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Windows XP - Change Firewall Settings


Welcome to this Windows XP tutorial on how to change the firewall settings. You may want to change the firewall settings if you have another program or want to allow a program to access your computer.

Thinks To Note
  • Click the images to see a larger version
  • Yellow arrows or circles indicate where to look or click
  • Unless specified otherwise use the 'left' mouse button to click



Windows XP - Change Firewall Settings


Start Menu in Windows XP showing selection of control panel

With your computer logged into Windows you should have the desktop loaded. In the lower left corner of the screen click the 'Start' button. A vertical menu will pop up.

On the right of the pop up start menu are many commonly used items. As pictured 'Control Panel' is one of these items.

Click the 'Control Panel' option on the start menu.

Control Panel selecting Display

The control panel will load showing all of the available settings. You will see an icon for 'Firewall' which we have highlighted in the picture.

With your mouse, double click the 'Firewall' icon.

The Firewall properties window will appear.

Display properties box showing screen saver in Windows XP

The firewall properties window will appear and you will see the options to turn the firewall on or off.

The default setting is on although if you installed some security software such as Norton Internet Security it can be 'off'.

You will also see a tickbox labelled 'Don't allow exceptions'. You can specify programs or ports (advanced networking really so see our networking tutorials) that are allowed through the firewall. If you don't want the specified programs to access your computer then tick the 'Don't allow exceptions' box.

Whilst ticking the 'don't allow exceptions' box ensures you block everything from accessing your computer you should be aware that some programs need to access your computer to function correctly.

Display properties box selecting the drop down box of screen savers

Click the 'Exceptions' tab along the top of the Firewall window.

You are presented with a list of applications that have been manually or automatically added to your firewall exception list.

You can either untick the box next to the program you wish not to be allowed access to your computer or you can add another program to the allow list. This is quite an indepth subject and we would advise to leave the defaults as they are if you are unsure of what you are doing.

Display properties showing selected screen saver in Windows XP

If you want to add a program that isn't listed you can click the 'Add Program' button at the bottom of the exception list on the left hand side.

A dialog box listing all the available programs will be shown. Use the up and down slider to browse the available programs and once found, click the name and then click the 'Ok' button.

You will return back to the program exceptions list and you should now see your chosen program listed with a tick in the checkbox next to it.

Display properties box selecting the drop down box of screen savers

Click the 'Advanced' tab.

The only setting we will point out at the minute is near the bottom of the box labelled 'Restore Defaults'.

You can reset all the firewall settings back to when it was first installed by clicking the restore to defaults button. This will clear all exceptions that have been added.

After restoring the defaults ,if a program needs access to your computer, Windows Firewall will prompt and ask you if it is okay for that program to do so.

To exit the windows firewall settings window click 'Ok'






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