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Posted on Apr 16, 2013 in Firewall Tutorials, Online Safety | 17 comments

Check your XP Firewall settings with this quick and easy tutorial

The Windows XP Firewall should be enabled by default, unless you have installed a third-party firewall. This tutorial will show you how you can check the firewall settings in Windows XP. Not using Windows XP? Tutorials for checking the Windows Firewall are available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users too. Click here for the Windows Vista version or, click here for the Windows 7 version.

XP users can check that their firewall is enabled by doing the following. Firstly, click Start, and select “Control Panel”:-

Control panel on the start menu

The Control Panel window is now displayed :-

Control panel with security center circled

(note, if your control panel looks different to this one, click on “switch to category view”).

Choose “Security Center”, the following window will then appear:-

XP security center

You can see several of your security settings at a glance here. If Windows thinks that any firewall software is enabled then it will show “Firewall ON”. If you have not installed a third party firewall, then the firewall that is on must be the Windows Firewall. You can also click on the Windows Firewall icon under “Manage security settings for:” in the bottom half of the window.

There are very few configuration options for the Windows XP Firewall. The default options will be right for the vast majority of users, check out our XP Firewall video tutorial for more information on configuring the Windows XP Firewall.

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  1. My WiFi stopped working when I uninstalled Firefox for being a nuisance. The machine is old and xp but it would be nice to have it connected. It gets excellent WiFi signal but won’t connect. The drivers in Network and Modem are working properly. Diagnosis says to check firewall settings for http port 80, https port 443 and ftp port 21. Anyone know how to do that? Thanks

    • Those ports are always open unless you specifically block them. When you say “won’t connect”, does it say it’s connected to the access point but just going to every website brings back an error?

      If you don’t like Firefox please use Chrome in XP, IE should be avoided in XP at all costs.

      • Hi, thanks for reply. I launch IE but it won’t connect to the net. No web pages at all. I get the cannot connect message. There’s a good wifi signal, and the drivers say they are working properly. When I go through the diagnosis procedure that pops up it says to check the firewall, specifically those ports. All a mystery to me.
        I’d love to use chrome, that was my intention. But there’s no net to pull it down from :-(

        • Well first of all we don’t recommend using Windows XP on any machine connected to the internet any more since it is no longer supported and therefore vulnerable to security threats. However, if you still want to, I would get a USB stick and copy the Winsock Reset tool onto it and then run it – See this tutorial for more information – link to

          • Hi, thanks again. I’m being a pest am I not? I put the Reimage Repair exe program on a stick and ran it on the xp machine but it’s not a whole program, it’s trying to download something and obvioulsy can’t. Have I got the wrong program or….?
            thanks again

          • Reimage?? No, try the tool shown in the video tutorial I linked to above, that’s specifically designed for this kind of problem.

  2. aha, silly me! thanks again for your time and patience. I’ll give this a try later.

    • Hi, just an update, I’ve not gone away. I’ve installed the winsock thingy, but too much of a woos to switch on and see if it worked. Derrr! Thanks for your help, if it doesn’t work when I pluck up the courage I’ll do the sensible thing and use it only as a wp and mp3 player. Thanks again

      • What have you got to lose, I promise it won’t make your computer any worse!

        • Hi, plucked up copurage to try it and it still doesn’t work, but for different reasons and I wonder if it’s just a pixel short of a terrabyte….

          error attempting to validate the winsock base provider 2
          not all base service provider entries could be found in winsock catalogue A reset is needed, Call MS Support!

          several http error 12029 – no connection to server
          but!!! ftp passive successful connection to

          and it knew to update itself to summer time – or is that on the internal clock?

          As always, much obliged for your time and patience

          • That’s the error you got running the tool or afterwards?

          • hi, the tool ran ok, so far as I could tell. Then the machine was left switched off for a week to stew in its own juices. Then I switched it on and that’s what I got

          • Can you uninstall any antivirus, third-party firewall etc then run the tool again. Once run, verify that you have internet connectivity just by briefly visiting Google, then reinstall all your security software.

          • Hi me again. I took AVG, ASC and malwarebytes off the machine, I don’t think there is anything else. I don’t know anything about firewalls. It still gives me Error trying to validate winsock base providers 2
            Not all service provider entries found.
            I’ve done a couple of resets but it’s not going to play!
            Thanks again for your time

          • And this board just said I was posting duplicate comments, already said that! Well I seem to have done the same thing over and over so it’s not surprising :-)

        • me again, soirry I know this is in the wrong place but the site has changed everything around and I don’t know my username or password (or why it’s such a mega secutirty issue to use a site like this)
          My Vista machine just suffered yet another MS update and windows explorer has disappeared. I used to click start / computer and get a wonderful tree of all the drives, folders etc and I could drag n drop files easily. Now everything opens in separate windows. Is it possible to get the old, more efficient window back please? (and why o why o why does everyone keep changing everything all the time???)

          • Sorry I missed your previous comment. It looks like you need to consider reinstalling Windows if the Winsock fix doesn’t work.

            We only moved the forum a couple months back, we haven’t changed anything else, I promise!

            There’s not been any updates to Vista other than security related ones. Try searching for “Computer” on your start menu then right clicking and selecting “Pin to start menu”. Any more questions leave us a comment on the Vista section or in the forum.

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