How to Disable and Turn Off Windows Firewall Network Protection

The Windows Firewall, also known as Windows Defender Firewall, provides important protection for your Windows computer against unauthorized network access and malicious attacks from the internet. However, you may need to temporarily disable or turn off the firewall for troubleshooting purposes or to allow a specific application access. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to disable or turn off the Windows Firewall on Windows 10 and 11.

Access Windows Firewall Settings

To access the firewall settings:

  1. Open the Start menu and search for “Windows Security”.
  2. Click on Firewall & network protection on the left sidebar or under Protection areas on the main page.

This will open the Firewall & network protection page where you can view the status of the firewall and make changes to its settings.

Temporarily Disable the Firewall

To temporarily disable the firewall:

  1. On the Firewall & network protection page, go to the Public network or Private network section depending on your network type.
  2. Toggle the switch under Microsoft Defender Firewall to Off.

This will disable the firewall for that network type until you manually turn it back on.

Note: Disabling the firewall makes your device vulnerable to malicious attacks. Only disable it temporarily for troubleshooting purposes.

Permanently Disable Windows Firewall

To completely turn off Windows Firewall:

  1. Open the Start menu and search for “Control Panel”.
  2. Go to System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall.
  3. Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
  4. On the Customize Settings page, select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall for both private and public network locations.
  5. Click OK to apply the changes.

This will permanently disable the Windows Firewall until you manually turn it back on. Again, this makes your device vulnerable so only do this if absolutely necessary.

Allow Applications Through the Firewall

Instead of fully disabling the firewall, you can allow specific applications access through it:

  1. Go to the Firewall & network protection page in Windows Security.
  2. Click on Allow an app through firewall.
  3. Click Change settings.
  4. Check the box next to the application you want to allow.
  5. Click OK to save the changes.

This will add the application to the allowed apps list. The firewall will still block other unrecognized applications helping to protect your device.

Restore Default Firewall Settings

If you have made changes that are causing problems, you can restore the Windows Firewall back to its default settings:

  1. Go to the Firewall & network protection page in Windows Security.
  2. Click the Restore firewalls to default link at the bottom.

This will undo any custom rules and settings changes you have made.


Temporarily or permanently disabling the Windows Firewall increases the risk of security threats to your computer. Only turn off the firewall if absolutely necessary for troubleshooting purposes. For better protection, add exceptions for specific applications instead of fully disabling the firewall. Be sure to turn it back on when you are done.