How to stop Windows 10 Firewall blocking apps when it is disabled?

October 28, 2019 |

greater than 3 minutes

The native firewall tool in Windows 10 is an important component of the OS that is designed to keep users safe by blocking insecure connections to and from a PC. The tool is hardly the subject of any complaint as it normally runs in the background without causing issues.

However, most users have complained that Windows Defender Firewall notoriously blocks some legitimate applications from accessing their computers’ network. To fix this, the simple solution is to disable Windows Firewall temporarily, but this has proven unsuccessful in certain cases, as the tool still does a good job of blocking apps even when it’s been disabled.

If you’re experiencing this issue and can’t seem to find a way to use an application because Windows Firewall is still active despite being turned off, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll show you different workarounds to help you get rid of the problem.

What if Windows Defender Firewall is off but Still Blocking Apps?

This particular issue can be resolved following one of the methods below.

Use Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security on Local Computer

Windows Defender Firewall might still be on for certain networks even though you have turned it off. Some users found out by opening the Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security app. You can find out if your networks are still active and turn them off using this window. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start search bar, type “advanced security” (without the quotes) and then click on the first result.
  2. The Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security window will open.
  3. The window will show the status of your different networks.
  4. Click on Windows Defender Firewall Properties at the end of the overview section.
  5. Choose Off from the Firewall State drop-down menu under all the network tabs in the Properties dialog.
  6. Click on OK, and then click Apply to save your changes.
  7. Now, check if the problem persists.

Disable Third-Party Antivirus or Firewall Software

Aggressive Firewall and antivirus programs are known to cause a lot of conflicts. These system protection tools might be blocking access to certain applications while the Windows Defender Firewall is turned off. To solve the issue in this case, try disabling your antivirus or firewall program and check if that helps.

You can find out from the product developer’s website on how to go about turning off the tool you have on your system. You should also disable any other program that has a firewall tool.

It’s never recommended that you disable your antivirus program and leave your system permanently vulnerable to security risks. You can ensure your system’s safety by installing Auslogics Anti-Malware while your main third-party antivirus or firewall app is turned off. The tool can serve as extra security when your antivirus is back online and can also stand as the main system protection tool on your computer.

Modify the Network Location Awareness Service

The Network Location Awareness service is connected to Windows Firewall, and if wrongly configured, could be the reason behind the issue you’re facing. You need to change its Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start) to resolve the problem. Follow these steps:

  1. Use the Ctrl+Shift+Esc combo to launch Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Services tab of Task Manager once the window opens.
  3. At the bottom of the Services tab, click on Open Services to launch the Services app.
  4. Once the Services app opens, locate the Network Location Awareness service, right-click it, and then choose Properties.
  5. In the Properties dialog, choose Automatic (Delayed Start) from the Startup Type drop-down menu.
  6. Now, click OK to save your changes.
  7. Try running the program that is being blocked to see if the issue has been resolved.

We hope you can now establish a connection with your applications without hassle. Use the comments section below to tell us what you think about the problem.

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