How to Manage Firewall in Mac?
What is Firewall?
Firewall is a network security system that monitors all incoming and outgoing network activities. It acts as a protection layer between your computer and internet by blocking threats. Both Windows 10 and macOS computers have built-in firewall system to protect the computer from vulnerabilities. In general you need to enable the firewall to monitor the incoming internet activities like downloading and blocking unauthorized app access.
Why You May Need to Disable in Mac?
The firewall on your Mac may block real incoming connections thus resulting in access errors. Whenever you install third party apps, Mac will prompt you to confirm the security access. If you have blocked access without understanding then the app will be added in the blocklist of your firewall. You will not able to connect to the internet using that app anymore, unless you remove the app from the blocklist. Or enable the app by authorizing the access.
How to Disable Firewall in macOS?
By default your Mac has firewall enabled. Follow the below instructions to disable and manage firewall settings on your Mac.
Click on the Apple menu on top left corner of your Mac and navigate to “System Preferences…” section.
Search and click on “Security & Privacy” icon.
Click on the “Firewall” tab and click the pad lock button as shown in the below picture.
Enter you administrator password and unlock the preferences for editing. When the padlock is showing as opened, click on the “Turn Off Firewall” button and disable the firewall protection on your Mac. There are additional options available under “Advanced…” and “Firewall Options…” button.
Click on the “Advanced…” button to see the following options:
- Automatic logout after certain time of inactivity. Enable this option and set the time limit to automatically logout of your account after the inactive time exceed the limit.
- Enable or disable admin password for accessing preferences – by default this is enabled and Mac will prompt admin password when you try to access the system preferences settings. You can disable if you are the only person using your Mac.
You will see the following additional advanced options when you have the corresponding hardware connected to your Mac:
- Disable remote control infrared receiver – this option will be available when you have infrared receivers on Mac.
- Turn on screen saver when login token is removed – this option will show when you insert a Smart Card with the keychain login access.
If you don’t want to disable the firewall but control the connection then click on “Firewall Options…” button.
- Block all incoming connections - When enabled, this option will block all file sharing access and allow minimum internet connection. Generally, you need to uncheck this option. Under that option, you will see a list of third party apps installed on your Mac. You can click on the dropdown button for each app and choose to allow or block incoming connections.
- Use the + and – buttons to add or remove the apps in the list. For example, if you don’t want Safari to connect to internet then simply add Safari app and set the option as “Block incoming connections”.
- Automatically allow built-in software to receive incoming connections – this option is enabled by default. It helps the built-in Apple apps like iTunes to work properly. So if you notice Apple apps not connecting to internet then you can check this option is enabled in firewall settings.
- Automatically allow signed software – this is also enabled by default providing access to the third party downloaded apps that have signed security certificate from trusted partner. If you notice, any of your third party apps are not working then check this box is enabled on your Mac.
- Enable stealth mode – this will put your Mac on stealth mode thus no other person can see the computer from the network.