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How to Prevent Windows Apps from Accessing the Internet

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The majority of Windows users allow all apps to access the internet. However, you may want some of these apps to stop coming online to make your experience safer and more productive. If you want to know how to turn off the internet in some programs, this article will show you how.

Want to enjoy more apps on your PC? Learn how Run Android apps on Windows.

Why you should prevent apps from accessing the internet

There are many reasons why you might want to prevent certain apps from accessing the internet, including:

  • Stay safe by blocking untrusted apps from coming online. Granting this access means that such apps can send data to and receive data from the server.
  • ENJOY A CLEAN EXPERIENCE block annoying ads For apps and games that don’t require an internet connection.
  • Block your child from using certain apps, such as social media apps.
  • As a precaution, disable internet access for apps you don’t use often to prevent them from connecting covertly.

1. Create custom firewall rules

Windows has its own built-in firewall. This utility allows users to specifically block internet access for some apps.

  1. on your PC[スタート]from the menu or by pressing[設定]Start the win + Me on the keyboard.
  2. Click Privacy & Security → Windows Security.
  1. Click Firewall and network protection.
Windows Settings Windows Security
  1. This will open Windows Defender. Go to the “Advanced Settings” option at the bottom of the window.
Windows Defender advanced options
  1. When “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security” opens, you can manage both “Inbound Rules” and “Outbound Rules” settings. You can adjust these settings to allow or block receiving data from external servers.
image 10
  1. If you’re using an older version of Windows, you can quickly access firewall settings from Windows Search by typing “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security”.
  2. on the left[受信の規則]and from the opposite menu select[新しい規則]Click.
Windows firewall inbound rule 1
  1. [新しい受信規則ウィザード]In the window, select the type of rule you want to create. You just need to prevent the app from accessing the internet, so[プログラム]->[次へ]Choose.
Windows New Inbound Rule Wizard
  1. Add the program path. Note that you must select the .EXE file, not the shortcut. After selecting the correct file, click Next.
Select Windows New Inbound Rule Wizard Program

Note: If you’re having trouble finding where an application is installed, simply right-click on its shortcut and select[プロパティ]and select[ファイルの場所を表示]Click.This is a desktop shortcut and[スタート]Applies to both menu shortcuts.

  1. You are prompted to select an action to associate with the rule. In our case it is “Block this connection -> Next”.
Windows New Inbound Rule Wizard Action Selection 2 1
  1. Determines whether this rule is enabled only on private networks, public networks, or corporate domains.If you don’t have a specific use case, leave all checked[次へ]Click.
Windows New Inbound Rule Wizard Profile Selection
  1. Give the rule a name and[完了]Click.
Windows New Inbound Rule Wizard Name
  1. Created a rule to disallow inbound connections. This means that the app cannot receive data from the internet. However, you can still send data. To prevent this, you should create an outbound rule to completely block access to the internet. Go back to “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security”, but this time click “Outbound Rules -> New Rule” and repeat the same steps.
Windows New Outbound Rule Wizard
  1. Open the target app and make sure it is completely isolated from the internet.
Telegram View Prevents access to the Internet

Find out if antivirus is still required if you’re running Windows 11 Windows Defender offers adequate protection for your system.

Deleting and Disabling Rules

If you change your mind and want the app back online, you should disable or delete the previously created rule.

  1. Go back to Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security.
Windows Search Windows Defender Firewall
  1. Select Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules. Since we created two rules, we need to run both.
Select Windows Defender Inbound Outbound
  1. Search for the rule using its name and click on it.Then on the right side[アクション]In the menu there is a temporary ‘disable’ option and a permanent ‘remove’ option.
Disable and remove Windows Defender Firewall rules

2. Manage default rules

Various default rules are automatically assigned by Windows to installed apps, and you can view them through the Windows Defender Firewall app. As a result, you can tweak these rules for apps to prevent them from connecting to the internet.

However, this method is not 100% foolproof as you may not be able to find a rule for the exact app you want to block, or an app may have many rules associated with it. On the other hand, this method is useful if you want to stop Microsoft Store apps from accessing the internet. Because these apps don’t have public .EXE files, which makes them a bit harder to deal with. Via the WindowsApps folder.

  1. Launch the “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security” utility.
Windows Search Windows Defender Firewall 2
  1. on the left[Inbound Rules]to see the list of rules already assigned to the app.
List of inbound rules in Windows Defender Firewall
  1. Find and click the rule associated with the app you want to restrict. From the right menu, select Disable Rule. For example, I searched for “WhatsApp” and disabled that rule.
Disable Windows Defender's default rules view
  1. Do the same for Outgoing Rules. Remember this is a must to completely prevent apps from accessing the internet.
Select default rules for Windows Defender Outbound
  1. After this, the app will not be able to connect to the internet. To re-enable it,[ルールを無効にする]displayed instead of buttons[ルールを有効にする]Inbound and outbound rules must be enabled using the button.
Windows Defender re-enable rule

Keep your account safe with two-factor authentication, even if you don’t have your phone with you.learn how Use Google Authenticator on your PC instead.

3. Use a dedicated app

Many users prefer to use dedicated apps for all tasks, such as disconnecting internet access to some apps. One of the best tools for this job is TinyWall. This is a free-to-use app with a minimal interface. Additionally, TinyWall is ad-free and has additional features.

  1. download tiny wall and install it on your PC.
  2. The app advises performing the installation locally instead of connecting remotely as it reduces most internet traffic once the installation is complete.
Installation on a small wall
  1. After installation, the app will notify you that your firewall settings have been updated.
Announcement of Tiny Wall installation
  1. TinyWall works differently than Windows Defender Firewall. Because you can automatically block access to the internet for most apps and whitelist only the connections you need. This mechanism is useful for users who are very strict about how their devices come online. Right-click the icon on the tray to start tweaking TinyWall.
small wall tray icon
  1. First, you’ll notice the built-in “Internet Speed ​​Monitor”. The most useful thing about it is that it gives you a real-time overview of your device’s connectivity. To allow access to Windows apps,[モードの変更]Hover over Settings.
Tiny Wall Tray icon change mode
  1. Select “Disable Firewall” to immediately enable the connection. Or to still block the connection,[通常の保護]Choose.

Note: The “Disable Firewall” option disables TinyWall’s firewall, not Windows’. Additionally, the settings you apply will still affect your device even if you quit the TinyWall app.

  1. To add an app exception to the rule, return to TinyWall’s main tray menu and select[管理]Click.
Tiny Wall Manage
  1. [全般]You can use the tab to enable the option to block the internet when the screen is off. Additionally, you can set a password that is required when editing the settings.
Configuring Tiny Wall Firewall General
  1. Switch to the Application Exceptions tab to manage which apps are allowed internet access. By default, the app enables connections for her web browser,[アプリケーションの追加]Click to whitelist more apps.
Add Tiny Wall App

Note: Click the Detect button to allow TinyWall to detect programs installed on your device instead of selecting them manually. However, this method may not find all apps and may take a considerable amount of time.

  1. Select an application that accesses the Internet. TinyWall lets you choose from running processes, .EXE files, and even his UWP app (downloaded from the Microsoft Store).
Add Tiny Wall application settings 1
  1. Check the “Unrestricted” option. Additionally, from the Exception Lifetime drop-down menu, choose whether to allow for a limited time.
Add Tiny Wall application settings 2 1
  1. Repeat the same steps to whitelist all the apps you normally use. This means that any apps you ignore will no longer be able to access the internet.
  2. For additional settings, such as stopping Windows Update and Microsoft Store updates,[特別な例外]You can go to the menu.
Tiny Wall Special Exception View

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to block apps from accessing the internet?

Unless you rely on information from notifications sent by a specific app, that’s usually the case. So if you use a third-party tool like TinyWall, you should whitelist critical apps.If you don’t want to get that many alerts, use this method Disable notifications for some apps in Windows.

Do these methods help reduce data usage?

absolutely. Blocking a data-consuming app from connecting to the internet cuts its usage entirely.

Is there a difference between Windows Firewall and Windows Defender Firewall?

No. “Windows Firewall” was the original name of the tool until Microsoft changed it to “Windows Defender Firewall” with the release of Windows 10.

Image credit: 123rfAll screenshots by Mustafa Ashour.

Mustafa Ashua
Mustafa Ashua

Mustafa is a tech content writer and a nerd at heart. His passion is writing about technology, especially software-related topics. He also has interests in digital marketing, business development and entrepreneurship. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance.

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