Windows Firewall: A possible workaround for the disappearing rules problem using group policy

Many Windows Firewall users seem to be facing a problem of disappearing rules. I too have been facing this problem for the last two years. Let us look at a possible workaround.

Do I have this problem?

How would you know if you have this problem? Do you have applications which keep triggering Firewall alerts, despite being granted full internet access? Then you probably do. Torrent clients are a prime candidate for such alerts as they receive incoming connections. Please note that restrictions caused by firewall rules could also cause alerts. For example, a firewall rule might have port number or IP address-based restrictions.

Windows Firewall does not show alerts for outgoing connections. The only way to find out about a missing outgoing rule would be to check the rules list.

Solution

For many users, the culprit seems to be their VPN client, Tunnelbear VPN in particular. This was not the case for me though.

This workaround uses Group Policy, so you need a Windows version which supports it. This method has been working for me for the last few months, but some people have this problem even when using Group Policy. So this is not going to be a solution for everyone.

The workaround is simply to create firewall rules using the Group Policy Editor. Here is how to do it:

  1. Open the Group Policy Editor.
  2. Go to Local Computer Policy ➾ Computer Configuration ➾ Windows Settings ➾ Security Settings ➾ Windows Defender Firewall and Advanced Security.
  3. Choose the type of rule you want and select New Rule.

Adding new firewall rule using the Group Policy Editor

This opens the familiar New Rule Wizard. Add the rule the same way you add a normal advanced rule.

Windows Firewall new rules wizard

If you are having trouble adding Windows Firewall Rules, please visit the page Windows Firewall: Allowing or blocking applications.

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