By default, most programs are blocked by Windows Firewall to help make your computer more secure. To work properly, some programs might require you to allow them to communicate through the firewall.

Watch this video to learn how to allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall (1:12)

To allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type firewall, and then click Windows Firewall.

  2. In the left pane, click Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.

    Picture of the left pane of Windows Firewall in Control Panel
    Left pane of Windows Firewall
  3. Click Change settings. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

  4. Select the check box next to the program you want to allow, select the network locations you want to allow communication on, and then click OK.

Warning

For information about opening ports in Windows Firewall, see Open a port in Windows Firewall.

If you’re having trouble allowing other computers to communicate with your computer through Windows Firewall, you can try using the Incoming Connections troubleshooter to automatically find and fix some common problems.

Open the Incoming Connections troubleshooter by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter, and then click Troubleshooting. Click View all, and then click Incoming Connections.

For information about advanced firewall troubleshooting, see Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Troubleshooting Guide: Diagnostics and Tools and Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2 for advanced users.