How to Change the Windows Firewall's List of Allowed & Blocked Apps

Windows Firewall is a security feature built into Windows that helps block unauthorized access to your computer while permitting authorized communications to and from your computer. It has been improved in each new version of Windows. With Windows 8.1, this tool can filter both inbound and outbound traffic or set rules and exceptions, depending on the type of network to which you're connected. In this article we will show how to edit the list of allowed apps and features. You will learn to edit existing connection rules, add new apps to the list of exceptions or remove them from it.

Where to Find the List of Allowed Programs

First, open Windows Firewall and, in the main window, click or tap "Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall".

You will now see a list with all the apps which are allowed to communicate through the Windows Firewall. The list is pretty long and the active rules are only those which have a check mark near their name. All the rules can be enabled either for one type of network location (private or public) or both.

How to Edit the List of Allowed Apps

To change the list of active communication rules, you need to first click or tap the "Change settings" button.

The list of rules will no longer be gray and you will be able to edit it. You can enable a predefined rule by placing a checkmark in the check box next to it. You can also change the type of network location the rule applies to by checking the appropriate column: private, public or both. If you want to know more about a rule before changing it, select it with the mouse and then click Details.

You will now see a small window, giving you an additional description of the selected app or feature it applies to. When done reading it, click OK.

How to Remove Items from the List of Allowed Programs

If you want to remove an app or feature from the list, click on it and then on Remove.

You will be asked to confirm. Click Yes and the app will be removed.

How to Add Items to the List of Allowed Programs

If you cannot find an app in the list of allowed items, you can click or tap the "Allow another app" button to add it.

In the "Add an app" window, you will see the list of all apps installed on your computer. Select the one you desire. If you cannot find it, press Browse and select its main executable file.

You can set up which location type the exception will be applied to. To do this, click or tap "Network types".

Then, you can check any of the location types: private or public. When done, press OK.

Next, press Add.

The app is now added to the list of allowed connections and will start functioning correctly.


Working with Windows Firewall is not very complicated. As you can see, adding or removing apps from the list of allowed connections is reasonably easy. If you have questions about this topic, don't hesitate to leave a comment. Also, to find out more about this tool, check out the articles recommended below.