How to Tell If the Windows Firewall Is On

In today's world of Web threats, firewalls are a critical part of your system--yet software, malware, or even people turn off this important part of the PC. Most third-party firewalls will let you know when they are turned off, but the built-in Windows Firewall can be a little more difficult to read. Follow these simple, quick steps to ensure that your Windows Firewall is on. A little regular vigilance can save your data in the long run.

Check the Taskbar

Look at the bottom-right corner of your screen for a little red shield icon. If you see one, you can click on it to determine if it indicates that your firewall is off.

Windows Firewall turned off

Open the Windows Security Center

Even if the taskbar icon says that your firewall is turned off, it doesn't tell you much more. For additional information, click the Start button and go to Control Panel. Once the window is open, click the Security Center button. Alternatively, click the Start button, select Run..., type firewall.cpl in the box, and click OK. Either approach will open the Windows Security Center window.

Windows Security Center

Check Windows Firewall

Once in the Windows Security Center, you will see the option to manage settings for the Windows Firewall. A green light indicates that the firewall is on. A red light means that it's not connected, so you need to click the On option.

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