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How To Turn off ZoneAlarm

How To Turn off ZoneAlarm

ZoneAlarm is a formidable personal firewall solution which was originally released for Windows ten years ago, and remains popular today. The current version is ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010, which is available in both compact freeware and heavier licensed flavours.

As with many firewalls, which are tasked with monitoring inbound and outbound communications between your computer and the internet, conflicts can occur when running certain other software, which the often-overzealous ZoneAlarm mistakenly identifies as potentially dangerous traffic. This can result in drastically reduced performance, which might be undesirable if you are in the middle of a heavy P2P download or extended online gaming session.

For this reason, sometimes it is simply easier to temporarily disable ZoneAlarm until you are finished. For the quickest method, follow the steps below in our easy-to-follow guide (just remember to re-enable ZoneAlarm afterward, or your system may be vulnerable to attack).


The following process differs slightly in each version of ZoneAlarm.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • 1

    Right-click the ZoneAlarm tray icon on the right-hand side of the taskbar. A list of options is displayed.

  • 2

    Select Shutdown ZoneAlarm (or similar, depending on the version).

  • 3

    The ZoneAlarm firewall is temporarily disabled. To reactivate it, you must locate the ZoneAlarm shortcut in your Start menu or on the desktop, and launch it. The firewall will automatically re-initialise.

Tips & Advice

  • It is possible to disable ZoneAlarm from automatically launching when Windows first starts (although if you are considering this perhaps uninstalling ZoneAlarm and relying on the perfectly adequate Windows firewall is a worthwhile option, as it is lighter on system resources). Simply edit the msconfig start-up list by following these steps:

    - From the Start menu, type msconfig and hit Enter to open the System Configuration screen.

    - Select the Start-up tab. A list of programs that automatically begin running when Windows first starts is displayed. In the Startup Item tab, search for ZoneAlarm.

    - Once located, uncheck the box beside it to disable it from Start-up.

    - ZoneAlarm will no longer launch automatically when you switch your computer on. This is useful if you usually perform a task that conflicts with the firewall when you first start Windows (such as downloading using P2P networks, or online gaming).
  • The right-click tray icon menu within ZoneAlarm also contains some other handy quick links. One of these is Stop all Internet Activity which will immediately block any inbound or outbound communications to and from the internet (the same as switching off your modem or router, but much easier and faster to access) – invaluable if you suspect a malicious attack is currently taking place.

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