How to Restore the Windows Firewall to its Default Settings

After using the Windows Firewall for a long time, it might stop working as it should. Especially if you have fiddled with its more advanced settings and you did not really know what you were doing. As you can imagine, turning it off and on again won't work even though that may fix some simple computer problems. One thing that will work though is to restore the Windows Firewall to its default settings and start configuring it again from scratch. Here's how this reset is done:

IMPORTANT: This procedure will only work if you are using an administrator account. Also, keep in mind that this guide applies to both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

First, you need to open the Control Panel. If you don't know how to access it please read this guide: 9 Ways to Access the Control Panel.

When it opens, click or tap System and Security and then Windows Firewall.

In the Windows Firewall window, press the Restore Defaults link in the left pane.

Now you are informed about what it means to restore the default settings. If you want to go ahead, click or tap Restore Defaults.

You will be prompted to confirm your choice. Click or tap Yes to proceed.

You are returned to the Windows Firewall window and all rules are now reset to their initial values.


As you can see from this guide, it's easy to restore the Windows Firewall to its default settings. Maybe you were infected with malware which changed the rules you have set up or you messed up somewhere along the way, while trying to manually configure the Windows Firewall. Either way, applying this procedure will make the Windows Firewall work again.We recommend that you start to set new rules immediately, because some of your apps will not work after removing the old rules. Let us know if you encountered any problems.