How to enable or disable the Microsoft Windows Firewall

Windows firewallWindows 8 and 10
Windows Vista and Windows 7
Windows XP

Enable and disable firewall in Windows 8 and 10

Tip: Microsoft 8 comes pre-installed with a firewall utility, although it may be disabled by default. Below are steps that can be followed to enable or disable this feature in Windows. If you are looking for information about disabling a different firewall, see the steps on disabling the firewall program installed on a computer.

Enabling Windows 8 firewall

Caution: Only one software firewall should be enabled at a time. If you have an antivirus or other security program installed with its own firewall, make sure it is disabled first.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Click on System and Security
  3. Click on Windows Firewall.
  4. If the Windows Firewall is disabled, the Windows Firewall state will be Off. To turn it on, in the left navigation pane, click on Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  5. In the Customize Settings window, select Turn on Windows Firewall and click OK.

Disabling the Windows 8 firewall

Caution: Unless you are troubleshooting an issue or plan on installing another firewall, it is recommended that you do not disable your Windows Firewall.

Tip: If you are disabling the firewall because a program can't access your computer or the Internet, try to allow the program through the firewall first.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Click on Windows Firewall.
  3. If the Windows Firewall is enabled, the Windows Firewall state will be On. To turn it off, in the left navigation pane, click on Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  4. In the Customize Settings window, select Turn off Windows Firewall and click OK.

Enable and disable the firewall in Windows Vista and Windows 7

Tip: Microsoft Windows Vista and 7 come pre-installed with a firewall utility, although it may be disabled by default. Below are steps that can be followed to enable or disable this feature in Windows. If you are looking for information about disabling a different firewall, see the steps on disabling the firewall program installed on a computer.

Enabling Windows Vista and Windows 7 firewall

Caution: Only one software firewall should be enabled at a time. If you have an antivirus or other security program installed with its own firewall, make sure it is disabled first.

  1. Click Start and in the Search for Programs and Files text box, type firewall and press Enter.
  2. In the search results, click Windows Firewall.
  3. If the Windows Firewall is disabled, the Windows Firewall state will be off. If it is off, click Change settings or Turn Windows Firewall on or off in the left column.
  4. In the Firewall Settings window, select On and click OK.

Disabling the Windows Vista and Windows 7 firewall

Caution: Unless you are troubleshooting an issue or plan on installing another firewall, it is recommended that you do not disable your Windows Firewall.

Tip: If you are disabling the firewall because a program can't access your computer or the Internet, try to allow the program through the firewall first.

  1. Click Start and in the Search for Programs and Files text box, type firewall and press Enter.
  2. In the search results, click Windows Firewall.
  3. If the Windows Firewall is enabled, the Windows Firewall state will be on. To turn it off, click Change settings or Turn Windows Firewall on or off in the left column.
  4. In the Firewall Settings window, select Off and click OK.

Enable and disable the firewall in Windows XP

Tip: Microsoft Windows XP comes pre-installed with a firewall utility. By default, this feature is not enabled. Below are steps that can be followed to enable or disable this feature in Windows. If you are looking for information about disabling a different firewall, see the steps on disabling the firewall program installed on a computer.

Enabling the Windows XP firewall

Caution: Only one software firewall should be enabled at a time. If you have an antivirus or other security program installed with its own firewall, make sure it is disabled first.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Open Network Connections.
  3. Within the Network Connections window, right-click the Local Area Connection and select properties.
  4. Within the Local Area Connection Properties window, click the Advanced tab.
  5. Finally, check the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet option.

Disabling the Windows XP firewall

Caution: Unless you are troubleshooting an issue or plan on installing another firewall, it is recommended that you do not disable your Windows Firewall.

Tip: If you are disabling the firewall because a program can't access your computer or the Internet, try to allow the program through the firewall first.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Open Network Connections.
  3. Within the Network Connections window, right-click the Local Area Connection and select Properties.
  4. Within the Local Area Connection Properties window, click the Advanced tab.
  5. Finally, uncheck the Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet option.

If you are attempting to disable the Windows XP firewall, but this option is already unchecked, another developer's firewall program may be installed on the computer.

Additional information