If you want to limit internet access in certain Windows apps, you can block internet access using the old Windows Defender Firewall menu. Here’s how.
You might not want certain apps to have access to the internet while you’re using your PC. Instead, you might want to block internet access to apps, leaving them unable to connect to online services.
Luckily, Windows Defender Firewall is a built-in tool that lets you block app internet access on a Windows PC. For example, you might want to block a specific app before a child uses your PC, or limit data usage on a metered connection.
Whatever the reason, here’s how to block internet access to specific apps in Windows 11.
How to Block Internet Access to Apps in Windows 11
To block an app from accessing the internet in Windows 11 using Windows Defender Firewall, do the following:
- Click the Start button or hit the Windows key on your keyboard, then type windows defender firewall and click the top result in the Start menu.
- When the Windows Defender Firewall window opens, click Advanced settings on the left.
- Select Outbound Rules from the left panel then, on the right, click New Rule under Actions.
- The New Outbound Rule Wizard opens here—for Rule Type, select Program, then click the Next button.
- Next, you’ll have the option to block all programs or a specific one. To block a specific app, select This program path and browse to the location of the app’s executable file. After entering the app’s path, click Next.
- Next, make sure Block the connection is selected, then click the Next button.
- In the Profile section of the wizard, make sure all three options (Domain, Private, and Public) are selected and click the Next button.
- Type in a name for your firewall rule like Block Google and add a description. A name for the rule is required, but a description is optional. When you’re finished, click the Finish button.
With the rule active, your app shouldn’t be able to access the internet. In this example, Google Chrome has been blocked, preventing access to the internet when you launch that web browser.
Trying to access a website using Chrome with the internet blocked will result in an error, as seen below.
How to Disable an App Internet Blocking Rule on Windows 11
If you blocked an app’s access to the internet but you want to give access back, you can. You’ll need to disable the Outbound Rule in the Windows Defender Firewall menu that you created previously.
To do that, use the following steps:
- Open the Start menu, type Windows Defender Firewall, then click the best match result.
- In Windows Defender Firewall, click Advanced settings on the left.
- In the next menu, press Outbound Rules from the left-hand panel.
- Find the name of the rule you created previously (you can sort by name), then right-click it and select Disable Rule.
- You can also select the outbound rule you created and disable or delete it from the Actions pane on the right.
After disabling or deleting the outbound rule, the app you created it for will now connect to the internet.
Protecting Your Internet Connection Using Windows Firewall
The steps above should help you to block internet access to apps on a Windows 11 PC. If you decide to restore access, you can disable the rule—this will restore internet connectivity. If you delete a rule, you’ll need to repeat the steps above to create it again.
The Windows Defender Firewall is a part of the wider protection offered by Windows Security, an integral component designed to keep a Windows PC safe from malware. Windows isn’t the only place you can block internet access—if you’re an Android user, you can block a website on Android to help protect that device instead.