How to Fix ‘Failed – Network Error’ When Downloading on Google Chrome

The “Download Failed: Network Error” appears when users are trying to download something using the Google Chrome browser. The error often appears when trying to download larger files but that is not the general rule. The error has been around for a while and it has annoyed users who want to use their browser normally.

Download Failed: Network Error
Download Failed: Network Error

Google Chrome is usually not the one to blame in these scenarios but cases are often then the same file can be downloaded from the same site using a different web browser. Still, we have prepared several working methods which should help you solve the problem.

What Causes the “Download Failed: Network Error”?

The thing which causes almost all Chrome downloads to fail is usually your antivirus which should either be replaced, especially if you are using a free version. The alternative is to disable HTTP or Port checking on the antivirus to allow downloads to go through.

Sometimes there is another program or service blocking access to the default Downloads folder and you should change it to something else. Also, old networking drivers can always cause the problem.

Solution 1: Disable HTTP/Port Checking on Your Antivirus

The usual cause for the problem is your antivirus unnecessarily scanning the sites’ certificated which slows down the process of requesting files from the servers which, in effect, can cause the Download Failed: Network Error to appear on Google Chrome.

Since the error appears to users using different antivirus tools, here is how to locate the HTTP or Port scanning options on some of the most popular third-party AV tools.

  1. Open the antivirus user interface by double-clicking on its icon at the system tray (right part of the taskbar at the bottom of the window) or by searching for it in the Start menu.
  2. The HTTPS scanning setting is located in different spots with respect to different antivirus tools. It can often be found simply without much hassle but here are some quick guides on how to find it in the most popular antivirus tools:

Kaspersky Internet Security: Home >> Settings >> Additional >> Network >> Encrypted connections scanning >> Do not scan encrypted connections

AVG: Home >> Settings >> Components >> Online Shield >> Enable HTTPS Scanning (uncheck it)

Avast: Home >> Settings >> Components >> Web Shield >> Enable HTTPS Scanning (uncheck it)

ESET: Home >> Tools >> Advanced Setup >> Web and Email >> Enable SSL/TLS protocol filtering (turn it off)

  1. Check to see if you are now able download the file without receiving the Download failed: Network error! If the error still appears, you might consider using a different antivirus or firewall tool, especially if the one giving you the problems is free!

Solution 2: Change Your Default Downloads Location

The problem is sometimes not at all Chrome’s fault. If the error at hand appears when the file has almost finished downloading, it may be a different scenario.

When a file is downloaded via the Chrome browser, it’s kept in buffer memory and copied in the default Downloads folder afterwards. However, something might be blocking the Downloads folder and you may need to change the default download location.

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser and click on the three horizontal dots at the top right part of the browser. It says “Customize and control Google Chrome” when you hover above it. This will open the dropdown menu.
  2. Click on the Settings option near the bottom of the dropdown menu.
Google Chrome Settings
Google Chrome Settings
  1. Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the Advanced button. Scroll down until you see the Downloads section. Click the Change button under the Location option and choose a different folder for Chrome downloads. Confirm the changes, restart your browser, and check to see if the error still appears.

Solution 3: Install the Latest Network Drivers

If you notice a general decrease in overall network speed of your computer, there might be one hidden culprit to blame for the Download Failed: Network Error problem. It’s your networking drivers which might appear quite problematic. You should always try to have the latest version of networking drivers on your computer.

  1. First of all, you will need to uninstall the network driver you currently have installed on your PC.
  2. Type “Device Manager” into the search field next to the Start menu button to open the Device Manager utility. You can also use the Windows Key + R key combination in order to start the Run dialog box. Type “devmgmt.msc” in the box and click OK or Enter key.
Running Device Manager
Running Device Manager
  1. Expand the “Network Adapters” section. This will display all network adapters that the PC has running at the moment.
  2. Right click on the network adapter you want to uninstall and select “Uninstall device”. This will remove it from the list and uninstall the device. Click “OK” when prompted to uninstall the driver completely.
Uninstalling the network adapter
Uninstalling the network adapter
  1. Remove the adapter you are using from your computer and navigate to your manufacturer’s page in order to see the list of available drivers for your operating system. Choose the latest one, save it, and run it from the Downloads folder.
  2. Follow the instructions on-screen in order to install the driver. If the adapter is external such as a Wi-Fi dongle for desktop PCs, make sure it stays disconnected until the wizard prompts you to connect it to your computer. Restart the computer and check to see if the Download Failed: Network Error problem appears after trying to download a file!.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix ‘Failed – Network Error’ When Downloading on Google Chrome

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