I was under the impression that turning off file sharing "makes it more secure". Especially when I like to have my firewall switched off, turning off file sharing becomes more important to me.

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But I couldn't find a way to turn off fire sharing without having the firewall automatically turned on. Does anyone know why do we have to enable firewall if file sharing is turned off?

More importantly, how do I keep both features switched off?

  • Since file sharing is explicit, if you share no files, it is off for all practical purposes. – surfasb Oct 17 '11 at 21:22
  • Your earlier question superuser.com/questions/346472/… contains the answer to this one - use the Local Area Connection Properties dialog to disable or uninstall the file sharing component without using the firewall. – Harry Johnston Oct 18 '11 at 1:58
  • Oh, and for the record - if you're determined to run without a firewall, then disabling the file and printer sharing component would definitely be a sensible precaution. – Harry Johnston Oct 18 '11 at 2:05
  • You should also check for any other components that might be listening on the network. Use netstat -a and look for ports in the "LISTENING" state. – Harry Johnston Oct 18 '11 at 2:06
  • @HarryJohnston ic, just to confirm, so if my firewall is turned off, and I have disabled "file and printer sharing for microsoft networks", even if I do have this "file sharing" turned on (as in the picture above), it is basically misleading because "file sharing" is not turned on. right? – Pacerier Oct 18 '11 at 2:56
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I'm not 100% sure, but AFAIK turning off file sharing just configures the firewall to block the applicable ports, which it can't do of course if the firewall isn't running.

The real question should be, why are you trying to 'make your machine more secure', but at the same time disabling the firewall it comes with?

  • If you're running in a trusted LAN (e.g. a home network), you're probably ok
  • If you're using another firewall product, you have to configure that separately to block file sharing

Otherwise, I would say you're better off learning how to configure the firewall to do what you want. Most of this can be done simply by making sure the profile is set correctly.

  • To put it another way: it's not that you're turning off a filesharing service. It's that you're using the firewall service to block remote access to essential part of windows. – Joel Coehoorn Oct 17 '11 at 19:13
  • I'm trying to make the computer as secure as possible without having to run programs like live anti-virus and firewall – Pacerier Oct 18 '11 at 1:17
  • @JoelCoehoorn are you saying that even if "filesharing" is turned off, files can still be shared? – Pacerier Oct 18 '11 at 1:18
  • AFAIK, Windows exposes filesharing as part of the Workstation service, which performs other networking-related services as part of its job. The firewall can be configured to block connections to that service from your local network (aka 'turning off file sharing;). You could stop that service, but you'd lose other functionality; a firewall really is the better way to fix this. For more info on the default shares created by Windows, see this article – Geoff Oct 18 '11 at 12:52

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