Hello, please consider adding an FAQ entry for Windows Firewall.
Syncthing was working more or less ok for me up until about a week ago, when Windows Firewall decided to start blocking Syncthing for some reason. I spent about 45 minutes today troubleshooting why Syncthing wasn’t working to end up there, finally.
I suggest adding an FAQ entry for:
“Why does Syncthing show all my devices are disconnected?”
Where the answer is to add an exception for the Syncthing exe to Windows Firewall:
- Ctrl + escape; type “firewall”
- Click “Windows Defender Firewall”
- In the upper left, click “Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall”
- In the upper right, click “Change settings”
- At the bottom, click “Allow another app…”
- Click “Browse”
- Navigate to where the Syncthing exe is on your computer, select it, click “open”
- Click “Network types…” in the bottom left
- Check “Private: Networks…”, click “Ok”
- Click “Add”
While the manual method will work, normally the Windows Firewall shows a pop-up message automatically when opening a new executable. If it doesn’t, then it usually means that the program is hidden in the background (e.g. when started using the Task Scheduler). There’s also a bug when you’ve got a drive mapped to a path but no letter assigned to it, where the Firewall will also not display any pop-ups for executables launched from inside that mounted path.
In other words, this normally shouldn’t be an issue. However, it’d probably be useful to mention the firewall in the autostart section of the Docs, because one of the methods described there does suggest to use the Task Scheduler to start Syncthing automatically in the background, and the Windows Firewall won’t display a pop-up in that case indeed.
The same applies to the situation, where Syncthing is ran as a service.
This isn’t really the right question here, is it? Syncthing should still connect, but it will be forced to use relays instead of direct connections, unless you’ve disabled relaying, which a novice user is very unlikely to do (and shouldn’t really do unless they know exactly what they’re doing).
Thank you for meticulously analyzing my FAQ suggestion and explaining very carefully why it is not a good idea and not necessary “because the average user”. You are definitely the superior tech person here, well done.
The problem with adding more stuff to the FAQ is that it currently is a mishmash of quite a lot of related and unrelated questions, so the general idea is that if you can find a more suitable location for the instructions, then you should place them there instead of adding even more to the FAQ.
When it comes to this specific case, there’s also https://docs.syncthing.net/users/firewall.html, which seems like a perfect place for Windows Firewall-related content (which is missing as of right now) . Once it’s there, it should probably also be mentioned and linked to when needed from https://docs.syncthing.net/users/autostart.html.
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