I'm trying to configure Windows firewall with Advanced Security to log and tell me when programs are trying to make outbound requests. I previously tried installing ZoneAlarm, which worked wonders for me with this in Windows XP. But now, I'm unable to install ZoneAlarm on Windows 7.

Is it possible to somehow monitor a log or get notifications when a program tries to do that if I set all outbound connections to auto-block, so that I can then create a specific rule for the program and block it?

I've enabled all the logging options available through the properties windows of the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Console. But I'm only seeing logs in the %systemroot%\system32\LogFiles\Firewall\pfirewall.log file, not in the Event Viewer, as the first answer suggested.

However, the logs that I can see only tell me the requests or response's destination IP and whether the connection was allowed or blocked. But it doesn't tell me what executable it comes from. I want to find out the file path of the executable that each blocked request comes from. So far, I haven't been able to.

4 Answers 4


You should be able to see this in Event Viewer. First you'll need to tweak the logging options in the Advanced Settings Console:

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In the Event Viewer's left pane, expand to Applications and Services Log -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Windows Firewall with Advanced Security:

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There, you can create a custom view and filter the log to only outbound connection attempts.

  • 1
    Thanks! What do I need to tweak in particular in the Advanced Settings console? Are you referring to the logging options under Properties? If so, what do I need to change? Jan 19, 2010 at 6:07
  • You can tweak the logging options depending on your liking, but you'll have to first set rules for outbound connections or else there is nothing seen as abnormal and nothing will be logged.
    – user1931
    Jan 19, 2010 at 13:20
  • How do I filter the log? I blocked all outbound connections but nothing is appearing in any of the logs there except for changes to the firewall settings. What should I do? Jan 21, 2010 at 2:40
  • 1
    I mentioned in my update of the original question that only destination IPs are listed. I'm looking for the file path of the executable that made the request. Jan 21, 2010 at 4:59
  • 1
    After you click "create a custom view", what do you pick? It wants "By log" or "By source". None of these seem to be what I want. What do I pick? How do I point it to "%systemroot%\system32\LogFiles\Firewall\pfirewall.log"? Nov 23, 2015 at 20:43

In Windows 7 & 8 you need to first enable Auditing of failed connections.

Local Computer Policy (Run: GPEdit.msc) > Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Audit Policy > Audit object access : Failure

Now dropped connections along with the corresponding executable name should show at:

Event log > Windows Logs > Security:

  1. The Windows Filtering Platform has blocked a packet : [Event Id: 5152]
  2. The Windows Filtering Platform has blocked a connection : [Event Id: 5157]

Here, you will find:

Application Name: \device\harddiskvolume2\program files\xyz.exe


I was looking for same problem, and neither the Event Viewer (no events) nor the pfirewall.log option (no name of the violating program) helped me to identify what's going on.

Looking around I fond Windows Firewall Notifier, which even provides a GUI that shows the offending program and allows to generate exception rules (you need to thell WFN to create rules, not exceptions when calling it for the first time).


Try Sysmon utility from SysInternals. Its a simply installer and does a pretty good logging. The logs will give you all the details including the program, path of the file etc. that is initiating the connection. Hope it helps.

  • Welcome to Super User! Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question, which is to configure logging in the Windows Firewall. So, no your answer doesn't help.
    – DavidPostill
    Aug 1, 2016 at 18:27

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