How to Find Open Ports on a Server

by Tiesha Whatley
network cables image by glinn from

When setting up some network programs in the Windows operating system, you will need to know what ports on the computer's server are open. Windows makes it easy to locate open ports by entering the appropriate commands at the Command Prompt. Once you access this information, you can use the port number to connect to a certain port, close a port or a number of other networking duties.

Step 1

Open the Command Prompt by clicking on "Start" then "All Programs" then "Accessories" then "Command Prompt."

Step 2

Listen for open ports by typing 'netstat -an | find /i "listening"' in the command prompt. Hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard and wait for all of the ports to show up on the screen.

Find the established, or active, ports on the server by typing in 'netstat -an |find /i "established"' in the command prompt. Windows will search for all of the active ports.


  • To save the port information to a text file, type in "> c: 'openports.txt" after each of the commands above.
  • To get the owning process ID for the ports, type in "netstat -ao" in the command prompt. The owning process ID identifies what Window process owns a certain port. For instance, your wireless network printer may be using a certain port; the owning process ID will be the ID number of the printer currently using the port. You will need this number if you want to reassign the process to a different port and make the port it is currently on available.


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About the Author

Tiesha Whatley has been writing for over 10 years. She has been published in "Marie Claire," "Ebony" and "Modern Bride" magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has been working in the wedding planning industry for over 13 years.

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