How to Set the Firewall On and Off in Mac OS X [Visual Guide]

This post addresses the issue of the firewall in Mac OS X.

Many MacUsers (myself included) have assumed that upon purchase, the firewall setting for their Mac is set to “On”.

Trust me, you’ll need to check.

For the past 6 months that I’ve owned my 13″ Macbook Air, I thought Apple would’ve had the security firewall automatically set to “On”. Mine wasn’t!

Turning on your firewall is just one of those basic security measures that protects your computer from illegal entry.

Not that Macs in general aren’t secure computers. Overall, and much more than a Windows Box, a Mac is quite secure because of its software architecture and the fact that Mac OS X sits on top of a secure Unix shell.

Linux and Unix systems have always had built-in security measures. Though, like any secure computer system, it can still be vulnerable, you can feel pretty safe with a Mac.

Turning On Your Firewall


Go to System Preferences

You’ll need to go to your System Preferences. Then click on the Security & Privacy Icon.

Mac OS X


Go to Security & Privacy

When you get to the Security & Privacy window, click on the Firewall tab. It is here where you’ll immediately find out if your Firewall is turned on or not. In my case the Firewall was turned “Off. Oh joy!

Mac OS X


Turn on your Firewall

Yes, just click on the “Turn On Firewall” button and you’re good to go! You can also click on the padlock to lock this setting in place. You’ll always need to type in your password to confirm.

Mac OS X

Enjoy a more secure computer when hitting those public wifi networks, like at Starbucks.



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

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