If you are setting up a new program that needs network access, but are not paying close enough attention, you might end up accidentally causing Windows firewall to block the program. How do you fix such a mistake? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post helps a frustrated reader fix a firewall headache.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

The Question

SuperUser reader Dims wants to know how to reopen a Windows Firewall approve/deny notification:

I ran a program that caused a Windows Firewall notification to pop up, but I did not stop to think and quickly clicked “Cancel”. Now my program crashes due to network errors. How can I reopen or access the notification message so that I can select the option to allow the program to have proper network access?


My question is not about how to add an exception to Windows Firewall because I do not know the exact “name” of the program that triggered the notification. Imagine I ran a script that started another script running, which in turn caused a program to run. Something in the process activated the firewall message that I unfortunately ignored.

Now the program is blocked and when I try running the script again, it malfunctions without any messages that would allow me to fix things. I need help to either find the program or to reopen/access the notification.

How do you reopen a Windows Firewall approve/deny notification?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor DavidPostill has the answer for us:

How do I Find Out Which Program was Blocked?

Changes to the Windows Firewall rule set are logged in the “Application and Services” event logs. You can inspect the logs (which includes the date and time of events) to see what rules were added around the time you installed the program. With this information, you can remove the rule or create an appropriate exception in the firewall.

Viewing Firewall and IPsec Events in Event Viewer

Source: Viewing Firewall and IPsec Events in Event Viewer

What Event is Triggered When a Rule is Added?

“4946: A change has been made to Windows Firewall exception list. A rule was added.” For example:

Source: Windows Security Log Event ID 4946

Further Reading

Windows Security Log Events

Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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