How to Use Regedit to Turn the Windows Firewall Off

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Why Use Regedit?

There are a number of occasions in which you might want to disable the Windows Firewall, but find that accessing the function via a “regedit” command to open the System Registry is preferable to accessing the Windows Firewall system via Control Panel. For instance, you might be a Domain Admin who has disabled standard user access to the Windows Firewall interface in the operating system. However, you wish to save time in disabling the firewall for some form of testing or installation.

This user guide explains how the Windows Firewall can be easily and quickly disabled via regedit.

Why Use This Method?

Reasons why you might use Regedit over the standard method of disabling the Windows firewall might include:

  • To save time
  • Uninstalling a third-party firewall application has disrupted the Windows Firewall
  • You are providing support to a third-party product that requires disabling the firewall, but the Windows Firewall is not accessible
  • You require the firewall disabling as part of a batch file you’re compiling
  • You need to make a standard alteration and you are accessing a remote users registry directly via the Registry Editor’s Connect Network Registry function

Disabling the Windows Firewall

In order to turn off the Windows Firewall in the Registry Editor, the correct key must be amended.

Go to Start > Run and type regedit at the insertion point.

In the Registry Editor, go to Edit > Find and paste the following path (Windows XP SP3) then click OK


The Reg_DWORD value EnableFirewall can be edited, with an amendment to the Value Data setting of 0. By changing this to 1, the Windows Firewall will be disabled.

For Windows XP SP2, the Reg_DWORD value EnableFirewall can be accessed via the following registry entries, depending upon your environment:



Again as with the Service Pack 3 solution, the Value Data setting of 0 should be changed to 1 in the Reg_DWORD value EnableFirewall.

Further Notes

Note that upon disabling the Windows Firewall, a System Tray balloon will appear, advising you that the Windows Firewall has been disabled. With a third-party firewall or security application installed, this balloon can be dismissed by going to Control Panel > Security Center and informing Windows that a firewall is installed.

Note also that access to the registry depends on the privileges of the logged-in user. If the Administrator is not logged in, browse to C:\Windows\System32 and find the regedt32.exe file. Right-click, select Run As… and enter the admin username and password.

Before disabling the Windows Firewall, it is vital to ensure that it is both safe to do so and if it isn’t, that a suitable replacement has been installed and configured already.