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How to block a program using Windows Firewall?

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  • 4 min read

Windows Firewall is an in-built internet traffic monitoring system, which uses various rules to control the traffic movement on the internet. In this article, we discuss how you can block programs using Windows Firewall. You should block the program if it — when connected to the internet — automatically updates itself, which later causes problems in Windows. Or, if the application has certain vulnerable features which you think might be exposed while connecting to the internet.

Block a program in Windows Firewall

Step 1: Open Windows Firewall settings. To open the settings, type Windows Defender Firewall in the search box. Step 2: In the Windows Defender Firewall settings, click on Advanced Settings from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Next, select Outbound Rules from the left sidebar menu.Step 4: From the right sidebar menu, choose the New Rule option.Step 5: Under the Rule type, select Program and then click Next.Step 6: Now, you will have to enter the path program. To enter the pathname, you will need to know exactly where the file is located on the computer. This is easy for the most part. You click on Browse and then select the executable file that you have to block. However, there is a complication in this step — the environmental variables. Windows use these variables to replace individual sections of the pathname.

For example, in the screenshot below, you can see that the pathname is %ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe. But this is not the original pathname. The original pathname is as follows: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe. Now, you can understand the difference between both the patterns. To successfully block the program, you will have to use the second one. After you have entered the right address, click Next. Step 7: Here, choose Block the connection and then Next.Step 8: Now, you will have to select the connection where the rule will apply. There are three options here, which are as follows:

  • Domain: Select this option if you want to block the program from accessing the internet while connected to a domain.
  • Public: You will have to select this option if you are frequently connected to public networks.
  • Private: Choose this option when you are operating your device on a private network.

Step 9: In this step, you will have to specify the name of the rule and also provide a description of the rule. It is advised that you enter as many details as possible so that you can quickly understand the rule. When you are done, click Finish. By following the steps above, you can successfully block a program via Windows Firewall.

Remember that some applications do not access the internet via the .exe files. So, blocking the exe file will not stop the application from accessing the internet.

Also read: What is Windows Firewall? Is it good enough? Everything you need to know

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here:

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