Cannot Turn ON / OFF Windows Firewall – Firewall Options Greyed Out

by Rohit Khurana on April 8, 2009

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Trouble:

Recently one of our reader Sarfaraj Khan emailed us his problem that he is unable to turn on windows firewall. He cannot enable or disable the windows firewall as the options of turning on and off of the firewall were grayed out as shown in the image below (you can click to zoom).

firewall-on-off-greyed

This type of problem occurs when your computer has been infected by some virus which you may have removed from your computer but some infections caused by the virus remains.

 

Let’s find out how can you resolve this problem of firewall turn on off options disabled

Fix:

The viruses normally create these registry entries which disable and grey out the turn on off controls in windows firewall.

 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsFirewall\DomainProfile]
"EnableFirewall"=dword:00000000
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsFirewall\StandardProfile]
"EnableFirewall"=dword:00000000

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>> If values of the above keys is set to 0, it will disable and it grays out the firewall controls so it cannot be changed.

>> If the value of the above keys is set to 1, it will enable it and grays out the firewall controls so it cannot be changed.

 

So, in order to fix the problem you would need to delete these registry keys written above and restart you computer to see the effect.

 

The step by step procedure to enable the disabled options of firewall are as follows

 

For Windows XP Home Edition and Professional Edition

1. Open Start Menu >> Run, type regedit and press Enter key

2. Navigate To the following path

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall

3. Make sure to export and backup WindowsFirewall key and close registry

 

You can also control this through gpedit.msc in Windows XP Professional

1. Open Start Menu >> Run, type gpedit.msc and press Enter key

2. Navigate to the following path

Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Network >> Network Connections >> Windows Firewall >> Standard Profile

3. Close Group Policy Editor

4. That’s it done, you may need to restart your computer

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Deyaa Addeen Fahmy Shedeed April 10, 2009 at 4:13 am

New datum , thanks.

vinod April 10, 2009 at 10:26 pm

hi vinod here. i just wanna to know why dump error(blue screen)
occurs in win xp and how to remove it. please give solution.

Santosh April 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Dear Sir,

I have Purchased a compaq laptop with preinstalled windows
Vista, but I want to install windows XP and when I boot my
Laptop using Windows XP Bootable CD it does not detect the Hardisk.

Please Help Me

Santosh

Sarfaraj Khan April 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Hello brother I have submit this problem to trouble fixers. I want to give lot more thanks to Rohit Khurana, who solved this problem. I am unable to solved this problem by Group policy Editor(gpedit.msc). I am not cleared how to solved this by gpedit.msc. So, please give more details how to solved this by gpedit.msc. You not clear this method that what should we do after going this step ” Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Network >> Network Connections >> Windows Firewall >> Standard Profile ”

It means after going Standard Profile what should I do next. You mention that close group policy, but I close group policy after doing this, but not solved my problem. So at last I use ” regedit ” method and I success to solved this problem.

So, please mention more gpedit.msc method.

Thank you.
Date 17.04.2009

aurimasis April 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm

If your Firewall is not actyve use this method
1. Open Start Menu >> Run, type regedit and press Enter key

2. Navigate To the following path

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall

3. Delete all WindowsFirewall catalog

Thats all Restart Your Computer

Willi June 2, 2009 at 11:09 am

@Sarfaraj Khan:

“It means after going Standard Profile what should I do next”

Open the item “Windows Firewall: Protect all network connections”, choose the option “Disabled” and click “OK”.

Finally, run GPUPDATE.EXE (if available, otherwise reboot), Windows Firewall ist disabled now…

Regards
Willi

Mumeet June 5, 2009 at 5:08 am

A Big Thanx To aurimasis His Method Works Successfully .
U Have To Do Only This If Ur Windows Firewall Turns Grey And U R Unable To On Or Off

1. Open Start Menu >> Run, type regedit and press Enter key

2. Navigate To the following path

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall

3. Delete all WindowsFirewall catalog

Thats all Restart Your Computer

And Enjoy

Donna Reynolds August 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Kudos to Rohit Khurana for the post above solving the issues of a greyed out firewall option. I have have Windows XP Home Edition. I had virus that was very hard to get rid of and in the process turned off my firewall. The process of deleting the string from the regedit fixed my problem in less than 5 minutes.

Thanks again!

Phil July 3, 2010 at 3:32 am

The beginning of this article seemed okay but I think it is missing key parts.

For example;
1. Open Start Menu >> Run, type regedit and press Enter key

2. Navigate To the following path

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ WindowsFirewall

3. Make sure to export and backup WindowsFirewall key and close registry

THEN WHAT DO YOU DO?

you do the following;

1. Open Start Menu >> Run, type gpedit.msc and press Enter key

2. Navigate to the following path

Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Network >> Network Connections >> Windows Firewall >> Standard Profile

3. Close Group Policy Editor

4. That’s it done, you may need to restart your computer.

ONCE AGAIN THERE IS SOMETHING MISSING! Navigating to
Computer Configuration >> Administrative Templates >> Network >> Network Connections >> Windows Firewall >> Standard Profile

and then closing with out performing any edits or actions is useless!

camille July 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm

hi..are these instructions applicable for vista? because my os is vista…and id really appreciate it if you’d help me..please..my windows firewall options are all grayed out. i’ve called hp already and it’s been ages since i’ve called, no response yet. thank you!

camille July 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm

hi this is camille.=) and i am happy to have discovered that it also works on vista!=) i was hesitant to apply the steps, (deleting the registry), this page has been bookmarked days ago, until today when i decided to just do it. i deleted the registry and viola!
thanks for the help this is amazing and real.

wep555lo August 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Thanks mate! this method really works for my pc!

ziad December 5, 2010 at 10:57 pm

AOA please help me

i have few users on my local network with workgroup, these users usually change there password which make trouble for me to update there PC’s so is there any way to get or change there password remotely on network

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