7 Ways to Open Windows Firewall Control Panel Applet in Windows 11

Windows 11 firewall protects your PC from outside threats and there are many ways to reach it.

Person using laptop to hack with security word on top

Your computer’s firewall is a network tool that monitors incoming and outgoing Internet traffic on your PC. Windows Defender Firewall (WDF) is Windows 11‘s built-in firewall that prevents unauthorized software from accessing the Internet.

Sometimes users need to configure allowed software through Windows Defender Firewall with its allowed apps options. Some users may even need to temporarily disable WDF for troubleshooting purposes. To change the settings of this firewall, you need to open its Control Panel applet. Here are several ways to open the Firewall Control Panel applet in Windows 11.

1. How to open Windows Defender Firewall with Control Panel

You can manually open the Windows Defender Firewall applet from Control Panel. It’s not the most direct method, but it’s a way to open the firewall applet nonetheless. Here’s how to open the Firewall applet from Windows 11 Control Panel.

  1. Open the Start menu and click All Apps.
  2. Scroll down the Start menu to the Windows Tools folder. Click Windows Tools to open it.
  3. Double-click Control Panel in the folder to open its window.
    The Windows Tools folder
  4. If the Control Panel opens in category view, click the Seen by menu and select Big Icons.
    All control panel elements
  5. Then click Windows Defender Firewall to open this Control Panel applet.
    The Windows Defender Firewall Control Panel applet


2. How to Open Windows Defender Firewall with Run

The Run dialog box provides a faster three-step method to open Windows Defender Firewall. You can open the Firewall Control Panel applet by typing a quick applet command in the Open box of this accessory. These are the three steps to open Windows Defender Firewall with Run.

  1. press the the Windows + R keys on your keyboard at the same time to launch Run.
  2. Type it control firewall.cpl Run the command in the Open text box.
    The Run accessory
  3. Click it Okay option to show Windows Defender Firewall.

Windows 11’s Finder tool is still handy for opening built-in system utilities and third-party software. It is often enough to enter the name of what you need to open in the search field to find it. Then you can choose to open what you are looking for from there. You can open Windows Defender Firewall Control Panel applet with search box as follows.

  1. Press the magnifying glass button on the search tool’s taskbar to open the utility.
  2. Type the keyword Windows Defender Firewall in the search field.
    A search for Windows Defender Firewall
  3. Click Windows Defender Firewall to open it.

4. How to open Windows Defender Firewall with Windows Terminal

the control firewall.cpl The Run command specified in the second method also works when entered in the Command Prompt and PowerShell. Therefore, you can open the firewall applet with Windows Terminal, which integrates these two command line interpreters. This is how you can open Windows Defender Firewall with Windows Terminal.

  1. Click on To start up with the right mouse button to select Windows terminal (administrator).
  2. Then click on the Open a new tab at the top of the Windows Terminal to bring up the menu shown directly below.
    The Open New Tab menu
  3. To select Command Prompt Where Windows PowerShellhere.
  4. Then type control firewall.cpl within the Command Prompt Where WindowsPowerShell the tab and press the Enter key.
    The control firewall.cpl command

5. How to Open Windows Defender Firewall with Desktop Shortcut

You can make Windows Defender Firewall directly accessible from the desktop by creating a shortcut there. Then you can open the firewall a little faster with this shortcut whenever you need to change its settings. Here are the steps to add Windows Defender Firewall shortcut on desktop.

  1. Right-click somewhere on the desktop to select New > Shortcut.
  2. Type control firewall.cpl in the item location box as in the screenshot below.
    The Create Shortcut window
  3. press the following to move on to the naming step.
  4. Clear the contents of the text box, then enter Windows Defender Firewall.
  5. Click on To finish to add a Windows Defender Firewall icon to the desktop.
    Windows Defender Firewall Shortcut
  6. Go ahead and double-click the Windows Defender Firewall shortcut to bring up its Control Panel applet.

6. How to Open Windows Defender Firewall with Hotkey

If you prefer hotkey accessibility, you can also configure a hotkey for Windows Defender Firewall. Setting up a desktop shortcut for the firewall as shown in the previous method is the first step for this. When you’ve done that, you can apply a hotkey to the WDF desktop shortcut like this.

  1. Right-click on a Windows Defender Firewall shortcut that you added to the desktop and select Properties.
    The Properties option
  2. Click inside the Shortcut key box in the properties window.
  3. hurry F (for firewall) to establish a Ctrl+Alt+F keyboard shortcut.
    The shortcut key box
  4. To select To apply to save the new keyboard shortcut.
  5. Click on Okay in the properties window.

Now press Ctrl+Alt+F at the same time to open Windows Defender Firewall. You can always change this hotkey by pressing a different key for it in the Shortcut key box. Note that deleting the Windows Defender Firewall desktop shortcut will also erase the keyboard shortcut applied to it.

The desktop context menu is another place from which you can open Windows Defender Firewall. However, you will first need to add a firewall shortcut to the desktop context menu to do so. You can add Windows Firewall option to context menu with Winaero Tweaker like this.

  1. Open the Winaero Tweaker home page in a Windows browser.
  2. Click on Download WinaeroTweaker on the home page.
  3. press the Earn + Ethen open the folder where the Winaero Tweaker ZIP file was downloaded.
  4. Double-click the winaerotweaker.zip file to open it.
  5. Click on Extract all at the top of File Explorer.
    The Extract All button
  6. the Show extracted files option will probably be selected by default. If not, select this option.
    The Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders window
  7. press the Extract to open an extracted Winaero Tweaker folder.
  8. Double-click the WinaeroTweaker- file to display a software installer.
  9. Select the regular mode and I accept the agreement options in the setup wizard and click following proceed.
  10. Click on Browsechoose an installation folder and press the key Okay button.
    The Configure Winaero Tweaker window
  11. Then press the following button several times to access the To install option. Click it To install button to finish.
  12. Open the Winaero Tweaker window.
  13. Double click on the Contextual menu category to expand it.
  14. Then select Winaero Tweaker Firewall context menu option shown directly below.
    The Firewall Context Menu option
  15. Select the Add Firewall submenu to desktop context menu check box.

Now close Winaero Tweaker. Right-click on the desktop and select Show more options to display the classic context menu. Move the cursor to the new firewall window submenu there. Then click firewall window to display this Control Panel applet.

The Windows Firewall option

You will notice the firewall window the submenu includes more than one shortcut. There you can choose to open Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security. This submenu also includes options to enable/disable the firewall and reset it.

Optimize network protection with the Windows Defender Firewall applet

Open the Windows Defender Firewall applet with the method above that you prefer. You can open it with Run, Finder, Control Panel, and Windows Terminal. To open this applet a little faster, it is better to set up a shortcut as shown in the last three methods. However you open WDF, you can optimize your network protection with the advanced firewall and allowed applications settings available in its Control Panel applet.

break the firewall
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