How to disable the firewall program installed on my computer

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

A software firewall helps protect your computer, but at the same time, it can cause issues with your network connection. For example, you may be unable to browse other computers on the network. Or, other computers may be unable to browse your computer. Or, you may not be able to print on a network printer. Any of these may be caused by a firewall.

To disable a firewall depends on what firewall is installed. Also, some antivirus programs include a firewall and can be disabled separately from the antivirus program. Below are some recommendations for disabling the firewall installed on your computer.

Windows firewall

Other firewall or antivirus firewall

Windows firewall

If you have another firewall program or antivirus program that includes a firewall, these can be disabled by opening the program or accessing the program's configuration settings. For example, Microsoft Windows users can often right-click the antivirus or firewall icon in the Systray and disable the firewall through the pop-up menu.

Testing after disabled

Once disabled, test your network connection and see if the same issue is occurring. For example, if other computers were unable to browse your computer after disabling the firewall, see if the issue is now resolved.

If the issue is resolved, then network traffic is being blocked by the firewall. To correct this issue, you must configure the firewall to allow the traffic you need. For example, some firewalls disable the Microsoft file and printer sharing by default. Configuring the firewall to allow this service allows other computers to view files and access printers you have shared. To verify this corrects the issue, you must re-enable the firewall once configured to accept the network services, programs, or ports you want to use.

If this does not fix the issue, it's likely you're encountering another network issue or another installed program is causing the issue. Additional help and troubleshooting pages about networking is available through our network and network card help and support page.

Re-enabling firewall

Once the firewall is disabled, we recommend it be re-enabled after completing your testing. You can enable the firewall from the same screen where the firewall was disabled.