > Settings > Control Panel > Double-click Security Center ICON (or Windows Firewall ICON) > follow the steps above to add, check/uncheck app.

    As I said, this seems like the logical way, since checkmarking the apps under ‘exceptions’ is to allow those apps to connect/access the internet. So unchecking it should logically disconnect it from net access.

    If you decide to allow any unchecked app internet access, simply checkmark it again. NOTE: Deleting it from the list still gives it access; don’t ask me why, but in some cases that’s how it is.

    Hope this helps. Cheers!

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