How to Disable the Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall

Shutdown the Windows XP Firewall If You Can't Access the Internet

Red flip switch, on, off, 3D Rendering
Westend61 / Getty Images

The Windows Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) exists on many Windows XP computers but is disabled by default. However, when running, ICF can interfere with internet connection sharing and even disconnect you from the internet.

You can disable ICF but remember that according to Microsoft, "You should enable ICF on the Internet connection of any computer that is connected directly to the Internet.".

Some home routers, however, have built-in firewalls. Plus, there are many third-party firewall programs you can install to replace the firewall provided by Windows.

Note: Windows XP SP2 uses Windows Firewall, which can be disabled in a slightly different way that what's described below.

How to Disable the Windows XP Firewall

Here's how to disable the Windows XP firewall if it's interfering with the internet connection:

  1. Open Control Panel through Start > Control Panel.
  2. Choose Network and Internet Connections.
    If you don't see that option, it means you're viewing Control Panel in Classic View, so skip down to Step 3.
  3. Click the Network Connections to see a list of available network connections.
  4. Right-click the connection that you want to disable the firewall on, and then choose Properties.
  5. Go to the Advanced tab and find the option in the Internet Connection Firewall section called "Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet."
  1. This option represents ICF. Uncheck the box to disable the firewall.
Was this page helpful?