Article ID: 842242 - View products that this article applies to.
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page


After you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), some programs may seem not to work. By default, Windows Firewall is enabled and blocks unsolicited connections to your computer. This article discusses how to make an exception and enable a program to run by adding it to the list of exceptions. This procedure enables the program to work as it did before the service pack was installed.


To help provide security for your Windows XP SP3-based computer, Windows Firewall blocks unsolicited connections to your computer. Sometimes you might want to make an exception and allow for someone to connect to your computer. For example, the following scenarios describe occasions when you might want someone to be able to connect to your computer:
  • You are playing a multiplayer game over the Internet.
  • You are expecting to receive a file that is sent through an instant message program.
After you install Windows XP SP3, client programs may not successfully receive data from a server. The following are some examples:
  • An FTP client
  • Multimedia streaming software
  • New mail notifications in some e-mail programs
Or, server applications that are running on a Windows XP SP3-based computer may not respond to client requests. The following are some examples:
  • A web server such as Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Remote Desktop
  • File Sharing

Windows Security Alert

Sometimes, when Windows Firewall blocks a program, a Windows Security Alert dialog box appears.


Enable programs by using the "Windows Security Alert" dialog box

Advanced users section

This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft website:

To enable a program to communicate like it did before Windows XP SP3 was installed, and to enable programs that you want to run, use one of the following methods.
Advanced users method 1: Enable programs by using Windows Firewall
Advanced users method 2: Identifying and opening ports
Identify ports by using Netstat.exe
Open ports manually by using Windows Firewall
For more information about how to configure Windows Firewall, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
875357 Troubleshooting Windows Firewall settings in Windows XP Service Pack 2

More information

Programs that may require that you open ports manually
The following table lists the programs and games that may require that you to open the port or the ports manually so that the programs can work correctly.



Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following website:
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.


Article ID: 842242 - Last Review: July 12, 2013 - Revision: 13.1
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3
kbresolve kbgraphxlink kbnomt kbscreenshot kbtshoot kbconfig kbsecurity kbappcompatibility kbfirewall kbsmbportal KB842242

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from