Firefox 3 is making use of the installed virus scanner on Windows to scan downloads automatically after they have been fully downloaded to the system.
This feature is only available on Windows and if an anti-virus application is installed on the user's system. While this feature may be a good way to avoid downloading malicious files it ,ay on the other hand be the source of complications like delays, freezes or that harmless files (false positives) are blocked by the anti-virus software.
I personally do not think that such a feature is necessary due to the real-time protection that most anti-virus applications provide anyway, as they will scan the file when it is launched on the system.
The Mozilla team created a new preference that gives Windows users the option to disable the automatic virus scanning in Firefox which comes in handy if you have a anti-virus software installed but do not want it to scan the downloads or encounter issues because of this.
Type about:config in the Firefox location bar and filter for the string browser.download.manager.scanWhenDone. The default value of that parameter is true which means that scans will be done whenever a file is downloaded. Setting it to false will disable the automatic virus scanning in Firefox 3.
During research I came upon another error that is connected to the Download Statusbar extension. If you receive the error message Anti-virus Program not found after a download completes in Firefox 3 and have the Download Statusbar extension installed you need to set the path to the anti-virus program manually in the Download Statusbar options.
Please note that the virus scanning works in newer versions of Firefox as it did in Firefox 3. It is enabled by default in Windows, and to disable it, you need to follow the steps outlined above.
The only difference to Firefox 3.6 and earlier is that setting the preference to false will also disable Windows security policy checks.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.