The Windows Security Firewall is a built-in security component of Windows that also manages the firewall settings in Windows. While keeping the Firewall active at all times is recommended to protect your PC, in some instances, you might need to disable or enable the Windows Security Firewall.
You may troubleshoot network issues, test an application, or allow specific apps to connect to the internet, which might be blocked initially. In this post, let’s look at how you can turn off or on the Windows Security Firewall in Windows 11/10.
Note: Windows Security Firewall is also known as Microsoft Defender Firewall or Windows Firewall.
How to Disable or Enable Windows Security Firewall in Windows
Enabling and disabling the Windows Security Firewall follow roughly the same stages. While you may flip between states, it is recommended that you give turning the Firewall down some consideration before proceeding. Here are several methods for enabling or disabling the Microsoft Windows Security Firewall:
- via Windows Security
- via Control Panel
- via Command Prompt or PowerShell or Windows Terminal
You will need an administrator account to execute these suggestions to enable Microsoft Defender Firewall.
1] How to Disable or Enable Windows Security Firewall via Windows Security
Starting with Windows 10 and included with Windows 11, Windows Security is a tool built-in with Windows, offered by Microsoft, that scans for malware and files and keeps your PC safe. Here’s how you can use the Windows Security tool to enable or disable the Firewall:
- Press the Start button on your keyboard, key in Windows Security, and select the app from the search results.
- Navigate the Firewall and Network Protection subsection from the left navigation pane.
- From under Who and what can access your networks, select Public Network and toggle off the button for Microsoft Defender Firewall.
Your Firewall would now be disabled, leaving your machine exposed to threats. You’ve disabled the Firewall for networks in the Public Domain; you may do the same for networks on Private Networks or Domain Networks.
You can also reactivate the Microsoft Defender Firewall by turning the toggle back on. You can also navigate to Windows Security via Settings > Privacy and Security > Windows Security.
2] How to Disable or Enable Windows Security Firewall via Control Panel
Here’s how to switch off or on the Windows Defender Firewall with Control Panel for users on older versions of Windows or just for those who like the old-school Control Panel.
- Start by launching the Control Panel by searching for the same in the Start Search box and choosing the main listed result.
- Next, navigate to System and Security and choose Windows Defender Firewall from the list of available options.
- Now, you’ll notice a bunch of different options. Click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left navigation pane.
- On this page, select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both Public and Private Networks or either based on your preference.
- Once selected, tap on OK to apply the changes.
3] How to Disable or Enable Microsoft Defender Firewall via Command Prompt
The command line can also switch between different Windows Security firewall states. To disable the Firewall on Windows, use the Command Prompt or Windows Powershell, or the Windows Terminal as shown below:
- Launch your weapon of choice, the Command Prompt, Windows Terminal, or the Powershell in Administrator Mode.
- To disable the Firewall for the current network profile, use the following command:
netsh advfirewall set currentprofile state off
- Follow these steps to turn off the Windows Defender Firewall for all network profiles, including Domain, Private, and Public.
netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off
- Alternatively, run the following command to disable the Firewall solely on public networks.
netsh advfirewall set publicprofile state off
Once you’ve disabled the Firewall, replace all the commands with ON at the end instead of off to enable the Firewall back on. Please remember that these commands will only work if you use the terminal in Administrator Mode.
The Windows Security Firewall is a critical component of a Windows PC that protects against malicious attacks. It is simple to disable or enable on Windows through Windows Security, Control Panel, or the command line. However, to ensure the best possible protection for your PC, it is generally recommended to keep the Firewall active at all times.
What Are the Network Types in Windows Firewall Settings?
When connecting to a different network, Windows classifies them as Domain, Private and Public. These are profiles according to which Windows Firewall acts differently. You may have seen this when you join a network for the first time.
- Domain: It activates when you join a corporate or enterprise environment where the company policies directly control the Firewall. These are typically managed by an organization’s IT department and are considered trusted.
- Private: It’s a safer environment, such as your Home network, where you want other devices to discover your PC and vice versa. These are considered trusted.
- Public: When you connect your Laptop or Windows PC to a Public Wifi, such as one in a hotel, coffee shop, or airport, and hotels. The PC needs to be safer than your home network; these networks are considered untrusted.
Do Third-Party Security Apps Disable Windows Firewall or They Modify It?
Typically, third-party apps do not disable Windows Firewall; instead, they add their own rules to improve it. For example, if a Third-Party security blocks a specific file based on their experience, it would add a rule in existing Firewall settings that Windows usually allows. That said, you can still modify the Windows Firewall directly, but any change should e automatically detected by the Security app and sends a warning to the consumer.