Some Google Chrome users are experiencing the ‘File is not commonly downloaded and might be dangerous. Make sure you trust the file before you open it‘ error every time they attempt to download certain files. This article is meant to show you why this occurs and what you can do to bypass the error.
This type of issue is most commonly encountered when users attempt to download executable zipped files and BAT scripts.
Why is the File is not commonly downloaded’ error occurring?
Keep in mind that Chrome has a built-in antivirus scan that is programmed to analyze every file before the download is initiated through the Chrome Browser.
You can expect to face this issue if you try to download files that Google deems unsafe or potentially dangerous.
Note: Google maintains a database of files that are associated with malware and adware. If the file you are trying to download is featured on this list, you will get this error message when you try to download the suspicious file.
What to do with this error as a user?
If you get this error as a simple user attempting to download a file, keep in mind that you have two options:
- You can click on Discard to prevent the download from starting.
- You can click on the arrow icon and then click on Keep to start the download despite the warning that you just received.
Before you decide to ‘keep’ the file and initiate the download, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you trust the website that you’re downloading from?
- Do you have an antivirus active in case the file you are downloading turns out to be malware or adware?
If the answer to any of the questions is No, don’t initiate the download before you make sure that a security option is in place.
In case you’re using Windows Defender, make sure you have the latest available virus signatures installed before choosing to download the file showing the ‘File is not commonly downloaded. Make sure you trust the file before you open it‘ error.
On the other hand, if you don’t trust your PC security in the hands of Microsoft, you can pick a suitable 3rd party antivirus suite from our updated list.
As an extra precautionary measure, you can also upload the file you’ve just downloaded on VirusTotal before opening it on your PC.
Dealing with False-Positives
If you scanned the file that is triggering the ‘File is not commonly downloaded. Make sure you trust the file before you open it‘ error and you confirmed that it does not contain malicious code, you should treat is as a false positive.
In this case, the first thing you should do is that you’re trying to download the file from the correct directory.
For example, if you’re trying to download a tool, make sure you initiate the download from the official website and not from an online repository.
Note: Online repositories are known to contain legitimate programs that are often bundled with adware or even malware. Stay away from them if you can.
If you encounter the ‘File is not commonly downloaded. Make sure you trust the file before you open it‘ error while you attempt to download a file from a legitimate vendor, try getting in touch with the developer and letting them know that the app is flagged.
Note: Most likely, their website is either hacked, or the file they’re offering for download is not signed with a valid certificate.
What to do with this error as a webmaster?
If you are a webmaster and you just found out that users attempting to download files from your website are getting the ‘File is not commonly downloaded. Make sure you trust the file before you open it‘ error, you will need to whitelist your company domain on Google and make sure that you meet a series of requirements.
Here’s what you need to do (as a webmaster) to ensure that your website visitors don’t end up getting the ‘File is not commonly downloaded. Make sure you trust the file before you open it‘ error when attempting to download files from your website:
- Make sure all the programs (executables) that you are offering for download are digitally signed.
- If your website contains .msi files, ensure that all of them contain a secure stamp from GlobalSign.
- In case this problem is exclusive to Chrome, make sure your company, organization, or website has its domain listed on Google. Use this official Google guideline as a reference.
Another thing that you can do as a webmaster is to check all the files that you currently have for download on your website on VirusTotal. Make sure that all of them are clean.
Note: If you already did all of the above, wait for 48 hours before taking further action. Google’s maintained database is typically updated every 2 days.