Adjust Windows 10 Firewall Rules and Settings

In Windows 10, the Windows Firewall hasn’t changed much from Vista. Overall, it’s pretty similar. Arrive Connections to programs are blocked unless they are on the allowed list. Going abroad connections are not blocked if they do not match a rule. You also have a Public and Private configure the network for the firewall and can control exactly which programs can communicate on the private network instead of the Internet.

In this article, I will go through the different options and settings for the Windows 10 firewall and talk about how you can tweak them to suit your needs. Although outgoing connections are not blocked by default, you can configure your own firewall rules in Windows 10 to block outgoing connections. This can be useful if you want to block a specific program from being able to connect to the Internet, even if the program is installed without your consent.

To start, let’s talk about how to show firewall settings in Windows 10. You can open Control Panel and open firewall from there, or you can click on it. Begin and type the word firewall.

open firewall

This brings up the Windows Firewall dialog box, where you can control all the different settings for the firewall.

firewall dialog

On the right side it splits the view into Private network and Guest network or public network. Your home wireless network should show up under Private Network, but if it doesn’t, you’ll probably have to manually notify it that it’s a Home and not a Public network.

Allow Programs Through Firewall

The main reason most people will confuse it with a firewall is to allow a program to work through the firewall. Usually this is done automatically by the program, but in some cases you have to do it manually. You can do this by clicking Allow an app or feature through the Windows Firewall.

allow application firewall

As you can see, for each Windows program or feature, you can choose to allow incoming connections on private and public networks separately. This separation is handy for things like Files and Printers Share and House group because we don’t want someone from the public WiFi to be able to connect to the shared network or the local HomeGroup. To allow an app, simply find it in the list, then check the box for the type of network you want to allow incoming connections.

If the app is not listed, you can click Allow other apps and choose from a list or click Browse to find your specific program. If the button is grayed out, click Change settings First.

add application firewall

If you go back to the Firewall Home dialog, there is another link on the left pane called Turn Windows Firewall on or off. If you click that, you will get a set of options as shown below:

turn off firewall

You can turn off the firewall completely in Windows 10, but that will allow everything through the firewall. You can also block all incoming connections to your computer, even for allowed applications, which is useful in certain situations. For example, if you are in a public place like a hotel or an airport and you want to be more secure when connecting to the network. You can still browse the Internet with a web browser, but no program can make an incoming connection from another computer on your local network or from a server on the Internet.

Advanced Firewall Settings

However, the real fun is if you want to mess around with the advanced firewall settings. This is obviously not for the faint of heart, but it’s not a big deal either since you can click Restore default link and set everything back to the way it was when you installed Windows 10. To go to advanced settings, click Advanced settings link in the left pane on the main firewall dialog. This will give Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Windows:

advanced firewall settings

On the main screen, it gives you a quick overview of your firewall settings for domain, private and public networks. If your computer isn’t connected to a domain, you don’t have to worry about that configuration. You can quickly see how the firewall manages incoming and outgoing connections. By default, all outgoing connections are allowed. If you want to block an outgoing connection, click Foreign laws in the left column.

new firewall rules

Go ahead and click New rules and then you will get a dialog asking what kind of rule.

kind of rule

I choose the port because I want to block all outgoing connections on port 80, the HTTP port used by every web browser. In theory, this should block all Internet access in IE, Edge, Chrome and other browsers. Click Nextoption TCP and enter the port number.

port number

Click Next and select the action you want to perform, in my case, Block connection.

block connection

Finally, select the profiles you want the rule to apply to. Probably should select all profiles.


Now just give it a name and that’s it! When I open Chrome to visit any website, I get the following error message:

blocked internet

Sweet! So I just created a new outbound connection rule in the Windows 10 firewall to block port 80 and thus prevent anyone from browsing the Internet! You can create your own custom firewall rules in Windows 10 following the steps I showed above. Overall, that’s all there is to a firewall. You can do more advanced stuff, but I wanted to give a decent overview that even non-technical people can follow.

If you have any questions about configuring the firewall in Windows 10, post a comment here and we’ll try to help. Interesting!

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