Windows XP – Internet Connection Firewall Can Prevent Browsing and File Sharing

Windows XP

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional


This article describes how to manually open ports in Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) in Windows XP.


Programs may potentially require ports to be manually opened so that the programs work correctly when ICF is in use either on the local computer or on the gateway computer. You may have to use this procedure if there is a service that is running on a computer that has ICF enabled that you want to make available to users on the Internet.

NOTE: The actual port settings vary from program to program.

To manually open a port:

  1. Click Start, and then click My Network Places.
  2. Under Network Tasks, click View Network Connections. (Or, you can right-click My Network Places on the desktop, and then click Properties.)
  3. Right-click the connection that you use for the Internet, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings.

    : If the Settings button is unavailable, ICF is not enabled on this connection and you do not have to open any ports (they are all already open).
  5. Click Add to open a new port.
  6. In the Description box, type a friendly name. For example, type File Sharing: Port 445.
  7. In the Name or IP address of the computer hosting this service on your network box, type
    NOTE: You can specify the IP address of an internal computer; however, in most cases, you use
  8. In the External port and Internal port boxes, type the port number. In most cases, this number is the same.
  9. Click either TCP or UDP, and then click OK.
  10. Repeat this process for each port to be opened.