Allow Pings (ICMP Echo Request) Through Your Windows Vista Firewall

Have you ever noticed that with the Windows Vista Firewall enabled, you can’t use ping from another computer to see if your Vista computer is alive? Sure, you could take the drastic step of disabling the firewall for testing purposes, but the simple solution is to just allow ICMP requests through the firewall.

Note: Opening extra ports opens up security risks…  allowing ping isn’t a big deal, but it’s usually best to block anything you don’t need.

Allow ICMP Echo Request (ping) From the Command Line

Open up an administrator mode command prompt by right-clicking and choosing Run as Administrator, or type cmd into the start menu search box and then use Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8 enable

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To disable it again, simply enter this command:

netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8 disable

The change should be immediate… no need to restart anything.

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Allow ICMP Echo Request (ping) With the GUI

Type in firewall into the start menu search box, and you want to choose “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security”.

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Then click on Inbound Rules on the left-hand pane:

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And find the following rule in the list:

Networking – Echo Request (ICMPv4-In)

Right-click on the rule, and choose “Enable Rule” from the menu, which should immediately enable ping.

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If you want more control over the rule, you can choose Properties from the menu, and choose which interfaces or profiles this rule applies to.

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You could specify that the rule only applies to your wired network interface, and not to the wireless, for example.

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Note that I’m not advocating allowing this rule, I’m just illustrating how you can do it if you need it. If you don’t need it, then don’t enable it.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/12/08
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