How To Stop Chrome From Blocking Downloads

Velina Nenova
Velina Nenova

Updated · Oct 16, 2022

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The internet can be a dangerous place. You never know who might be targeting your device and what type of malware awaits you. But if you’re a Chrome user, you’re in safe hands. This browser provides layers of protection. Still, some of its features may block your downloads, even when you know the file is legit. Our guide addresses why this happens and how to stop Chrome from blocking downloads.

Why Google Chrome Blocks Downloads

Chrome typically blocks suspicious files that may cause problems with your device. For example, it can prevent you from downloading anything that might:

  • give you a virus.
  • leak your private data.
  • change browser settings.
  • alternate the settings on your devices.
  • add unwanted extensions or toolbar to the browser.
  • perform unapproved actions in your Google account.

Additionally, your download can be blocked if Google Chrome identifies it as malicious, unwanted, uncommon, or insecure. But it may sometimes stop you from downloading a valid file.

How to Stop Chrome from Blocking Downloads

If Google blocks a download, and you think it’s a mistake, take the following steps to correct this. 

  1. Check your browser settings to see what type of protection it has;
  2. Open Chrome and click on the three-dot menu at the top-right of the window
  3. Go to Settings;

Settings menu open

4. Click the Privacy and Security tab to see the current Chrome security settings.

privacy and security option open

If you have ‘Enhanced protection’ or ‘Standard protection’ set to On, chances are your download could’ve been marked as dangerous—the reasons Google Chrome won't download your files;

5. Set up your browser to No Protection (not recommended) to get the file you need;

6. Restore the previous settings to keep Chrome secure while browsing the web.

Unblock Automatic Downloads

The Automatic Downloads feature in Chrome is helpful if you often download files from one specific website. This option saves you time and provides your downloads immediately. But if Chrome is not downloading files automatically, it could be because of your settings.

Additionally, if Google sees that the websites you use are infected with malware, it will block automatic downloads to keep you safe. Moreover, you may face content-building restrictions to stop the pages from automatically downloading a virus with other files.

If you’re continuously experiencing issues downloading from a specific page and can't download anything via Chrome, check your Automatic Downloads settings by following these steps. 

1. Go to Settings, then Privacy and Security;

2. Go to Site Settings;

Site Settings look

3. Look for ‘Additional permissions’;

Additional Permissions Open

4. Click ‘Automatic downloadsunder ‘Additional permissions’;

Looking for ‘Additional permissions’ setting

5. You’ll then see your current settings;

seeing your current settings menu

6. Ask sites to ‘automatically download multiple files’ (or downloads) or set up ‘Customized behaviors’, allowing you to whitelist or forbid sites to download various files automatically.

You can also see if Chrome blocked a download from a specific site so that you can remove it from the list of blocked websites.

Other Alternative Methods

If you tried the above measures and Chrome is still not downloading the files you need, you could try disabling your firewall, clearing the cache, or reinstalling Chrome.

Disable Firewall/Antivirus

Installing a third-party firewall or an antivirus program enhances the safety of your devices. But these may often interfere with the downloading process. Antivirus programs may flag specific files as malicious and block them—as with any Google antivirus extension. If you’re having trouble with a Chrome extension, you can remove it while downloading a file and reinstall it once you’re finished.

If Chrome blocked your download because of a firewall, you’d need to turn it off. But keep in mind that this will expose you to various threats. So you should turn it back on immediately after you download your file.

Turning off your antivirus is typically straightforward since most software interfaces are easy to manage.

Clear Cache

When you visit a website, your browser saves cache files and cookies. But unfortunately, these could get saved incorrectly. There could also be so many of them that they crash the browser and stop the downloading process, resulting in Chrome blocking your downloads.

Fortunately, you can clear the cache on Chrome by following these steps:

  1. Go to the three-dot menu in the upper-right part of your screen and choose Settings;
  2. Click ‘Privacy and security’ on the left-hand side;
  3. Select Clear Browsing Data;
  4. Choose ‘Time range’ and type of files to clear; 
  5. Click ‘Clear data’.

You must sign in to your account once you remove the cookies and cache.

Update/Reinstall Chrome

Outdated browsers may also cause interruptions in the downloading process. If you’ve tried other methods and Chrome is still not allowing downloads, check if it needs an update. Updating Chrome should be straightforward and quick. 

Ensure that you have the latest Chrome setup file. If not, you’ll need to use another browser to acquire it. And if it lags, you might need to remove and reinstall it completely.

Once you remove Chrome from your system, you can use another browser—such as Mozilla or Opera—to get the latest version of Chrome. Run the Chrome installation process as usual, and you should be able to download files again.

Unblocking Downloads in Chrome on Mobile Devices

If Chrome won't download files on your mobile device, you can take steps to resolve the issue via Android or iOS devices. The only difference between the two could be the location of the buttons you should click.

Android Devices

Google most likely looks the same on your computer and Android, so the following steps would also be similar. 

  1. Click on the three-dot menu at the upper-right part of your screen and go to Settings;

going to Settings option 

2. Scroll down to find ‘Privacy and security’; 

Privacy and security setting open

3. Click Safe Browsing;

Clicking on Safe Browsing setting

4. Select ‘No protection’ (not recommended), then click ‘Turn off’. 

Selecting ‘No protection’ option

This will allow you to get your files if your Android cancels downloads. Remember to restore the settings once you’ve acquired your files, securing your browsing.

iOS Devices

If you’re struggling with unblocking downloads from your iOS device, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Chrome on your iPhone or iPad;
  2. Tap the three-dot menu;
  3. Click Settings, then Google Services;
  4. Turn off the Safe Browsing option, and click Done.

Wrap Up

Google Chrome is a powerful browser with enough safety features to keep you and your devices protected. It typically blocks all potential viruses and websites that can change your data. But some of its protective layers may have imperfections that lead to a blocked download that is entirely safe. Fortunately, you can know how to stop Chrome from blocking downloads and circumvent its settings and restrictions on your computer and other devices.

Additionally, you must be sure that your browser is updated. If you still have issues, you can try (temporarily) clearing your cookies and cache or disabling your antivirus. But restore the safety settings once you acquire your files.

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Velina Nenova

Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.

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