Software & Apps Windows How to Disable the Windows Firewall in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP Steps on how to disable the firewall in any version of Windows By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated December 10, 2019 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email The Windows Firewall is designed to help keep unauthorized users from accessing files and resources on your computer. A firewall is a must-have if you're concerned about your computer's safety. Unfortunately, the Windows Firewall is far from perfect and can sometimes cause more harm than good, especially if there's another firewall program installed. Don't disable the Windows Firewall unless you have a good reason, but if you have another security program performing the same functions, feel free. Lifewire / Theresa Chiechi Time Required: Disabling the Windows Firewall is easy and usually takes less than 10 minutes See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which steps to follow along with. Disable the Firewall in Windows 10, 8, and 7 The steps for turning off the Windows Firewall in Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows is basically identical. The screenshots in this section apply to Windows 10 only. Your screen will look slightly different if you're using Windows 8 or Windows 7. Open Control Panel. You can do this a number of ways, but the easiest method is through the Power User Menu or the Start menu in Windows 7. Select the System and Security link. That link is only visible if you have the "View by:" option set to "Category." If you're viewing the Control Panel applets in icon view, just skip down to the next step. Choose Windows Firewall. Depending on how your computer is set up, it might instead be called Windows Defender Firewall. If so, treat every instance of "Windows Firewall" below as if it read "Windows Defender Firewall." Select Turn Windows Firewall on or off on the left side of the screen. A really quick way to get to this screen is via the control firewall.cpl command line command, which you can execute in Command Prompt or the Run dialog box. Select the bubble next to Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended). You can disable the Windows Firewall for private networks only, just for public networks, or for both. To disable the Windows Firewall for both network types, you have to make sure to select Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended) in both the private and the public section. Choose OK to save the changes. Now that the Windows Firewall is disabled, repeat whatever steps caused your problem to see if disabling this option has fixed your problem. Disable the Firewall in Windows Vista The Windows Firewall can be turned off in Windows Vista through Control Panel, similar to how it's done in other versions of Windows. Open Control Panel by selecting Control Panel from the Start menu. Choose Security from the category list. If you're in the "Classic View" of Control Panel, just skip down to the next step. Select Windows Firewall. Choose Turn Windows Firewall on or off on the left side of the window. If a User Account Control window pops up, go ahead and click/tap through it by either entering an admin password or selecting Continue. If you need to access this window again 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 bubble next to Off (not recommended). Select OK to apply the changes. Disable the Firewall in Windows XP Directions for turning off the Windows XP firewall is significantly different than it is in newer versions of Windows, but it's still fairly simple. Open Control Panel by choosing Start and then Control Panel. Select Network and Internet Connections. If you're viewing the "Classic View" of Control Panel, open Network Connections and skip to Step 4. Choose Network Connections under the or pick a Control Panel icon section. Right-click or tap-and-hold your network connection and choose Properties. If you have a "high speed" internet connection like Cable or DSL, or are on a network of some kind, your network connection will likely be titled Local Area Connection. Open the Advanced tab and select Settings. Choose the Off (not recommended) radio button. Windows Firewall settings can also be opened with a simple shortcut via the Run dialog box or Command Prompt. Just enter this command: control firewall.cpl. Select OK in this window and then OK again in the Properties window of your network connection. You can also close the Network Connections window.