When downloading a file on Google Chrome, you may encounter a “Download Failed – Virus Detected” message. This issue occurs when a security programs on your computer flags the downloaded file as unsafe and blocks it from being saved on the system.
If you believe the file is safe and you want to continue the download despite the warning, this guide will help you bypass the error, enabling unblocked file download.
Warning: Please make sure the File is actually safe!
Security programs, preventing the file download, suggest it may contain a virus. However, these programs can sometimes label safe and trusted files as dangerous, leading to them being blocked unnecessarily.
Before you unblock and download the file by following the solutions listed in this guide, it’s crucial for you to first verify whether the file is actually safe.
To confirm the safety of a file, use the website VirusTotal. It uses various virus scanners to thoroughly investigate the file. Simply paste the file link into the URL section to get the analysis results.
If the scanners indicate a file is malicious, avoid downloading it or find a different source of file. But if you truly believe that the file is perfectly safe, follow the solutions listed below to download it.
1. Disable Safe Browsing on Google Chrome (temporarily)
Note: Please re-enable the option once the file is downloaded.
When the Safe Browsing feature is enabled, Chrome checks each file that you download for viruses and prevents you from accessing unsafe websites.
However, this feature often blocks trusted files from being downloaded and can prevent you from visiting safe websites.
To disable Safe Browsing, follow the steps we’ve listed below:
- Open Chrome and press the three dots at the top-right corner.
- Click on Settings.
- Navigate to the Privacy and Security menu.
- Click on Security.
- Select the “No Protection” option.
Now, re-download the file and see whether it gets blocked again. If it still gets blocked, it means that the Safe Browsing feature isn’t the issue. In this case, you should re-enable it and move on to the next solution below.
2. Temporarily Disable Security Programs
If you’re still unable to download the file even after disabling Safe Browsing, it means that the real cause of this issue is one of the security programs on your system. Since there are most likely multiple security programs on your system, you’ll have to temporarily disable them one by one.
2.1 Disable Chrome Extensions
You should first start by disabling any security extensions that you have installed on Chrome. Follow the steps below to do so:
- Click the three dots at the top-right corner of Chrome and select Extensions > Manage Extensions.
- Navigate through your list of extensions and find ones related to Privacy and Security.
- Press the switch on each extension to disable it (if it’s already disabled, the color of the switch will be gray instead of blue).
3.2 Disable Windows Defender and Firewall
After that, you need to disable Windows Defender and Firewall. Follow the steps below to do so:
- Press Windows Key + I at the same time to open Settings.
- Click on Updates and Security.
- Click on Windows Security on the left.
- Select Virus and Threat Protection.
- Under Virus and Threat Protection Settings, click on “Manage Settings.”
- Disable Real-time Protection.
- Return to the Windows Security menu and click on Firewall and Network Protection on the left.
- Click on the network that is active and disable Microsoft Defender Firewall.
3.3 Disable Other Antivirus Programs
Finally, you need to disable any third-party Antivirus programs on your system. To do so, you can simply open the menu of your Antivirus program, navigate to its Settings, and temporarily disable it from there.
If you’re having trouble finding this setting, check out our guide on disabling third-party security programs where we’ve listed down the steps for disabling every major Antivirus program on the market.
3.4 Unblock File
After you’ve disabled all the security programs on your system, there’s one more thing left to do. The file will most likely be quarantined by the Antivirus programs, meaning that you’ll be unable to download it even if these programs are not active on your system.
To get around this, you can simply manually unblock the file by following the steps we’ve written below:
- Open Windows Security and navigate to the Virus and Threat Protection menu.
- Under the Quick Scan button, click on “Protection History.”
- Click on the latest threat that was blocked and read its description to confirm that it’s the same file.
- Click on the Actions button and select “Allow.”
After unblocking the file, open Chrome and try downloading it again. It should now download without any errors. but if it still gets blocked, don’t worry, as we’ve listed more solutions below.
3. Adjust Registry Setting for Less Restrictive File Scanning
If the solutions above didn’t resolve the error, the next solution is to use the Windows Registry Editor to make your Antivirus file scanning less restrictive.
But before you modify the Windows Registry, it’s extremely important that you create a backup of it. So in case you unintentionally change any random key value, the backup will allow you to easily restore it to the way it was before. Follow the steps below to create a backup for your Windows Registry:
- Press the Windows Key to open the Start menu, type Regedit, and select Run as Administrator.
- Click on the “File” option at the top-left and select Export.
- Set the Export range to All.
- Save the file in a location that you’ll remember.
After creating a backup, you need to navigate to this file path in the Registry Editor and edit a key value:
Follow the steps below to do so:
- On the left side, double-click on Computer.
- Double-click on HK_LOCAL_MACHINE.
- Navigate to SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > Current Version > Policies > Attachments.
- On the right side, double-click on ScanWithAntiVirus.
- Set the Value Data to 1.
- Press the OK button.
- Restart your computer.
Changing the value of this Registry Key to 1 will make security restrictions on downloaded files more relaxed, allowing you to bypass the “Virus Detected” error.
Note: After downloading the file, make sure to set the Registry Key back to its original value. If you don’t remember what it was, you can simply import the backup that you created earlier. To do that, click on File > Import and select the backup file.
4. Reset Google Chrome
If you’ve disabled all the security programs on your system but Chrome is still blocking the file from being downloaded, it may indicate an issue with Chrome itself. Something could be corrupted in the browser, such as one or more of the extensions or its cache, and it may be interfering with the download.
Therefore, there’s a high chance this issue can be resolved by simply resetting Chrome to its default settings. But before you do so, you need to keep in mind that everything aside from your bookmarks, history, and saved passwords, will be cleared upon resetting the browser.
This includes your default search engine, cookies and site data, themes and extensions, homepage, new tab page, pinned tab, and content settings.
If you don’t want to lose these settings, you should skip to the next solution in this guide. But if you’re willing to reset your browser, follow the steps written below to do so:
- Click the three dots at the top-right corner of Chrome and select Settings.
- Click on “Reset Settings” on the left.
- Select “Restore settings to their original defaults” and press the Reset Settings button.
5. Use a different source or browser
If you’ve tried all listed solutions but still can’t download the file, you have two options: find a different source or switch browsers
If you discover the same file on a different website, you may be able to download it error-free. Alternatively, using a different browser to download the file could be an easier solution.
If you don’t have another browser installed on your system and are unsure which one you should download, check out our guide where we’ve listed the seven best web browsers on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
This error message means that one or more of the security programs on your system have flagged the file as malicious/dangerous and have prevented it from being downloaded to your system.
As long as you’ve created a backup of the Windows Registry and you know which key to edit, it’s entirely safe to edit the Registry. Even if you accidentally edit the wrong key or input the wrong value, you can always load the backup registry file.
The quickest ways to bypass this error are to disable Safe Browsing in Google Chrome and temporarily disable the Antivirus programs of your system.