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Turning off Virus and Firewall

Health Warning

Turning off your virus software and/or your firewall is not to be generally recommended, you need to exercise extreme caution if you decide to do this. Be careful not to open any emails, or surf the Internet while these are turned off. If you do use the Internet while these are turned off you need to be sure the web sites you visit are bona-fide e.g. sites like,, only visit sites you know and trust.

The purpose of a Firewall is to control traffic in and out of a network (or your computer). You computer is seen as the internal part of the network and everything on the Internet is outside your network, and generally not to be trusted. A Firewall can be set to allow traffic in from the Internet to specific areas of your computer and to let traffic out where permitted.

If you are using your email a Firewall would allow incoming messages normally and outgoing ones. It would also allow you to access the Internet and usually download things. If you are using a program that is permitted to send and receive traffic there is risk of a virus, or trojan, and this is where virus software should take over, to minimise risk.

Your router may also have an inbuilt firewall, but how to disable that is beyond the scope of this page as each router will have a different menu structure.

You may also find that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has set up Firewall rules and provided you with virus software. There can be issues if you are running two security programs on your computer. So it may be worth, if you are using Windows 8 or above in uninstalling any third party virus software for the purpose of finding the cause of a problem.

Disabling Firewall and Virus Software
Windows10 computers

start settings1 Click on the start button and select “Settings” (the cog).

2. In the settings window select “Update & Security”.

3. Select “Windows Defender” and open the Windows Defender Security Centre then virus and treat protection. Turn off anything which is on.

Note that there are slight variation on this process according to the version of Windows 10.

This turns off your virus software.

4. Then under the Firewall and network protection turn off the Firewall for both Private and Public networks.

5. Check whether this resolves the issues.

Don’t forget to turn things back on!