Windows Firewall Rules

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  1. Posts : 149
    Windows 10
       #1

    Windows Firewall Rules


    I was looking at Windows Firewall with Adv Security and noticed 11 individual but seemingly identical entries for Microsoft Solitaire Collection. The default rules were to allow all. First, why 11? And second, why all any at all? Ditto for Stick Notes, Microsoft Phone, People, Photos, Sway (whatever that is) and Xbox. I have never played Xbox so I assume I can disable both inbound and outbound connections for it.
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  2. WOT's Avatar
    WOT
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       #2

    I'm not sure which specific rules you are referring to but I would recommend you just set your firewall to defaults and forget about trying to manage them uniquely. As far as the XBOX app goes, instead of playing with firewall rules, why not just uninstall it?
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  3. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,624
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #3

    Just one point, whilst uninstalling the application will prevent the application accessing the net, the rules would still possibly allow a malicious application masquerading as the original item to do so - so it's always better to remove any obsolete rules, Especially with allow rules

    Can you give more information on the multiple entries as they could be minor differences between the entries or it could be a glitch - maybe a screenshot showing the details, but ensure you do not post any private information
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  4. WOT's Avatar
    WOT
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       #4

    Barman58 said:
    Just one point, whilst uninstalling the application will prevent the application accessing the net, the rules would still possibly allow a malicious application masquerading as the original item to do so - so it's always better to remove any obsolete rules, Especially with allow rules

    Can you give more information on the multiple entries as they could be minor differences between the entries or it could be a glitch - maybe a screenshot showing the details, but ensure you do not post any private information
    Even after you uninstall the app and reset the firewall to defaults again?

    If that is the case, MS has created a real headache for many who have the same concerns as you have described.

    UPDATE:
    For the record, I have uninstalled about 90% of the MS apps and, after resetting the firewall to defaults, I only show rules for those apps that have remained. All the uninstalled app rules have vanished.
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  5. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,624
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #5

    Obviously resetting the defaults will set back to start, however if the xBox entry was a default it will be actually re-added when you reset.(OK reading the above it appears that this has been sorted )
    Also imagine a scenario where a user has tens or even hundreds of specialist rules in place for non default applications - It's far more economical of time, (and possible introduction of errors), to just remove the affected rules than a reset and re-entry would be :)
    Last edited by Barman58; 17 May 2017 at 07:38. Reason: Read above post ;)
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  6. Posts : 149
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    I do not believe Xbox ever was installed on this machine, although there is another user, he does not play Xbox on it. So how the Xbox rules got installed I do not know.

    I'm looking at Microsoft's Sticky Notes. I have six rules which look identical to me. 6 inbound and 6 outbound. My rough and tumble guess is that the easiest way to stop them is to disable them (there's a checkbox for that).

    Most of this is just bloatware.

    I'm not responding to any issue with my computer. I was just surprised at the number of duplicated rules for apps I have never used.
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  7. WOT's Avatar
    WOT
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       #7

    Barman58 said:
    Obviously resetting the defaults will set back to start, however if the xBox entry was a default it will be actually re-added when you reset.
    Also imagine a scenario where a user has tens or even hundreds of specialist rules in place for non default applications - It's far more economical of time, (and possible introduction of errors), to just remove the affected rules than a reset and re-entry would be :)
    Well, I can't disagree with your concern.
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  8. WOT's Avatar
    WOT
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       #8

    RonNewYork said:
    I do not believe Xbox ever was installed on this machine, although there is another user, he does not play Xbox on it. So how the Xbox rules got installed I do not know.

    I'm looking at Microsoft's Sticky Notes. I have six rules which look identical to me. 6 inbound and 6 outbound. My rough and tumble guess is that the easiest way to stop them is to disable them (there's a checkbox for that).

    Most of this is just bloatware.

    I'm not responding to any issue with my computer. I was just surprised at the number of duplicated rules for apps I have never used.
    OK, have at it; however, those rules may be required for some communication with reference to store updates and such; however, I am not absolutely sure why they are there.

    Good luck,

    WOT
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  9. WOT's Avatar
    WOT
    Posts : 471
    Win 10 Pro 15063.332 (ex-Insider)
       #9

    RonNewYork said:
    I do not believe Xbox ever was installed on this machine, although there is another user, he does not play Xbox on it. So how the Xbox rules got installed I do not know.
    The XBOX app was installed as one of the defaults on my laptop. I did not uninstall that one and I do have XBOX specific rules set in my default MS firewall configuration as well.
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  10. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,624
    Windows 10 Pro x64 2004 - 19041 - 264 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       #10

    Ron, I would always advise to use a disable action before a delete action, it's a lot safer. If you disable those rules that you do not see any need for and after a reasonable time they have not caused any issues for you then you could (for completeness) actually delete them, this is of course your decision, as is what constitutes a reasonable time (My personal preference is 90 days as Microsoft seems to use that as their default system check for licensing and other things, but to be honest for something like this a week would probably be fine)
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