How to disable Microsoft Defender Firewall in Windows 11

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Alejandra Rangel
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Disable Windows Firewall temporarily or permanently. This article explains how to disable Microsoft Defender Firewall in Windows 11, including instructions to allow a single app through the firewall.


How to permanently disable Microsoft Defender Firewall in Windows 11?

Windows 11 has a built-in firewall called Windows Defender Firewall. It works well enough to protect your computer from external threats without causing too much trouble, but there are situations where it can get in the way. If you are tired of having to troubleshoot connectivity issues from time to time, you can disable the Windows 11 firewall and open your computer to the Internet.



Here's how to disable the Windows 11 firewall:

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on the taskbar.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on Privacy and Security.
  4. Click on Windows Security.
  5. Click Open Windows Security.
  6. Click Firewall and Network Security.
  7. Click Public Network.
  8. In the Microsoft Defender Firewall section, click the switch to turn it off.

When the switch is disabled, you will see a message in the Microsoft Defender Firewall section that says: Public firewall is disabled. Your device may be vulnerable. Windows 11 firewall is now disabled.

How to temporarily disable Microsoft Defender Firewall in Windows 11?

While disabling Windows Defender in Windows 11 is permanent, meaning it won't re-enable itself, it's easily reversible. To turn off the firewall only temporarily, you just need to turn it back on when you're ready. It works exactly like turning it off. Go back to the screen where you disabled the firewall and turn it back on.



Here's how to turn on the firewall in Windows 11:

  1. Go to Settings> Privacy and Security> Windows Security> Firewall and Network Protection, then click Public Network.
  2. Click the Microsoft Defender Firewall switch to turn it on.
  3. When the switch is on, the Windows 11 firewall is active again.

How to allow a program in the Windows 11 firewall

If you're having trouble with an app that's malfunctioning due to the Windows 11 firewall, allowing that single app through the firewall is less dangerous than completely disabling the firewall. If you are sure you trust the app, you can give it permission to bypass the firewall.


Here's how to disable the Windows 11 firewall for a single app:

  1. Go to Settings> Privacy and Security> Windows Security> Firewall and Network Protection and click Allow apps through firewall.
  2. Click Change Settings.
  3. Click Allow another app.
  4. Click Browse and locate the app you want to add.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Click OK.

The app is now allowed to bypass the Windows 11 firewall.


What to do when Windows 11 does not connect to the Internet

Is it safe to disable the Windows 11 firewall?

Disabling Windows Defender Firewall is only safe if another firewall is running on your computer. If you don't have another firewall, disabling the Windows 11 firewall opens your device to outside attacks.


So you can feel free to disable Windows Defender Firewall if you have another firewall running, but avoid disabling it if it's your only firewall unless you have a good reason.


Allowing individual apps to bypass the firewall is less dangerous, but only if you are sure that the apps you want to allow to bypass the firewall are harmless. If you accidentally allow malware to get around your firewall, it can create many other problems for you.

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