How to disable Windows Firewall in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP
Steps on how to disable the firewall in any version of Windows.
Windows Firewall is designed to help unauthorized users access files and resources on the computer. A firewall is a must if you are worried about the security of your computer. Unfortunately, the Windows Firewall is far from perfect and can sometimes cause more harm than good, especially if another firewall program is installed.
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Do not disable Windows Firewall unless you have a good reason, but if you have another security program that performs the same functions, feel free.
Disable the firewall in Windows 10, 8 and 7
The steps to disable Windows Firewall in Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows are essentially the same.
- Open the control panel.
You can do it in different ways, but the simplest method is via the Power User menu or the Windows 7 Start menu.
- Select the System and Security link.
This link is visible only if the "View by:" option is set to "Category". If you are viewing the Control Panel applets in the icon view, go to the next step.
- Choose Windows Firewall.
Depending on the configuration of the computer, it could instead be called Windows Defender Firewall. In that case, treat each instance of "Windows Firewall" below as if it read "Windows Defender Firewall".
- Select Enable or disable Windows Firewall on the left side of the screen.
A very quick way to access this screen is through the command line control firewall.cpl, which you can run in the Command Prompt or in the Run dialog.
- Select the balloon next to Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended).
Windows Firewall can be disabled only for private networks, only for public networks or both. To disable Windows Firewall for both types of networks, you need to make sure you select Disable Windows Firewall (not recommended) in both the private and public sections.
- Choose OK to save the changes.
Now that Windows Firewall is disabled, repeat all the steps that caused the problem to see if disabling this option solved the problem.
Disable the firewall in Windows Vista
Windows Firewall can be disabled in Windows Vista via the Control Panel, similar to how it is done in other versions of Windows.
- Open the Panel control by selecting Control Panel from the Start menu.
- Choose Security from the list of categories.
If you are in the "Classic View" of the Control Panel, go to the next step.
- Select Windows Firewall.
- Choose Enable or disable Windows Firewall on the left side of the window.
If a User Account Control window appears, go ahead and click/touch by entering an administrator password or selecting Continue.
If you need to access this window more quickly in the future, you can use the control firewall.cpl command in the Run dialog box.
- Open the General tab and select the balloon next to Off (not recommended).
- Select OK to apply the changes.
Disable the firewall in Windows XP
The instructions to disable the Windows XP firewall are significantly different from the more recent versions of Windows, but they are still quite simple.
- Open the Control Panel by selecting Start, then Control Panel.
- Select Network and Internet connections.
If you are viewing the "Classic View" of the Control Panel, open Network Connections and go to Step 4.
- Choose Network Connections in the section or select a Control Panel icon.
- Right-click or tap and hold the network connection and choose Properties.
If you have a high-speed Internet connection "" such as cable or DSL, or you're on a network of some sort, your network connection will probably be called Connection to network local.
- Open the Advanced tab and select Settings.
- Choose the Off option button (not recommended).
Windows Firewall settings can also be opened with a simple link via the Run dialog or Command Prompt. Just enter this command: control firewall.cpl.
- Select OK in this window, then OK again in the Properties window of the network connection. You can also close the Network Connections window.