Download Failed Blocked on Chrome, Firefox, Edge or Internet Explorer (Fix)

Published by Alvin Nyau - Updated on

Whenever you download a file, especially files with exe file extension, you get the Download Failed Blocked message in the download window on Google Chrome. This can also happen on other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer, but with a different error message.

The error is caused by the settings that blocks the download for security purpose. Here’s how to get around the error to be able to download the file again.

Download Failed Blocked on Chrome

Download Failed Blocked on Chrome

You may have elevated the security setting for your browsing in Windows 10 or older version of Windows through Internet Explorer. The fix is to reduce the security level again. Though the setting is in Internet Explorer, it would also affect browsing in other browsers. So, here’s what we are going to do.

  1. Go to start menu or Cortana.
  2. Search for Internet Explorer and open it.
  3. In Internet Explorer, click on the setting icon, then select Internet Options.Internet Explorer Internet Options Download Failed Blocked
  4. Select the Internet zone.
  5. If the security for this zone is on High, we recommend to reduce it to Medium-High.Internet Explorer Download Failed Blocked Security level zone
  6. Click Apply and close all your browsers. Restart your computer and retry the download again.
  7. If it doesn’t work, repeat step 1 to 4 til you get to the Security level setting again.
  8. Click on the Custom level button.
  9. Scroll down until you see Downloads, then click on Enabled for File download.Download Failed Blocked Chrome
  10. Scroll down further, under Miscellaneous, look for Launching applications and unsafe files.
  11. Select Prompt for the setting.Download Failed Blocked Chrome Firefox Edge IE
  12. Reboot your computer and retry any exe download again. It should work now.

Please be warned setting the security zone for Internet to Medium-High in the setting mentioned above is just a recommendation from us as it’s the most widely used security level for most Windows users. Please choose your desired security level or reduce it at your own risk.

You can, however, remain the security level at High if you prefer it that way, and then set the Downloads and Launching applications and unsafe files option to enabled and prompt respectively. It should do the job just fine.

In most cases, this solution should fix the issue of download failed blocked on Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. If it doesn’t work, check your firewall or antivirus program to see if they are blocking the your downloads of exe file type or any other file type.

If the error reads as exe is malicious and Chrome has blocked it, you can click on it to select download anyway. Even so, we wouldn’t recommend doing so as this error message can be true and the download can be dangerous for real.

Download Failed Blocked: May contain a virus or spyware Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox, the error may look different when your download is blocked. It may read as Download Blocked May contain a virus or spyware in Firefox. You can try the solution above to fix the issue. However, that’s not always the case for this error in Firefox.

Download Failed Blocked May contain a virus or spyware Firefox

The error can also mean that the website or the download is dangerous, thus Firefox itself is trying to block the download for you. Firefox has its own security settings and you can turn this option off if you trust the download. However, it’s not recommended to turn it off as it may endanger your PC if the download is in fact a virus or a malware. Do this at your own risk.

Update: To unblock only one single download, you can right-click the download and select Unblock to allow the download to run.

In Firefox, click on the triple bar setting icon, then select Options. From the left pane, select Privacy & Security. Scroll down until you see the Security heading. Uncheck to disable the option for Block dangerous downloads. Restart Firefox and retry the download again.

Mozilla Firefox block dangerous downloads

We highly recommend to turn the security option back on as soon as you’ve finished your download.

Download Failed Blocked: This unsafe download was blocked by Smartscreen Filter Edge or IE

When you see Download failed blocked: This unsafe download was blocked by Smartscreen filter error in Microsoft Edge, it implies that a filter called Smartscreen filter by Windows Defender has blocked your download due to possible malware in the download.

If you trust the download, and again this is usually not recommended, you can right-click the download and then select Download unsafe file to ignore the warning and proceed downloading the file.

This unsafe download was blocked by Smartscreen Filter Edge IE

If you see Your current security settings do not allow this file to be downloaded warning message in Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, use the first method above to fix the issue.

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