Download Failed – Virus detected message on Windows 10

If you have noticed a Download Failed – Virus detected message on Windows 10 when you tried to download a file from the internet using any browser like Chrome, Firefox, etc., then you need to know that it is your Windows Defender antivirus trying to protect your system from a potentially malicious download.

In the duplicitous world of internet, anti-virus software plays a pivotal role in curbing the system from software viruses. While we are recognizant of the potential threats from malicious programs, the anti-virus safeguards your system from security threats. The anti-virus tool impedes the user from downloading the untrusted software. With high rise in cybercrime, It’s always a good practice to have an antivirus software installed and keep it up to date.

While the antivirus program does the tremendous task by alerting you to the malicious file contained in the software you wish to download, you may sometime receive a false positive. By false positive we mean, the tool may wrongly indicate about the presence of malware in a software program. Although you believe in the authenticity of the site from where you wish to download, the browser prevents you from downloading the file by sending you an alert message about malware and antiviruses. In this scenario, it’s actually the antivirus software that is preventing you from downloading the file and its nothing to do with the browser.

Download Failed – Virus detected

If you are a Chrome user, the user is warned with the message “ Failed – Virus detected “. If the browser is Microsoft Edge, then you may be warned with the message “[filename] contained a virus and was deleted” and if you are on Windows Taskbar it simply displays the message “Malware detected”.

If you are quite sure about the authenticity of the source from where you are downloading the file, then you may want to set an exception in your antivirus software. In Windows 10, Microsoft Windows Defender is the built-in protection from malware that removes viruses and other unwanted files. The security programs sometimes block the file download on the Windows machines to protect from the security breach. You can resume the file download with some tweaks in Windows Defender.

The following steps will guide you in setting an exception in the Windows Defender software.

You should do this only if you are very sure that the file being downloaded is safe and from a trusted source.

Open Windows Defender Security Center and click on the Virus & threat protection shield. Scroll down a bit and click on Scan history. The following window will open.

Download Failed - Virus detected


If you see a file in the Quarantined threats section, identify and add the file that you just downloaded to the list of exclusions, by selecting Allow item.Once you do this, you will see the file under Allowed threats.

Now attempt to download the file again.

If you are still having a problem with downloading the file, then you may be using some other antivirus software that may be blocking the download. You may then have to whitelist the file in that software too.

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Pavithra is a Windows enthusiast, who loves keeping abreast with the latest in the world of technology.