One of the major changes in Windows XP Service Pack 2 was the introduction of a new security feature called Windows Firewall that manages the Internet connections on your computer and either allows or blocks access to different servers. If properly configured, Windows Firewall becomes an extremely powerful security guard that prevents hackers from accessing your computer and infecting it with malware or viruses.
When to Reset Windows Firewall?
By default, an average user does not need to manage Windows Firewall thus there is no need to reset Windows Firewall Settings to default. Still, many users like to take control of their privacy and security. They create new Windows Firewall rules and try to fine-tune their network connection to ensure the best security possible. That is totally fine and normal if you know what you are doing. If you went too far with managing Windows Firewall rules, things get really-really messy and cause the programs on your computer to lose access to the Internet and other weird connectivity issues. This leads to the need to reset Windows Firewall in Windows 10 and apply the default Firewall settings.
Luckily for all of us, it is quite easy to reset Windows Firewall or delete all Windows Firewall rules in Windows 10. You can quickly reset Windows Firewall using a command prompt, PowerShell, or Control Panel. In this article, we prepared a complete guide on how to reset Windows Firewall in Windows 10. Although in this article we talk about Windows 10 only (since it is the most popular and the most recent Windows), you can use our guide to delete Windows Firewall rules in Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.
Resetting Windows Firewall in Windows 10 – Backup the Rules Before You Go
Important: if you want to reset Windows Firewall settings, make sure you have the Administrator access level. If you do not, Windows would ask you to enter the Administrator password. Remember, you can’t delete Windows Firewall rules without an Administrator account.
Before you reset Windows Firewall in Windows 10, backup all the current rules just in case you ever need to restore them. Backing up Windows Firewall rules implies saving them to a separate file and keep in for later use.
You can quickly backup Firewall settings in Windows 10 using the special command. Launch Command Prompt in elevated mode (Run as Administrator) using the search or any preferred method and paste the following command:
netsh advfirewall export "C:\Archive\firewall-config.wfw"
After you execute the command, Windows will put the backup file in the C:Archive folder. Copy the file from there and store it whenever it is convenient for you.
If you do not like using Command Prompt to manage Windows Firewall Settings, you can use the Windows Control Panel.
- Launch the Windows Security app using the search or the icon in the notification area.
- Go to Firewall & network protection. Locate the Advanced settings link and click it. This launches the Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security window.
- What you need to backup Windows Firewall settings is in the right sidebar of the window. Click Export Policy and specify where to store your backup file.
That is it. Your Windows Firewall settings are now securely stored in a separate file. Now you can proceed and reset Windows Firewall settings to default.
Reset Windows 10 Firewall – Control Panel
The easiest way to reset Windows 10 firewall rules to default is from Control Panel and Windows Firewall section. This guide also applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8.
- To open the snap, press Win + R and run the command firewall.cpl.
- In the left sidebar, locate the Restore Defaults link and click it.
- In the new window click on the Restore Defaults button to confirm.
- Confirm deletion of settings by clicking Yes.
This action will reset all Windows Firewall settings, which were made after installing Windows, including rules and exceptions for all ports and programs. After that, in the list of firewall rules, you will find only the standard system network access rules remain. Now you can add new Windows Firewall rules and configure it up to your desire or just leave it blank.
How to Reset Windows Firewall in Windows 10 – Windows Security
There is another way to reset Firewall in Windows 10. It can save you a few clicks and help avoid navigating the old Control Panel. All you need to do is to launch the Windows Security app and go to the Firewall and network protection section.
Hit Restore firewall to default and confirm your decision in the new window.
Resetting Windows Firewall Settings to Default Using Command Prompt or PowerShell
Just like with almost any Windows setting, you can reset Windows Firewall using a simple command in Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell.
In case you use Windows Command Prompt (do not forget to launch it with Administrator access), use the following command:
netsh advfirewall reset
If you prefer Windows PowerShell or Windows Terminal, use this command:
(New-Object -ComObject HNetCfg.FwPolicy2).RestoreLocalFirewallDefaults()
How Do I Reset Windows Firewall in Windows 7?
This part of the guide is specific for Windows 7 or Windows 8 users but also applies to Windows 10.
Our guide is not complete if we do not mention all the ways to reset Windows Firewall settings. It is not the quickest nor easiest, but also does the job.
- Hit Win + R on your keyboard and enter the wf.msc command.
- In the right-side pane, click Restore Default Policy and confirm the restoration.
Done, now your Firewall settings are reset to default.
Keep in mind that after you reset your Windows Firewall settings some applications may stop working or ask you to grant the access again. You need either create a new rule for each program or allow Internet access next time you launch an app. Some programs may require complete reinstallation to properly configure firewall access.