Mac Firewall: How to Turn On/Off It on Mac (Sonoma/Ventura)

Cassie Xie
Last updated: Nov 29, 2023
Summary: This post introduces the Mac firewall, how to turn on or turn off the firewall on Mac, and how to change firewall settings on your Mac.

Does Mac have a built-in firewall? Yes, macOS comes with a firewall feature. Learn more about the Mac firewall, how to turn on or turn off it, and how to configure the firewall settings on your Mac below.

Mac firewall

About Mac Firewall

Mac firewall (macOS firewall) is a built-in feature in macOS. It can protect your computer from unauthorized access and threats from the local network or the internet. It controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic to protect your computer’s security and privacy.

Mac’s built-in firewall is turned off by default. If you only use your Mac in a safe place like your home or working office, you can let the firewall disabled. However, if you need to frequently use your laptop on untrusted networks, you may enable the firewall on your Mac. Check how to turn on or turn off the Mac firewall below.

How to Turn On/Off Firewall on Mac (Sonoma/Ventura)

  1. Click the Apple menu and click System Settings.
  2. In Settings, click Network in the sidebar.
  3. Click Firewall in the right window.
  4. Toggle on the button next to the Firewall option to turn on the firewall on your Mac computer. To turn off the firewall on your Mac, turn the switch off.
turn on Mac firewall

How to Change Mac Firewall Settings

After turning on the Mac firewall, it is set up to prevent unauthorized applications, programs, and services from accepting incoming connections by default. Optionally you can click the Options button to further configure the firewall settings. You can customize which applications are allowed to receive incoming connections, add specific rules, etc. Check the options below.

  • Block all incoming connections: Block all incoming connections except those required for basic internet services, such as DHCP and IPSec.
  • + or -: Click the “+” icon under applications to select the apps and services you want to add. After adding an app or service, you can click its drop-down menu and choose whether to allow or block its connections with the firewall. To remove an application from the list, click the “-” icon.
  • Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections.
  • Automatically allow downloaded signed software to receive incoming connections: Allow software signed by a valid certificate authority to provide services accessed from the network.
  • Enable stealth mode: Don’t respond to or acknowledge attempts to access this computer from the network by test applications using ICMP, such as Ping.

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Bottom Line

Now you should know more about the Mac firewall and know how to turn on or turn off the firewall on your Mac and adjust its settings. It's essential to keep your Mac's firewall enabled and appropriately configured to protect your computer from potential threats on untrusted networks and enhance your overall cybersecurity.

Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 5 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way anyone can understand.