How to Turn Off Firewall on Windows 11

This post shows students and new users steps to turn off Windows firewall using using Windows 11. Windows 11 comes with a built-in firewall called Windows Defender Firewall.

Windows Defender Firewall which is part of Microsoft Security suite is there to help protect your computer from external threats, including viruses and malware from installing on your computer. Windows Defender Firewall is a great alternative to commercial firewall software and should always be enabled.

If you install a commercial firewall software, Windows Defender Firewall will automatically detect it and disable itself, allowing the other software to protect your computer. If you do not already have another firewall software installed, then Windows Defender Firewall will automatically detect that no other firewall software is installed and enable itself.

In some cases, Windows Defender Firewall may block legitimate apps that you want to use from connecting to the internet. If you find yourself in similar situations, you may temporarily disable Windows firewall to allow the apps to function.

However, figuring a way to allow a single app through the firewall is less dangerous than completely disabling the firewall. When you disable Windows firewall, you leave your system vulnerable to threats and other potentially unwanted apps.

How to disable firewall on Windows 11

Use the steps below to learn how to disable or turn off Windows Defender Firewall.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Privacy & security, select Windows Security on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

On the Windows Security setting pane, click “Open Windows Security” button as highlighted below,

That will bring you to Widows Security home settings pane. From the left menu items, go to Firewall & network protection.

There you will see up to three network profiles.

  • Domain network: Network at workplace that are joined to a domain. This is mostly found in business environments
  • Private network: Network are home or work where you know you trust the devices in your network and where device are set to be discovered via network discovery.
  • Public network: Network in public areas such as airports, coffee shops and others where devices are not configured to be discovered.

You can go into each network profile above and turn on or turn off Microsoft Defender firewall for each.

To disable Windows Defender Firewall, select Firewall & network protection on the left menu, then select the Public network profile, and toggle the button to the Off position.

This will turn off Windows Defender Firewall on Windows 11.

How to allow apps through Windows Defender Firewall

Instead of completely disabling or turning off Widows Defender Firewall to resolve issues where a particular apps isn’t connecting to the internet, you can enable the app to pass through Windows Defender Firewall instead.

To do that, navigate to Settings > Privacy & security > Windows Security > Firewall & network protection, and click Allow an app through firewall.

There, click the Change settings button at the top, then click Allow another app and click Browse to browse and locate the app you want to add.

Select the app you want to allow through the firewall and click OK. The app is now allowed to bypass Windows Defender Firewall.

By all means Microsoft Defender Firewall should be enabled and receiving updates on your Windows computer. The only reasons you may want to turn it off is when you have other security products installed and Microsoft Defender is interfering with them.

If Microsoft Defender Firewall is not impacting your PC performance or interfering with other security suite installed, you should keep both installed and enabled.


This post showed you how to disable Windows Defender Firewall on Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.