Top 6 Fixes if You Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall

Resetting your Firewall settings to default is an effective way to resolve Firewall errors


You are probably reading this guide because you can’t turn on Windows Firewall on your device. This is a crucial topic to discuss because, without the Firewall service, your device would be unable to block unauthorized access to your computer and protect you from harmful applications, ultimately compromising system security.

However, you can take many troubleshooting techniques to resolve this issue, and the most effective ones will be discussed in this article.

1. Verify that the Firewall services are running

If any Firewall services are not operating correctly or you haven’t started them all, you will encounter this error. Therefore, ensure all the services are launched and functioning properly by following the steps below.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, type services.msc in the text field, and hit Enter.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  2. In the Services menu, look for the Windows Defender Firewall option and check to see if it is running.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  3. Go down and locate any entry that starts with Windows Defender, and check if the Startup type for these entries is set to Automatic.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  4. Lastly, reboot your computer and check if the problem has been fixed.

2. Restart the Firewall services

After making sure the Windows Firewall services are functioning properly, it is time to restart them. Restarting the Windows firewall service can be used to fix any minor issues or obstructions to the process.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, type services.msc in the text field, and hit Enter.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  2. Locate Windows Defender Firewall, right-click on it, and choose Restart.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  3. Allow the process to finish and check if you are now able to turn on Windows Firewall.

3. Run the Windows Firewall troubleshooter

It is advisable to begin troubleshooting with the official Firewall troubleshooter provided by Microsoft Automated Troubleshooting Services if you are having issues turning on the firewall in Windows. This tool will scan your system for any underlying issues that might be preventing the Firewall from working.

If a problem is found, the system will recommend appropriate remedies, which you can implement manually or through the troubleshooter.

  1. Navigate to Microsoft’s official page to download it.
  2. Launch the tool and choose Advanced.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  3. Check the box for Apply repairs automatically, then click Next.
  4. Allow the process to finish, and check if you can turn on Windows Firewall.

4. Carry out a Registry hack

If none of the aforementioned approaches were successful, you should try to resolve the problem by making a registry adjustment. Take the following actions to fix the registry.

  1. Press the Start menu, type regedit in the Search bar, and choose the relevant option.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  2. Next, navigate to the path below.
  3. On the left pane, right-click on BFE and select Permissions.
  4. Click the Add button.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  5. Now type Everyone in the text box and click OK.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  6. Under the Group or user names section, click Everyone, check the box for Full Control, click Apply, and OK.
  7. Lastly, reboot your device to implement this modification.

5. Uninstall recent security updates

Windows users routinely receive updates for their computers. The majority of the updates concern security patches, and it is possible that one or more of the most recent upgrades hurt Windows Firewall and caused errors.

You should check by removing all current security updates from your copy of Windows to fix the problem. To do this, adhere to the guidelines below.

  1. Hold Windows + I to open the Settings app, then choose Update & security.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  2. Next, select the View Update history option.
  3. Pick Uninstall updates.
  4. In the next menu, you will get a list of your recently installed updates, then select the ones you want to remove.
    Can’t Turn on Windows Firewall
  5. After uninstalling all security updates, restart your PC and check if this step was helpful.

6. Reset Firewall settings to default

If the issue with Windows Firewall persists, you might try restoring the Firewall’s settings back to default. When the Firewall setup doesn’t work with your machine, the Windows Firewall won’t activate. Therefore, you must eliminate the configuration and return Windows Firewall to its default settings. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Press the Start menu, type Firewall in the Search bar, and click Open.
  2. Launch Windows Defender Firewall from the options.
  3. Next, choose the Restore defaults option on the left pane.
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  4. Click the Restore defaults button again.

  5. On the Restore Defaults Confirmation pop-up menu, choose Yes.

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  6. This should help restore the Firewall settings to default and also help you turn on Windows Firewall.

Wrapping things up

This brings us to the end of this guide. We have outlined some effective troubleshooting techniques you can implement if you can’t turn on Windows Firewall. If you need further assistance, talk to us in the comment section below.

Lastly, if you would also like to know if other anti-virus programs are better than Windows Defender, check out this guide about anti-virus software.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.