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Chrome: This File Can’t Be Downloaded Securely – Technipages

The following alert may pop up when you’re trying to downloading a file or program using Chrome: ‘This File Can’t be Downloaded Securely’.

This error indicates Chrome detected that file may carry malware. Or the website you’re trying to download the file from did not pass the security certificate tests.

If that download might leak your private data or add unwanted toolbars, Chrome will block it.

Chrome Says The File Can’t Be Downloaded Securely

Check if There’s Any HTTPS Issue

Chrome is very picky when it comes to HTTPS. If the page you’re trying to download the file from is not running the HTTPS protocol, Chrome will block the download.

Use the HTTPS version of that website if there is one. Or abandon the download if you don’t want to risk getting your computer infected with malware.

Hitting the Keep button won’t do anything. Chrome restricts downloads only to webpages they have valid certificates from.

Disable Unsafe Downloads in Chrome

Launch Chrome, open a new tab and go to chrome://flags/#treat-unsafe-downloads-as-active-content.

disable treat unsafe downloads as active content

Use the drop-down menu to disable the feature. However, keep in mind this is a security feature meant to block downloads of unsafe files.

If you choose to disable this feature, take your time and think twice before downloading anything. Or at least, make sure your antivirus is running.

Install a VPN Chrome Extension

Some users suggested that installing a VPN extension on your browser may remove the alert.

This workaround may not work for all users. Keep in mind that starting with Chrome 88, Google will automatically block all the files that may pose a threat to users’ data security and privacy. This includes executable files, images, videos, archives, and any type of documents.

Disable Safe Browsing

Other users confirmed they managed to bypass the alert by turning off Safe Browsing.

If you want to use the same method:

  1. Click on Chrome’s menu and go to Settings.
  2. Then click on Privacy and Security (left pane).
  3. Scroll down to Security.privacy and security chrome
  4. Set Safe Browsing to No Protection (not recommended).chrome turn off safe browsing
  5. Reload Chrome and check if the security alert is gone now.

Use a Different Browser

Of course, there is always the option to force the download using a different browser. Proceed at your own risk.


Starting with Chrome version 88, Google will automatically block all unsafe downloads. This means the frequency of this security alert will only increase.

As always, prevention is better than cure. If Chrome says there’s something wrong with that download security-wise, play it safe. Take that warning seriously. Don’t risk getting your computer infected with adware, or malware.

This post was written by Madalina Dinita and was first posted to Technipages

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