When Google Chrome debuted more than a decade ago, it wasn’t considered too good in terms of security. You will never know when extensions will be naughty and hijack your homepage. But that has now changed. Various protective measures such as malicious scanning software and isolated site processes mean that it is quite possibly one of the safest browsers around.
Chrome also plays an active role in protecting your system from malware. By default, this blocks files that are considered unsafe to download to your computer. Unfortunately, that also means that you won’t be able to download files from certain sites that you know are trustworthy but Chrome thinks otherwise.
And then there’s also the whole deal with Chrome that blocks automatic downloads from the same source. Sometimes it is very annoying. While it is not a good idea to disable this security feature, let’s be careful of the wind and see how you can do that.
Unblock Downloads That May Be Unsafe
Chrome protects you from known phishing sites and dangerous downloads using an integrated feature called Safe Browsing. Disabling this feature will stop the browser from blocking downloads which would otherwise be unsafe.
Because you are vulnerable to online threats without Safe Browsing, consider turning off this feature when unblocking restricted downloads.
Step 1: Open the Chrome menu (click the three dot icon in the upper right corner), then click Settings.
Step 2: Scroll down on the Settings page, then click Advanced.
Step 3: Under the Privacy & Security section, turn off the switch next to Safe Browsing. And you are good to go.
Chrome will not block any downloads after you make changes. Additionally, it will not color you from potentially compromised or dangerous sites that might try to find personal information or infect browsers in other ways.
To block unsafe downloads later, return to the Chrome Settings panel and turn on the switch next to Safe Browsing.
Unblock Automatic Downloads
On sites that have several downloads in succession (such as on a file conversion site), you may experience problems because of default content restrictions. That was done to prevent websites from downloading malware automatically with other files.
While it is possible to remove this limitation, Chrome will still ask you for your permission when starting a download unless you choose to actively whitelist sites.
Step 1: In the Chrome Settings panel, click Advanced, then click the Content Settings option under Privacy and Security.
Step 2: Scroll down on the Content Settings screen, then click Automatic Downloads.
Step 3: Turn on the switch next to “Do not allow any site to download multiple files automatically.”
Then it should read as ‘Ask when a site tries to download files automatically after the first file (recommended). ‘
Step 4: Chrome should now let the site do an automatic download. However, you will still be asked for permission whenever a site starts downloading.
If that’s a problem, click the Add button next to Allow, then add the URL of the site you want to whitelist.
Just as Safe Browsing is turned off, it only allows automatic downloads on sites that you truly trust.
Removing the restriction on unsafe downloads isn’t the smartest of choices considering the amount of daily going rampant malware. If you still want to stay secure with Safe Browsing turned off, and automatic downloads enabled indefinitely, consider using a security extension or a malware removal utility. Let’s look at a few.
Avast Online Security
With over 10 million users and a 4.4-star rating on the Chrome Web Store, you can’t go wrong with Avast Online Security. After adding the extension to Chrome, you can easily check whether a site is compromised or not with a click to the Avast icon next to the URL bar. And you can also contribute to the Avast community with your feedback on what you think about a particular site.
This extension also monitors search engine results, and you can immediately find bats if certain sites have malicious intent. You will see a green checkmark on a site that is safe to visit.
Avast Online Security also gives you access to additional options such as the ability to block advertisements, trackers, and phishing attempts.
McAfee SECURE Safe Browsing
McAfee SECURE Safe Browsing is a fantastic extension to determine whether a site is safe or not. One click on the McAfee SECURE Safe Browsing icon provides a number of security metrics about malware, the purpose of phishing, encryption, and popularity. And of course, large green banners to indicate if a site is safe.
If you don’t want all the additional frills associated with Avast Online Security, then McAfee SECURE Safe Browsing is the perfect alternative.
After downloading a file, it’s important that you check for malware before opening it. Yes, you have Windows Defender, but if you prefer a dedicated, simple and efficient malware removal tool, install Malwarebytes. It’s free and works amazingly to detect malicious code in downloaded files.
Right-click the file before opening it, then select Scan with Malwarebytes. If everything looks good on the scan, you can proceed and open it normally with confidence. It is very important that you do this with files that should be blocked with the Chrome Safe Browsing feature turned on.
Malwarebytes also offers a free 14-day trial for the Premium version with real-time web protection against malicious sites. But because you just want to stay safe with Chrome Safe Browsing and automatic download restrictions turned off, the free version should be more than enough.
So, that’s how you should avoid Google Chrome’s restrictions on potentially unsafe or automatic downloads. Once again, be careful after you turn off these security measures.
Typically, Windows Defender can stop full-scale malware infections from several innocent, but dangerous, executables that you run immediately after downloading.
Therefore, make sure to use a malware extension or scanner. You will never know for sure whether a site or file is safe otherwise.