Windows 10 Firewall can block certains apps and programs from running when they trigger against the rules defined in Windows firewall. One of the most common issues for the “Windows Firewall has blocked some features of this program or app” is down to third party apps, mostly VPNs eg. HotSpot VPN, TunnelBear etc, when they are installed they should be thoroughly allowed in your Firewall (as per Method 1) or they should be uninstalled because they interfere with the firewall abilities and triggers false-flags in relation to “what to allow and what not to allow” by your Firewall.
When you connect to a VPN, all your traffic is encrypted.
This error is usually quite annoying because it appears on a daily basis and it also appears in random intervals which leave the user confused about its origin. The error is not exclusive to Windows 10 and it can also appear on older versions of Windows since they all contain the Windows Firewall.
When new programs are installed, the Windows Firewall does not know how to react to them and it displays the message below. The message is usually related to certain online multiplayer video games, Internet browsers, etc. The problem shouldn’t be difficult to solve if you follow the solutions below carefully!
Solution 1: Add a Program to Windows Firewall Exceptions
In order for each app to be allowed access to Internet, it needs to be allowed through your firewall. You should always pay attention to the type of apps you are allowing through your firewall as malicious apps will then have access to the Internet and your computer as well.
Follow the instructions below in order to allow an app or a feature through Windows Firewall:
- Open Control Panel by searching for it in the Start button or by clicking on the Search button at the left part of your taskbar.
- After Control Panel opens, switch the view to Large or Small icons and navigate to the bottom of it in order to locate Windows Firewall settings.
- Click on Windows Firewall and click on the Allow and app or feature through Windows Firewall option. A list of apps should open. Locate the app you want to allow and check the boxes next to both Private and Public networks.
- Click OK and restart your computer in order to check if the message still appears.
Solution 2: Uninstall Third-Party Network Drivers or Programs
Sometimes this particular error appears when users download and use third-party VPN tools such as Tunnelbear, Hotspot Shield or some other. These programs sometimes install a device in the Device Manager which causes these issues with the Windows Firewall. Removing the program and the driver is not a difficult process so make sure you follow the instructions below.
- Open Control Panel by searching for it in your Search bar. Alternatively, you can open Settings by clicking on the Windows logo located in the bottom left corner and clicking on the gear icon.
- Switch to the Category view in Control Panel and click on Uninstall a Program under Programs and Features.
- If you are using Settings, simply click on Apps section located as soon as you enter Settings.
- After you take a look at the entire list of installed apps, locate the tool you have been using as VPN. Additionally, if you have been using similar tools, you can also try uninstalling them if you don’t need them anymore.
- Follow the instructions on screen.
- Open your Search or Run dialog box and type “regedit” in either of them.
- Search for and delete everything related to the program you have just uninstalled by searching its name.
- Restart your computer and you shouldn’t experience any more Windows Firewall related issues.
After you have uninstalled the program, its driver may have remained on your computer and issues may still appear if you don’t uninstall it by using the Device Manager. Follow the instructions below.
- Start Control Panel by searching for it in the Search bar located at the left part of your taskbar, click Hardware and Sound, and then click Device Manager.
- Expand the node next to Network adapters, right-click the on the entry which should be named similar to the program which installed it. If you are not sure, perform a Google search for each of the devices you see under the Network adapters section and conclude just which one you should uninstall by right-clicking on it and selecting the Uninstall device option.
- On the Confirm Device Removal dialog box, click OK to start the uninstall process.
- When the uninstall process is complete, restart your computer and check to see if the issue appears again.
Solution 3: Scan Your Computer For Malware
This issue can also occur if the user’s computer is infected by malicious applications because they reset the changes you make to Windows Firewall settings even after you allow your apps through multiple times.
These malicious applications need to be dealt with as soon as possible because the annoying Windows Firewall pop-up is probably just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential damage to your computer. Follow the instructions below in order to scan your computer.
- You can download download Malwarebytes from their official website for free(trial version). When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the “mb3-setup-consumer” file to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
- You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
- When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
- To install Malwarebytes on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
- Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
- Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
- This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
- When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected.
- To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
- Malwarebytes will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found.
- To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.