Windows Firewall service does not start in Windows 10/8/7

Windows Firewall acts as the first layer of defense against malware, so it is always advisable to keep it turned ‘ON’ – unless you are using third-party firewall software. If for some unknown reason if you find your Windows Firewall does not start automatically at startup, then here are a few troubleshooting steps you may want to try out.


Windows Firewall service does not start

The error messages you could receive are:

  • Windows Firewall is not the default firewall
  • Windows Firewall does not start
  • Windows could not start the Windows Firewall.

1] First, scan your machine for malware using a good antivirus software. If you have installed a 3rd party firewall or a Security Suite, then that could also be the cause of the problem. Many times, third-party security software can disable the Windows Firewall and even prevent it from starting up.

2] Run System File Checker or sfc /scannow. You may want to also Run DISM and see if that helps.

3] Next, type services.msc in Windows Start Search and hit Enter to open up Services. Here ensure that the Windows Firewall Service is started and set on Automatic. You do this by clicking on the Start button. Also, ensure that the Remote Procedure Call Service & the Base Filtering Engine Service is started and set on Automatic.

4] Now you also have to ensure that the Windows Firewall Authorization Driver (mdsdrv.sys) is running properly.

To do so, type devmgmt.msc in the search bar and hit enter to open Device Manager. In the Views tab, check on Show Hidden Devices and also show Devices By Connection.

Locate Windows Firewall Authorization Driver in the list and double-click on it to open its Properties box. Click on the Driver tab and ensure that the process is started, and the startup type is Demand. Click OK.

Reboot. Hopefully, your Windows Firewall should be working OK now.

5] If it does not help then run Group Policy Result Tool to check if there is a Firewall policy blocking it. Open an elevated command prompt window, type gpresult -z and hit Enter. Check under Resultant Set Of Policies For Computer, esp under Security Options.

6] Run the Windows Firewall Troubleshooter and see if it helps you. This ATS from Microsoft will help you repair and fix Windows Firewall problems automatically. See if it is available for your Windows or if it is built-in.

7] Reset Windows Firewall settings to defaults and see if that helps.

Incidentally, drifting a bit away from the main topic, should you need to access the following panels easily, you can type the following Run commands and hit Enter

Firewall Settings : FirewallSettings
Firewall Control Panel : FirewallControlPanel
Windows Firewall with Advanced Security : wf.msc

You might want to see this post if your Windows could not start the Windows Firewall on Local Computer. See this post if you receive Windows Firewall has blocked some features of this app message.

TIP: How to Manage or Configure the Windows Firewall may also interest you.

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Zhu Zhu Xiao


  2. ted

    I have corrected the firewall won’t start when computer boots up, but next time the firewall will not start again. please help!

  3. Chris

    sorry. Cant work. Any other trick i could use?

  4. Critter01

    my firewall won’t let me download Anything from on line;
    and when I go to the firewall it tyells me it is Off;
    aoso the “apps” there won’t work

  5. Mark A

    Look at step 3) “… ensure that the Windows Firewall Service is started…”
    Now look at this article’s title. Why would someone be here if they could accomplish step three ?????
    So dumb.

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