Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from Portable Apps

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 25, 2022
Windows software
|
24

Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from the third-party website Portable Apps currently and returning "dangerous" as the reason for that.

chrome blocks portable apps

Portable Apps is a popular destination for downloading Windows applications that don't need to be installed. The site maintains a large list of programs for Windows that users from all over the world may download; this includes portable versions of programs that don't support one officially.

Google Chrome users who attempted to download applications from Portable Apps in the past couple of days noticed that the integrated Safe Browsing feature of the browser was blocking downloads. Chrome blocked the download and returned "dangerous" as the reason.

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Downloads in other browsers continue to work.  Firefox, which uses a special version of Google's Safe Browsing, downloads files just fine. Brave, which uses Google Safe Browsing, blocks the download just like Chrome. Microsoft Edge warns users that the files are not commonly downloaded, but does not flag the downloads as malicious. Other browsers may display warnings or allow downloads directly.

Chrome displays one main action -- delete -- in the browser's download panel after starting a download from Portable Apps. A click on the tiny arrow on the right of it displays information and an option to keep the download.

chrome warning

The box "I understand this download will harm my computer" needs to be checked before the continue download button becomes active. The frightening message is overshooting it this time, as the downloaded programs test fine on Google's Virustotal service. There may be a small number of false positives, but all major antivirus engines do not detect threats in the downloaded files.

Portable Apps has begun to redirect downloads to SourceForge for the time being to allow Chrome users to download files unhindered.

A post on the official site reveals additional information on the issue. According to the post, Portable Apps noticed the issue on July 23, 2022 for the first time. The operators have requested a review of the issue, but have not heard back yet from Google.

It appears that they have contacted third-party antivirus vendors as well, which flagged files as problematic on VirusTotal.

It is unclear right now why Safe Browsing is flagging the files, but they don't appear to be malicious. The issue is likely going to be sorted out in the near future.

Now You: do you use Portable Apps (via Born)

Summary
Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from Portable Apps
Article Name
Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from Portable Apps
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Google Chrome is blocking all downloads from the third-party website Portable Apps currently and returning the "dangerous" reason for that. 
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Yash said on July 25, 2022 at 7:13 pm
    Reply

    ‘Downloads in other browsers continue to work. Firefox, which uses a special version of Google’s Safe Browsing, downloads files just fine. Brave, which uses Google Safe Browsing, blocks the download just like Chrome. Microsoft Edge warns users that the files are not commonly downloaded, but does not flag the downloads as malicious.’
    Interesting.

    Another Google Chrome nonsense. Stating download as will harm your device is bonkers.

    1. Aluminum said on July 26, 2022 at 4:17 pm
      Reply

      Not true. Only the deplaformingfox blocks websites. Not Google Chrome or any other Chromium browser, something something, conspiracy theory, and insert discredited mandalorian link

  2. Herman Cost said on July 25, 2022 at 8:08 pm
    Reply

    “I understand this download will harm my computer”

    If Google has reasons to be certain that the download is certain to harm your computer, they should make their reasons for stating that very clear. Otherwise, it is hard to understand why Google thinks lying to its customers is to protect (?) them is good business. I guess the children over there handling this are not old enough to have been exposed to the old boy who cried wolf tale. But is there not anyone there who at least has the good sense to change ‘will’ to ‘may’?

  3. Shadowed said on July 25, 2022 at 8:37 pm
    Reply

    I hope they sue them and get hefty compensation for this.

  4. Portaloo said on July 25, 2022 at 8:55 pm
    Reply

    I used to make portable apps ages ago, and used a compressor to shrink the size of the apps. That resulted in every damn AV flagging every compressed app as a supervirus. Probably something like that going on here too.

  5. allen said on July 25, 2022 at 11:08 pm
    Reply

    Back when I used Windows (way back), almost all of what I used program-wise was from Portable Apps. False positives were not uncommon, but were never an actual problem when downloading. I’d say Google’s auto-pilot system has gotten itself borked again.

  6. Paul(us) said on July 25, 2022 at 11:15 pm
    Reply

    Google has been displaying more than reprehensible behaviour for more than a decade.
    I call on the European union to ban Google for the next ten years.
    If Google were to go wrong again after this, I think it would be wise to ban Google for life from the member states of the European Union.

  7. Anonymous said on July 25, 2022 at 11:48 pm
    Reply

    Something needs to be done. These big tech companies are out of control.

  8. VioletMoon said on July 26, 2022 at 12:51 am
    Reply

    Maybe it should be that way: Portable Apps and John Haller were eliciting donations to support the Ukrainian War Effort. Whatever the intention and wherever the donations were diverted, no one really knows. I do know that my account was suspended when I made a comment that portable app developers should stay out of International Affairs and maintain a clean site without “dangerous apps.”

    Super disappointed that Haller was taking sides in a conflict that has such deep historical roots that few people, if any, understand why, again, Russia decides to make another attempt to incorporate the land mass back into Mother Russia.

    Yep, lots of needless casualties, civilian and otherwise, but for Portable Apps to claim some superior understanding of a dire situation and ask for donations to support arming the Ukraine? Something wrong there.

    Yes, I love PortableApps. Use them all the time on a USB for privacy, etc.

    1. John T. Haller said on July 26, 2022 at 5:39 am
      Reply

      PortableApps.com did no such thing. What I did was release a software suite to allow the 9+ million refugees of the war in Ukraine and their host families easily make native language computing on the host families’ PCs easier by having a standard set of apps available in both Ukrainian and Russian with an installer that can be run in any of 80 languages. That way non-native Ukrainian/Russian speakers can help out their guests easily. I came up with the idea after connecting with some hosts who were looking for donations of clothing and bedding and reading about refugees being unable to bring their technology with them.

      The suite is free, open source, 100% clean, and available for download on GitHub. No donations were ever sought or accepted for Ukraine or Ukrainian refugees. No “dangerous apps” were included, nor have they ever been since I started releasing portable software back in 2004.

      Everyone is free to verify my statements with both the announcement: https://portableapps.com/news/2022-04-14–portableapps.com-ukraine-suite-2022.04-released

      And GitHub project: https://github.com/PortableApps/SuiteUkraine

    2. John T. Haller said on July 26, 2022 at 5:48 am
      Reply

      It’s also worth noting that I purposely did not express any opinion on it in the announcement post, on PortableApps.com, in the suite itself, or on GitHub. I wanted to ensure the tools remained available for all who needed them in Ukraine, Russia, and everywhere else. I built a tool to help some folks I thought I might be able to help and made it available.

    3. letshearit said on July 26, 2022 at 7:00 am
      Reply

      @VioletMoon
      can you substantiate any of your accusations concerning Portable Apps “ask[ing] for donations to support arming the Ukraine” or otherwise not “maintain[ing] a clean site without ‘dangerous apps.’”?

  9. Simon said on July 26, 2022 at 2:03 am
    Reply

    Do some people still install apps in 2022? Except for DeepFreeze, _all_ the apps I use and develop are portable.

  10. NeonRobot said on July 26, 2022 at 7:08 am
    Reply

    Browser for housewifes.
    No less, no more.

  11. Give 'Em Hell, John T. ! said on July 26, 2022 at 10:51 am
    Reply

    John T. Haller’s portable apps have done more good for computers and computing than Google ever will. It’s a shame more people don’t know about portable apps, or realize that “portable” doesn’t mean they have to be run from usb sticks.

    1. pHROZEN gHOST said on July 26, 2022 at 3:08 pm
      Reply

      It’s a shame that someone would try to slander someone who has done so much for others for so many years.

      Who is this VioletMoon anyway? What are their real motives?

      1. foolishgrunt said on July 26, 2022 at 5:27 pm
        Reply

        I would think it’s obvious – (s)he’s a Troll from Olgino.

  12. Solomon said on July 26, 2022 at 11:47 am
    Reply

    PA should integrate winget so its launcher at least can be obtained by completely bypassing browsers.

    While at it, their software release model ought to adapt to modern paradigms like crossplatform lightweight containerization. Would probably help portability by enabling vanilla software installers to be usable in a portable context without access to their source code or need to compile and host PA-specific builds at their own expense. Worth doing at least experimentally imo

  13. The Fedz said on July 26, 2022 at 5:09 pm
    Reply

    Anyone tested if Chrome also blocks portableappz, a well known source of CRACKED apps, including keygens etc etc..? Yeah Bernat, I’m looking at you.

  14. Peter Louwen said on July 27, 2022 at 4:25 pm
    Reply

    “Brave, which uses Google Safe Browsing, blocks the download just like Chrome.”
    If only. It just blocks it, with no override option.

    Results for other browsers:
    GreenBrowser : no problem. [1]
    Internet Explorer: nags *after* downloading (the nag dialog can be closed without adverse effects).
    QtWeb : no problem. [1]

    [1] I know, they’re old and no longer developed, but they come in quite handy sometimes (like now).

    1. Aluminum said on July 31, 2022 at 5:11 am
      Reply

      Brave does NOT block anything. It’s Google doing the blocking and Brave has nothing to do with Google, so it can’t be Brave. Firefox is owned by Google, not Brave so it’s really Firefox blocking the download because it only has 3% market share.

  15. A Concerned User said on July 28, 2022 at 5:02 am
    Reply

    I love how the immediate reaction is “evil Google evil” it’s most likely a false positive and nothing more. These systems are completely automated it’s not like the CEO of Google went “y’know what, screw PortableApps let’s block their downloads but not their site”

  16. AAA said on July 28, 2022 at 8:36 am
    Reply

    This gives us an idea why they are fighting to be the number one browser; cuz then, you can control the webs and pretty much any communication flow.

  17. John T. Haller said on July 28, 2022 at 4:51 pm
    Reply

    We have implemented a change that appears to be allowing downloads via Google Chrome despite the false positive in Google Safe Browsing. Apologies for the inconvenience. And please let us know in the thread if you notice any ongoing issues.
    https://portableapps.com/news/2022-07-28–downloads-from-portableapps.com-working-again

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