Mac OS X - Using the Built-in Firewall

Mac OS X has a built-in firewall that is not running by default. This will show you how to start or stop the OS X firewall.

Directions for 10.7 and newer:

To open the Firewall control panel:

  • Go to Apple menu, System Preferences
  • Choose Security & Privacy under Personal
  • Choose Firewall

Here you can either Start or Stop the firewall by clicking a button. We recommend you turn your firewall on. After starting the firewall, you will then be able to click the Firewall Options... button for more advanced configuration if you wish.

  • Click Block all incoming connections to enable very strict firewall rules but be aware this will disable any sort of sharing from your computer. If you would like more control over the firewall- please follow the below items...
  • Uncheck Block all incoming connections to enable custom firewall rules. Generally as applications and services try to connect to your computer, you will be given the option to either allow or deny these connections individually. If you choose this option you can also choose to check either of the bottom check boxes regarding Allowing signed applications to connect and Enabling stealth mode.
  • Click the OK button when you are done and then close the System Preferences window.


Directions for 10.5 and 10.6:

To open the Firewall control panel:

  • Go to Apple menu, System Preferences
  • Choose Security under Personal
  • Choose Firewall

Here you can either Start or stop the firewall

  • Click Allow only essential services to enable the firewall. Next click the Advanced button and make sure to check Enable Stealth Mode. Then click the OK button.
  • Click Allow all incoming connections to disable the firewall.
  • You can also enable the firewall and manually configure it for specific services and applications by choosing the 3rd option but this is not recommended unless you know the specific applications/services you are trying to enable.
  • Close the window when you are done.

Directions for 10.4 and older:

To open the Firewall control panel:

  • Go to Apple menu, System Preferences
  • Choose Sharing under Internet & Network
  • Choose Firewall

Here you can either Start or stop the firewall

  • Click Start to enable the firewall
  • Click Stop to disable the firewall
  • Put a check box in any ports you want to allow traffic from
  • Close window when you are done



Keywords:firewall built in OS X macintosh apple built-in   Doc ID:3491
Owner:Jeff W.Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2005-02-20 19:00 CDTUpdated:2015-07-15 16:50 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store
Feedback:  18   5