Block Outgoing Connections to the Internet with Windows Firewall

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By default, Windows Firewall blocks incoming connections from the Internet unless the receiving program is on the exceptions list, but it does nothing to stop outgoing connections. Even if you uncheck or remove the program from the exceptions list, this change only affects incoming traffic, so the program can still access the Internet.

If you’re worried what a program might do with that privilege, such as sending error reports, submitting user data or automatically updating itself, you can block it with outbound rules through the firewall’s advanced settings. Once a blocking rule has been established, it remains on the list of configured rules, so you can quickly enable or disable it to control the program’s access.

Adding Connection Rules

1. Open the Control Panel (press “Win-X,” then select “Control Panel”) and click “System and Security,” “Windows Firewall” and then “Advanced Settings.”

2. Click “Outbound Rules” in the left pane and select “New Rule” in the right pane. To block incoming traffic, click “Inbound Rules” instead; the procedure for creating a new blocking rule is identical for inbound or outbound rules, except for the initial Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules selection.

3. Select “Program” and click “Next.”

4. Select “This Program Path,” click “Browse,” choose the program you wish to block and then click “Next.” If you choose “All Programs,” then Windows Firewall stops all outgoing (or incoming) connections.

5. Select “Block the Connection” and click “Next.”

6. Check when you want the rule applied and click “Next.” To totally block the program, select all the check boxes. If you only want to block the program when connected to, for example, a coffee shop’s public hotspot, only check “Public.”

7. Enter a descriptive name and click “Finish.” If you are establishing similar rules, make sure this name enables you to tell them apart, such as “Block Installed Chrome” versus “Block Chrome Portable.”

8. Test that the program is blocked by firing it up and attempting to access the Internet.

9. To later disable the rule, click the entry in the Inbound or Outbound Rules list and click “Disable Rule” in the lower right panel. If you see “Enable Rule” instead, it means the rule is currently disabled; click “Enable Rule” to make it active again.

10. Repeat the process, but select “Inbound Rules” in Step 2 to also block incoming traffic to the program.