How-To Geek

How to Create Exceptions in Windows Vista Firewall

Windows Vista Firewall acts like a fence between your computer and the outer world, but since any fence needs a gate, you have to let some data get in and out by setting exceptions. While some exceptions are set up automatically by Windows Vista, others have to be configured manually, so let’s see how.


Setting a manual exception for a certain program.

  1. Click Start and enter the Control Panel
  2. Here, access the link called “Allow a program through Windows Firewall” (bellow the Security).


  3. Go to the General Tab, and make sure that the option “On (recommended)” is selected. If not, enable it (this will enable the firewall).


  4. Go to the Exceptions tab at the top.
  5. To add a program you to your exception list click Add Program (near the bottom).


  6. A list with the programs on your computer is displayed. Locate the program, highlight it and click OK.


  7. Be sure that the check box besides your program is checked, then click OK


Other tips

The most powerful addition to the Vista Firewall is the excellent Rules system. This allows you to enable traffic only in certain conditions, just like opening a gate only for people dressed in white, but they will only be allowed to enter.

  • to specific computers and users
  • to many different protocols (not just TCP and UDP)
  • to both local and remote ports
  • to specific interface types: location area network, remote access, or wireless
  • to specific Vista services

Despite the vulnerability claims, a well configured Vista Firewall is much more capable than all its predecessors, and despite the fact that nothing is perfect, everything starts from you, the user behind the screen.

  • Published 05/18/07

Comments (5)

  1. Jorge Bargman

    I am trying to stop my photos displaying as screen savers after a certain amount of time. I was able to do it with XP but I have not been able to find it in Vista.
    Can you help?

  2. Bogdan

    Yes. Go to your desktop, then RightClick and Properties. Go to screen saver and then select one that you like or Select NONE if you dont want any at all

  3. MEAT

    Trying to run a server on UT99 but something is blocking it.
    How do I get around Vista?

  4. phyllis miller

    firewall will not come on it has an errorOX6D9 how do i fix it,i have a gateway notebook it is 6 months old,running windows vista

  5. Bilge

    I’m using Windows Vista Home Edition,
    I have put togglehiddenfiles.exe shortcut in startup, and have done all that is described above (How to Create Exceptions in Windows Vista Firewall). No matter how many times I uncheck the box that says “Always ask to allow this program” the windows vista firewall keeps trying to block and keeps asking me every time I startup.
    The whole point was to secure privacy of my hidden files, and this window popping up about hidden files does not help at all.. How can I get rid of it?

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