The latest version of Firefox comes with many security measures like blocking harmful sites and malicious files. But sometimes Firefox falsely blocks harmless downloads labeling them as a possible virus or malware. This can be very annoying when it happens. If you are not able to download a known good file using Firefox because it is blocking the download, then you can temporarily turn off the security features in Firefox to download that file. And after the download is complete, you can turn these features back on. Here is how:
- First of all you have to make sure whether the file being blocked by Firefox is not a real threat. In order to do that, you can click on the download icon in the toolbar, right-click on the blocked download and select Copy Download Link to copy the URL of the downloaded file.
- Next visit VirusTotal.com, switch to the URL scanning, paste the URL copied in the first step and click on the Scan button. This will scan the URL for known malicious nature.
- But we do not want to know the nature of the website, we want to know about the downloaded file. For this, you have to click on the downloaded file analysis in the VirusTotal URL scanning results. Now it will display you about the scanning results of the downloaded file. If only one or two anti-virus products are flagging it as malware, then it can be ignored as false positive. But if more than 5-6 reputable anti-virus products are calling it virus, then you should stay away from this file.
- If you think that the target download file is being flagged as false positive (falsely identified as malware or virus), then you can open Firefox options to disable the security options. To open the Firefox options, you can click on the three-horizontal-lines icon near the top-right corner and select Options from the drop-down menu.
- In the Options window, switch to the Security tab and un-check Block reported attack sites and Block reported web forgeries. Click OK to save the settings.
- Now you can proceed to download the target file. When the download is complete. You can re-enable the security settings by checking the check-boxes Block reported attack sites and Block reported web forgeries in the steps 4 and 5 above.
Mozilla Firefox uses Google’s web reputation engine to determine whether a file is malicious or harmful in nature. When Firefox warns about a file being malicious, there is more probability that Firefox is right. You should follow the steps in this article when you are completely sure that the target download file is not hamrful in any way.