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Prevent Users Disabling The Windows Firewall

The Windows Firewall (formerly known as "Internet Connection Firewall"), Is defaulted to the Windows platform from Windows XP/Server 2003 to where It stands today at Windows 10. It's an essential tool that monitors Incoming & outgoing traffic, and blocks unauthorized attempts from unknown networks and other Intrusions. It's paramount to keep It enabled at all times, so In this tutorial, I will show you how to prevent users from disabling It.

Before I begin, If you've Installed a particular Internet Security Suite that comes packaged with a firewall, antivirus, spam protection and so forth, It usually takes over the Windows Firewall, hence all traffic Is monitored by the Security Suite. For Instance, I have Avast Premier Installed, and as you can see In the Image below, It manages my Windows Firewall settings.

On the grounds you've only Installed an antivirus software, the Windows Firewall will remain active. Well, that's until someone (namely If you have multiple users on your PC), decides to disable It!

As a result, I will demonstrate how to prevent the Windows Firewall from being disabled In It's entirety. To do this, I will be using the good old Group Policy Editor, that's native to the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education editions. If you're running either of these editions, then this tutorial will serve you well. So without further delay, let's get this started.

Step One:
To access the Group Policy Editor, open the Run menu, enter gpedit.msc and hit OK.

Step Two:

The Group Policy Editor will now open, so navigate to the following directory.
Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

Then on the right pane, click on the Windows Firewall Properties link as arrowed.

Step Three:
At the top of the window, namely the tabs, select the Network profile that applies to your environment. The default settings are set to Not configured as Illustrated below.

Step Four:
This Is my Windows Firewall settings, prior to applying any changes. The radio buttons are active, hence can be changed from on to off.

Step Five:
Going back to the Group Policy Editor, set the Firewall state to On (Recommended), and choose the default settings for both the Inbound & Outbound connections. Hit OK to finalize the process.

Last Step:
I've now navigated back to my Windows Firewall settings via Control Panel, and as you can see, the radio buttons are grayed out and set to Turn on Windows Firewall. Essentially, my Firewall cannot be disabled.

Final Thoughts:
The Windows Firewall, has saved countless Intrusions on my home network, thus keeping It active at all times Is of the utmost Importance. Although not tested, this may In fact also prevent viruses and the like from disabling It. Do remember, that If you have an Internet Security Suite Installed, It will manage and take over the default Windows Firewall. To reverse all changes, simply refer to Step Three above and apply all settings as Illustrated.


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