Those with an alternative firewall program or hardware firewall may wish to disable the built-in Windows 10. Below, we take a closer look at why you would turn off this Microsoft security feature and provide a step-by-step guide through the process.

Microsoft’s built-in firewall for Windows is an Internet security feature that protects your computer from unauthorized incoming and outgoing network traffic. Therefore, it is generally recommended to leave it enabled, and you will sometimes be prompted by the operating system to allow trusted applications to bypass it.

People who have installed alternative free or paid firewalls as part of an anti-virus software package or have implemented a hardware firewall on their network may want to disable the firewall built into Windows 10. Running two firewall applications at the same time does not recommends, but note that having a hardware firewall or dedicated firewall device on your network does not necessarily mean that you should disable the built-in Windows firewall.

Used hardware

  • A modern Windows 10 desktop
  • Wireless broadband

The short version

  • Click the Start button
  • Click Settings
  • Click Network and Internet
  • Scroll down the status page until you see the Windows Firewall text and click it
  • Click on the (active) network connection
  • Click the Microsoft Defender Firewall toggle button and dismiss the warning
  • Close the settings panel
  1. step

    Click the Start button

    Click on the “Start” button and then on “Settings” which will appear just above and represented by a “gear” icon.
    Windows 10 settings

  2. step

    Select Network and Internet to display the network status page

    After clicking the Network & Internet option in Settings, you will be taken to the status page of your active network. In my case it was a Wi-Fi network. Scroll down this page to reveal clickable text, Windows Firewall. This can be seen at the bottom of the screenshot.Firewall option

  3. step

    Select the currently active network

    In the next Firewall and Network Security dialog box, you’ll see Domain, Private, and Public Network listed with a firewall status message below each. Click on the network that is active, indicated by the word “active” in brackets.Active network

  4. step

    Press the toggle button to turn off Microsoft Firewall

    In the pop-up network properties page, you will be presented with the option to turn Microsoft Defender Firewall on and off. In our screenshot you can see the radio button is currently on. Click this button and a Windows Security warning will appear asking if you are sure you want to continue. As long as you have an alternate firewall ready, it should be safe to proceed.Firewall toggle

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn Windows Firewall back on?

To turn Windows 10’s built-in firewall back on, simply follow steps 1 to 3 above, and then in step 4, press the “Off” toggle button to the “On” position.

Is there a faster way to disable or enable Windows Firewall on the current internet connection?

Yes, if you’re familiar with typing commands, you can open the Windows Command Prompt as an administrator (search for it in Windows and you’ll see the option appear in the right pane). Once the command prompt appears, type or copy and paste “netsh advfirewall set currentprofile state off” without the quotes. To turn the firewall back on using this method, type “netsh advfirewall set currentprofile state on”

How to turn off the Windows firewall

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