How to Allow a Program Through the Windows Vista Firewall

This step by step guide will show you how to “allow” a program to access the Internet when the Windows Vista Firewall is enabled (which is by default).

Although Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows Vista, that doesn’t mean it’s not still in use. Although this article was initially published back in 2007, it is still accurate for users running Windows Vista in 2020.

Typically when a program attempts to access the Internet for the first time, you’re presented with a pop-up window asking if you want to allow or block its access (see image below). This isn’t always the case though, so to manually allow a program from accessing the Internet, follow the instructions outlined below.

windows vista firewall has blocked a program message window

  1. Click the Start “orb” and select Control Panel
  2. control panel in the start menu

  3. Select Allow a program through Windows Firewall from the Security section – if it’s available (it’s not always the default choice). If it is available, skip down to step 4. If it’s not, click Security and continue with step 3.
  4. vista control panel with the security section highlighted
    click to enlarge

  5. From the Windows Firewall section, select Allow a program through Windows Firewall.
  6. the security section of the control panel
    click to enlarge

  7. When prompted to grant permission, click Continue.
  8. user account control permission window

  9. If it isn’t automatically displayed, select the Exceptions tab. From there, click the Add program… button.
  10. firewall settings Exceptions tab

  11. Select the program you wish to allow access to the Internet. If it’s not listed, click the Browse button and navigate to it. Once it’s selected, click OK.
  12. select a program to allow through the Windows Vista Firewall

  13. Make sure that the program you just added is now listed, and has a check in the box next to it. Click OK and that program will now be able to access the Internet. Windows Vista will now allow that program though the firewall.
  14. list of programs that the Windows Vista firewall will allow through

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