Disable This Type Of File Can Harm Your Computer In Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 1, 2010
Updated • Apr 30, 2013
Google Chrome

Whenever you try to download an executable file in Google Chrome you are presented with the following confirmation prompt at the bottom of the browser: "This type of file can harm your computer. Are you sure you want to download..". A save or discard prompt is displayed giving you the option to either save the file to the local hard drive or discard the download. It still means that you need to move the mouse down to the prompt to select an option.

While I could not confirm it I read in user comments that even Linux users get the message.

this type of file can harm your computer

Is there a way to get rid of the message? Yes and no. There is no switch to disable the confirmation prompt completely and retain the auto downloading functionality. There is no Chrome option or startup parameter that can be used to disable the This Type Of File Can Harm Your Computer message.

The only option that users have is to enable the option to ask where to save each file before downloading. It is not an ideal solution because it will spawn the download window on every download.

The window offers an advantage to the user. Instead of having to move the mouse to the Save or Discard prompt it is possible to complete the download by pressing enter on the keyboard, providing the right directory is displayed on screen.

There you have it. You either have the option to live with the "harm your computer" message or switch to the ask before download option to replace it with a download window.

I have not tested a third alternative: Download Managers. These programs should theoretically be able to intercept the downloads so that the files are downloaded automatic and without spawning the safety popup.

Update: Google has modified the message and options that users have in recent versions of Chrome. You now see a message like the following instead:

is not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous

It reads: File name is not commonly downloaded and could be dangerous.

Only the discard button is displayed, and when you click on that, you remove the downloaded file from your computer so that it is no longer available. Since you wanted to download the file in first place, you are probably more interested in keeping the download. For that, you need to click on the small arrow icon on the right of the discard button to display the Keep option. Select Keep and the download will be saved.

There is however still no option to disable the warning message in the Google Chrome browser.


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  1. ne said on August 13, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    It’s 2021 and this issue – with inability to download – still pops up in Vivaldi. Happy browsing ;)

  2. Frank said on October 24, 2019 at 10:14 pm


    Try CHROMIUM instead of CHROME

  3. human being said on August 7, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    This is NOT security. If someone is stupid enough to download “Virus.exe” they are stupid enough to click “Keep”. If they aren’t stupid but the virus happened to download anyways they will delete it. This message appears even if you aren’t auto OPENING downloaded files. I’m sick of this mentality, that people actually thinks this makes their computer more secure. A perfect example of modern bloatware!

    I have 5 unlocked doors in front of my house. It does NOT stop the thief, he just walks right through all 5.

    1. Don said on August 15, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. This does nothing buy annoy the user. I know what I’m downloading, and even if you don’t know, how are you supposed to make a decision. But Google has gotten way to big and autocratic/doesn’t listen to users, so I guess I’m going to have to switch to Firefox.

  4. anonymous said on November 1, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    just CTRL + J and then recover the file… good luck

  5. Anonymous said on July 30, 2015 at 2:28 am

    No option to disable it? Then fuck chrome! They are are getting to big for their britches! Time to switch to firefox where I can decide what I want the browser on MY machine to do. I do not need chrome to decide!

  6. Anonymous said on July 30, 2015 at 2:25 am

    WHAT THE HELL!!! It’s 2015 and I have been using chrome for years and NEVER NEVER NEVER saw this message and now I am gertting it every time I download something and it pissing the hell out of me!

  7. omar said on October 26, 2014 at 2:48 am

    I found a way to fix that problem. I had recently re-installed windows vista to clean all the virus i had and then i kept getting that same pop up every time i tried to install anything like vlc player, itunes, etc. so i finally installed my malware antivirus software “malwarebytes” and i got rid of that problem

  8. Anne van Rossum said on January 27, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Hi there, for all Linux users, there is a very easy way to get rid of this. Use a script like the one of my github repository: https://github.com/mrquincle/superscripts/blob/master/shell/openpdf.sh

    I removed the code here because the comment section is not very user friendly. It is explained how to put it in your crontab at superuser.com: https://superuser.com/questions/111674/google-chrome-annoying-download-warning/707754#707754

    I hope I help someone with it! I am more productive through it because I happen to open many (in my case pdf) files every day.

  9. BBB said on December 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

    There is one possible sollution and one where Google will listen too if followed enough.
    Use another browser.
    That’s hwhat i’m gooing to do.

  10. Gianni said on October 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

    october 2013… and the problem still there !

  11. amomynous said on August 5, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Well then, what if I accidentally clicked ‘Discard’? I could not find the file anywhere, and the download page said I got to wait 30 minutes to start another download.
    You say: “Only the discard button is displayed, and when you click on that, you remove the downloaded file from your computer so that it is no longer available.”
    Huh? I wait for the download, and then it’s removed? Nice one indeed.

  12. Ryan said on July 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    This is very frustrating. Especially when you are trying to deliver a piece of content that someone has subscribed to receive. As an internet marketer and webmaster this can really be hard to deal with, but there is really no good alternative for those who use Google Chrome so I guess we are just going to have to deal with it for now.

  13. Anonymous said on September 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Google are incredibly frustrating. They stick rubbish like this causing an extra zillion clicks a day and they don’t listen to their users. Get used to it! Android developers have been complaining to Google for years about their crap emulator and Google still won’t fix it. They make Microsoft seem responsive by comparison.

  14. Luke said on July 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    The new UI is awful. First I assumed Discard, was discarding the annoying message, not the file. Keeping the file is now difficult. Also how can a developer be added to the Google list of safe files?

  15. Sharif Olorin said on September 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    If (like me) this annoys you enough to justify building from source, here’s how to disable the warnings:


  16. nima said on December 4, 2010 at 4:25 am

    FWIW there is an issue open on i think chromium.org that i’ve complained to them in. its a security issue and they are looking for ways to improve it but for some reason apparently don’t want to/cannot get rid of it-at least without compromising security. maybe if enough people join in there, they will see this actually bugs people.

    As an aside, i think the file is still downloading while that msg is displayed.

    1. TatoSgr said on December 4, 2010 at 4:32 am

      Actually, the ammount of people doesn’t matter to them D:

      Since the first release of Chrome, there is a issue open completely dedicated to the customization of the download shelf… No one for google ever responded.. Look at it here


      Try to link the other issue to try to put them together or at least linked to each other

  17. mary john said on December 2, 2010 at 8:28 am

    It is interesting post !

  18. TatoSgr said on December 2, 2010 at 4:57 am

    There is no way so far. When you use Download Managers, they will take care of the download. But some downloads won’t be “captured” by the DManager.

    A good thing is that the file is being downloaded while you decided whether to save or discard…

  19. appsbyaaron said on December 1, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    This is the single issue I have with Chrome. I’ve been using Chrome since it’s release and HATE HATE HATE this “feature”. I really wish the devs would assume that I know what I’m doing on the internet and make this an option so I can disable it.

    / end rant.

  20. Anonymous said on December 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    actually better to leave the message.. it helps detecting potential virus, worms, …

    1. GooZ said on October 18, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Maybe for the novice user. I download hundreds of pdfs from trusted academic sites. I don’t need this message every time. Chrome needs to give the advanced users the flexibility to get rid of this.

    2. Anonymous said on December 26, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      For god’s sake. I’m a linux user. NONE of these files are going to harm my computer. It is NOT better to leave this message, SHUT UP. Is there like one guy who goes posting on all of these webpages saying “LEAVE IT ON YOU WILL GET VIRUSES HURRHURR” just to piss me off?

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