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Former Member
Message 1 of 47

Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

After using McAfee and Firefox for many years, suddenly my computer started popping up dialog boxes warning that programs want to accept incoming connections.  The most persistent is Firefox, but other programs are also reported.

My usual response is to tell it to 'block', then go into the firewall settings and set it to 'outgoing only' [as an aside, the current firewall dialog box only offers 'allow once', 'allow always' or 'block' - but 'outgoing only' is not offered as a choice, as it was in years gone by.]

Despite setting the program, i will often get another pop-up - as if something has changed the setting.  While I did have an infection some weeks ago, the computer is reported clean now by McAfee, malwarebytes, spybot s+d, and ad-aware.

The machine is running XP Professional SP3, all updates; Firefox 3.6.12 - updated; McAfee security center 10.5, virus scan 14.5, personal firewall 11.5 - up to date.

Query:  How do I get the McAfee system to accept and hold firewall settings?

46 Replies
Former Member
Message 2 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Hello alfuller,

Your McAfee Personal Firewall security levels allows you to control how much interaction that is required to validate communications to and from your computer. When the firewall detects network communication that does not have a rule defined for handling, an alert prompts you to allow or block that communication. And also,the more restrictive a security level chosen the greater the number of rules that are in effect, and more options and alerts are displayed.

More over there is no harm in giving - allow always permission for those applications that you are familiar with such as your firefox browser.


Dinesh K

McAfee Online Community Moderator

Former Member
Message 3 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Hello, Dinesh:

I don't think my question was answered.  My question is how do I get the McAfee firewall to retain the choices I set?  I have already set the level for Firefox [as an example] many times, yet mcAfee's firewall keeps indicating that Firefox is asking to accept an incoming connection, and asking for a response.

A separate question is why each program that connects to the internet would need to listen for unsolicited incoming connections.

Contributor III
Message 4 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

This question has been posed numerous times on this forum, but never directly addressed.  It is very frustrating how rather than answering the question of why the firewall program is ignoring the user settings, the official response is to copy and paste what the settings are ‘supposed to do’. This is an issue that never occurred in past versions of MPF.  Even after a program is set to allow outgoing only access, the McAfee pop-ups continue to ask if we want to grant full access (allowing incoming connections).  If we have already set a program for only outgoing access, why isn’t this choice being remembered?  I also see cases where I am advised that Mcafee has decided to grant a program access, even though I have specifically set the firewall set to allow me to decide. 

Former Member
Message 5 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Well, it's comforting to know that somebody is out there.  This behavior just started this year, after many years of no such problems.  Would you have any idea of whether it's connected to a recent upgrade, or whether a full uninstall and reinstall would help?

As it stands, the software is way less than useful.  I have a three-machine license, and I don't think the other two machines are doing this, so i am left thinking it something specific to that machine.  Either way, between the annoyance and the uncertainty of what it's doing, it's killing me.

If anybody at McAfee is reading this, I still need an answer!

Former Member
Message 6 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Seconded. The firewall is not usable in the long term as shipped.

Since you'll ask, here's a screen shot of my alert settings.

The user logged in here is a local admin.

I can't find a version number.

See symptom screen shot here:


Thanks in advance.

Former Member
Message 7 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups


There are very few consumer scenarios in which a browser or any other end user app needs to listen on a TCP port. If 'Full' means TCP listening, telling people to use Full (which is what 'Allow always' does) is terrible advice. What does Full mean?


Message was edited by: antevans on 24/11/10 06:17:48 CST

Message was edited by: antevans on 24/11/10 06:18:52 CST
Former Member
Message 8 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Hi All,

McAfee Firewall is designed in such a way that it would initially prompt for the user to accept/ deny for all the incoming/outgoing connections. For instance if a program (E.g.: Yahoo Messenger) is trying to access to the internet for the first time then it would ask the permission to the user in order to get connected and if the user select Allow Once option and again when it tries to access for the next time it would do the same

However, if the user has already selected the “Always Allow” then it should not ask for the permission again. Now the answer for your question is - since you have selected “Outgoing only” for the browser like Mozilla Firefox and if you try to download something through that then it’s considered as a incoming, so it would definitely ask your permission repeatedly to allow or deny them

Former Member
Message 9 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Nope. Traffic over all TCP connections always goes both ways.

'Outgoing' refers to TCP connections that are initiated on this side of the firewall.

'Incoming' means connections that are initiated by something or someone on the public network. Incoming connections are generally needed only by servers (or you wouldn't be reading this), experts (for remote control and the like), and bad guys (for detection and remote control). Client firewalls are designed to ignore incoming connections for good reason, and telling people indiscriminately to allow them defeats most of the purpose of the firewall.

Former Member
Message 10 of 47

Re: Persistent 'program wants to accept incoming internet connection' pop-ups

Can you get us a clear screenshot of the same as what you have posted earlier (it was not so clear). Thanks

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