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Windows 7: Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception

information   Information
This will show you how to add or remove a program or feature for each type of network location type (ex: Private or Public) to allow the program or feature through Windows Firewall in Windows 7.
warning   Warning
When you add a program to the list of allowed programs in a firewall you allow a particular program to send information to or from your computer through the firewall. Allowing a program to communicate through a firewall (sometimes called unblocking) is like opening a tiny door in the firewall.

Each time you allow a program to communicate through a firewall, your computer becomes a bit less secure. The more allowed programs your firewall has, the more opportunities there are for hackers or malicious software to use one of those openings to spread a worm, access your files, or use your computer to spread malicious software to others.

To help decrease your security risk:
  • Only allow a program when you really need to, and remove programs from the list of allowed programs that you no longer need.
  • Never allow a program that you do not recognize to communicate through the firewall.





Here's How:

1. Open the Control Panel (icons view)

2. Click on the Windows Firewall icon.

3. Click on the Allow a program through Windows Firewall link in the left blue pane. (See screenshot below)
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception-windows_firewall.jpg
4. Click on the Change settings button. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If the Change settings button is grayed out, then it has already been clicked on. You can proceed to either step 5, 6, or 7 for what you would like to do.
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception-change_settings.jpg
5. To Allow or Unallow an Existing Exception
A) On the left side, check the program exception Name box to allow, or uncheck to unallow through Windows Firewall. (see screenshot below)

B) If you allowed the program exception, then check (allow) or uncheck (unallow) the box for each Private or Publicnetwork location you want the program to have access through Windows Firewall. (see screenshot below)
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception-allow-1.jpg
6. To Add a Program Exception
A) Click on the Allow another program button. (see screenshot below)
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception-add_program-1.jpg
B) If the Program is Listed - (see screenshot below step 6D)
  • Click on the program to highlight it.
  • Go to step 6D.
C) If the Program is Not Listed - (see screenshot below step 6D)
  • Click on the Browse button.
  • Navigate to the program's exe file location, usually in a C:\Program Files folder, and click on the program's exe file to select (highlight) it and click on the Open button.
D) Click on the Add button. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Add_Program-2.jpg
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E) Do step 5 to allow to unallow this program exception. (see screenshot below)
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception-add_program-3.jpg
7. To Remove a Program Exception
A) Click on the program exception name to select (highlight) it and click on the Remove button if not grayed out. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Usually you will only be able to remove a program that you have added from step 6.
Windows Firewall - Add or Remove an Exception-remove-1.jpg
B) Click on Yes to approve removing the program from the exception list.
8. When done, click on OK. (see screenshot below either step 5B or 6E)

9. Close the Windows Firewall window. (see screenshot below step 3)
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