How to Block a Program in Your Firewall
A firewall is an important network security device. It controls traffic from and to your network. Without it, you’d be vulnerable to hacker and malware attacks.
If you’ve ever struggled to block a program in your firewall on Windows or Mac, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’re going to provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to do just that. We’ll also discuss why you should block specific programs, which programs to allow, how to check if a port or a program is blocked, and much more.
How to Block a Program in Your Firewall on Windows 10, 8, and 7
Blocking a program in your firewall on Windows 10, 8, and 7 can be done through Outbound and Inbound rules. If you want to block information going out from the program, only apply steps for Outbound rules. If you want to block information coming to your program from the internet, apply steps for Inbound rules. If you want to block a program from accessing the internet completely, apply both steps.
- Type “Windows firewall” in the search bar and open the “Windows Defender Firewall.”
- Click on “Advanced Settings” on the left side of the pane.
- There, you will see “Inbound” and “Outbound Rules”. You need to apply the following steps to both rules. Click on “Inbound Rules” first.
- On the right side of the window, click “New Rule.” It will ask you what type of rule you want to create. Click “Program” and then click “Next.”
- Find program location. Make sure you choose the location where the program was installed rather than its shortcut.
Tip: It should be in the “Program Files.”
- After you add the program you want to block, click “Next.”
- Choose “Block Connection” and click “Next.”
- If you want to block the program completely, make sure all boxes are selected (Domain, Private, Public). Then click “Next.”
- In the “Name box” that comes next, enter the name of the program you’re blocking and write “blocked” next to it. You can add a short description if you want.
- Open “Outbound Rules” and repeat steps (4-9).
You have now successfully blocked a program from accessing the internet in Windows 10, 8, and 7.
How to Block a Program in Your Firewall on MacOS
- Click on the Apple logo button at the top left of the screen.
- Go to “System Preferences.”
- Open “Security” (or Security & Privacy) icon.
- Click on the “Firewall” tab.
- Click the padlock icon and enter your admin name and password to make changes.
- Turn on the Firewall.
- Open “Firewall Options”.
- Click the “Remove App (-)” button.
- Select the app you want to remove.
- Change the “Allow incoming connections” to “Block incoming connections.”
- Click “OK.”
To allow a program, follow the same steps, but instead of the “Remove (-)” click on the “Add application (+)” button, choose the app you want to add, and click “Allow incoming connections.”
How to Allow Programs Blocked by a Firewall on Windows 10
- Open the Search box and type “firewall.”
- Open Windows Defender Firewall and go to “Advanced Settings.”
- On the left side of the pane, click on “Inbound Rules.”
- Find the program you previously blocked and double-click on it. Now the Takeown Properties window will open.
- In the “Action” section, click “Allow the connection.”
- Return to “Advanced Settings” and click on “Inbound Rules.”
- Repeat steps 5 and 6.
How to Check if Windows Firewall Is Blocking a Program
- Search for “Defender Firewall” in the search box.
- Click on “Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.”
- You will see a list of allowed programs (checked) and blocked programs (unchecked).
How to Check if Windows Firewall Is Blocking a Port
- Type “cmd” in the search box.
- Run the Command Prompt as Administrator.
- Type “netsh firewall show state” in the command prompt and hit enter.
- It will give you a list of enabled and disabled ports.
Why Should I Block Programs With a Firewall?
Having a program with free network access is desirable most of the time. However, there might be an app on your computer that keeps sending you notifications, ads, or keeps updating itself. Those distractions can be frustrating if you’re trying to focus on your work. You might want to block its access to the internet at that point. Or there might be a game that you enjoy playing, but you hate the online multiplayer elements. Simply blocking the program with a firewall will make things much simpler.
What Programs Should I Allow in My Firewall?
You can allow apps through Windows Defender Firewall either by adding them to the list of allowed apps or opening a port. Both are risky, the latter one especially. When you open a port, traffic can get into and out of your computer easily. This can be a huge security issue. Hackers can access your data a lot easier.
For advanced security, only allow apps when you have no other choice. Also, feel free to block the apps you don’t use. It would be best if you never allowed firewall communication to an app you are not familiar with.
How Can I Unblock Installation of a Program?
Sometimes, Defender can be overly protective and keep you from installing an app. On top of that, it happens to block perfectly safe apps. Here’s how to solve the issue:
• Locate the file you want to unblock.
• Right-click on it.
• Go to “Properties.”
• In “General” -> “Security,” make sure to check the “Unblock” box.
• Click “Apply.”
How Do I Disable Firewall on Windows 10 and 8?
We don’t recommend disabling a firewall. But if you have good reason to do so, follow these steps:
• Open the search box and type “Windows Defender Firewall.”
• Once the window opens, click on “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.”
• In the “Customize Settings,” make sure to click the circles next to “Turn off Windows Defender Firewall” for private or public networks (or both if need be).
• Click OK.
To enable Defender Firewall, click on “Turn on Windows Defender Firewall” for the networks you previously disabled it for.
How Do I Disable Firewall on MacOS?
• Head over to “System Preferences.”
• Go to “Security and Privacy.“
• Select “Firewall” from the top menu.
• Click on the padlock button and insert your admin name and password.
• Select “Turn off Firewall.”
• Click the padlock again, so it locks back.
To turn the Firewall back on, repeat the steps and click “Turn on Firewall.”
How Do I Disable Windows Defender SmartScreen?
We don’t recommend disabling Windows Defender SmartScreen. If you really must do so, make sure you re-enable it afterward.
• Search for “Windows Defender Security Center” in the search box.
• Go to “App and browser control.”
• Locate the “Check apps and files” section and click “Off.”
• Locate the “SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge” section and click “Off.”
• Locate the “SmartScreen for Windows Store apps” section and click “Off.”
To enable Windows Defender SmartScreen, repeat the steps by clicking “Block” instead of “Off” for steps 3 and 4 and “Warn” instead of “Off” for Step 5.
How Do I Reset Windows Firewall Settings?
There might be a problem with your firewall that troubleshooting doesn’t help solve. If that’s the case, try resetting it to default. Here’s how:
• Search for “Windows Defender Firewall” in the search box.
• Click on “Restore Defaults.”
• When a new window opens, click “Restore Defaults” again.
• Click “Yes” on the confirmation dialog box. Your firewall settings are now restored to default.
Finding Your Way With Firewall
Hopefully, this article helped you find solutions to some of the most common Firewall issues. Remember that using a firewall is essential to your network security. You should only disable it if you want to install a new one or if you are troubleshooting.
Has firewall blocked some of your programs before, even though they were completely safe to use? How did you handle this? Let us know in the comments section below.