Windows 11 just like every other version of Windows has a built-in firewall that is managed through Windows Defender. Having a Firewall is very crucial to protect your system from malware attacks and all sorts of malicious programs present on the net.
Since any firewall allows and blocks a program’s access to the internet according to a predefined set of rules, many a time the firewall can confuse a harmless app with a harmful one and disable its access.
Many users like to install an antivirus of their choice which usually comes with its own firewall. In a scenario like this, the Windows Defender firewall takes a back seat and lets the third-party software take over.
However, in some exceptional cases, the Windows Defender firewall is not disabled and is just blocking your apps to access the Internet and creating chaos in the process.
There can be many reasons and requirements to disable the built-in firewall. Thankfully, Windows 11 provides the flexibility to turn it off permanently, or on an individual app basis if you wish to do so.
Accessing Windows 11 Firewall Settings
Before you can change Windows firewall settings, it is imperative you know how to access them.
To do so, first, head to the Settings app from the Start Menu on your Windows 11 PC.
Next, click on the ‘Privacy & Security’ tab present on the left panel of the Settings windows.
Then, click on the ‘Windows Security’ tile present to the right of the window.
After that, click on the ‘Open Windows Security’ option.
Then, click on the ‘Firewall & network protection’ tile present on the Windows Security window.
You will now be able to see all the settings related to Windows Defender Firewall.
Disable Windows 11 Firewall Permanently
If you are setting up another firewall on your system, disabling the Windows 11 firewall makes perfect sense. However, if that’s not the case, this action could expose your device to malicious software that can create many problems on the machine.
From the ‘Firewall & network protection’ screen, click on the network profile stating ‘active’ adjacent to it.
After that, locate the ‘Microsoft Defender Firewall’ section and toggle the switch underneath to the ‘Off’ position.
Now, an UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, you will need to enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to turn off the firewall.
That’s it your Windows Defender Firewall is now permanently disabled.
Disable Windows 11 Firewall for Individual Apps
You can even disable the Windows Defender Firewall for individual apps as well if the need to do so arises.
To do so, from the ‘Firewall & network protection’ screen, click on the ‘Allow an app through firewall’ option. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Then, from the ‘Allowed apps’ window, click on the ‘Change settings’ button situated to the right of the window.
Note: You will require administrator access to change firewall settings. Thus, make sure you are logged in using one or at least have the credentials of an admin account of the machine.
Next, click on the checkbox preceding the app or feature name on the list to allow the app access to the internet for your default profile. If you wish to also allow it for the ‘Private’ profile, click the checkbox situated in the respective column in the app row to do so.
You can also learn more about any app or service by selecting the desired option and then clicking on the ‘Details’ button.
In case you are not able to find the app you wish to allow, click on the ‘Allow another app’ button and browse the
.exe file of the app to add it to the list.
Once you have made your desired changes, click on the ‘OK’ button to confirm and close the window.
How to Restore Windows 11 Firewall Settings to Default
Since you learned how to disable the Windows firewall for an individual app as well as permanently. There can arrive a situation where you need to restore it back to the defaults.
To do so, launch the ‘Settings’ app from the Start Menu of your Windows 11 machine.
Next, click on the ‘Privacy & security’ tab present to the left of the window.
After that, click on the ‘Windows Security’ tile present to the right of the Settings window.
Then, click on the ‘Open Windows Security’ button. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Now, click on the ‘Firewall & network protection’ tile from the opened window.
Next, click on the ‘Restore firewalls to default’ option situated in the bottom section of the screen. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Finally, click on the ‘Restore defaults’ button present on the ‘Restore defaults’ window.