This is why some downloads no longer work on Google Chrome

Google Chrome: This is why some downloads no longer work

Chrome users are increasingly complaining of problems downloading programs and files. Here we show why that is and how you can shelve the topic.

In the middle of November, Google released version 87 of its popular Chrome browser. It brought many fresh functions, a significant performance boost, and filled a whopping 33 security gaps. One of the improvements now creates “problems” that actually aren’t. The new Chrome intentionally blocks certain downloads for security reasons.

No reaction to downloads
The problem is not new and caused trouble with Chrome 86 in early October 2020.

As reported by at the time, numerous Chrome users complained about non-working downloads. If those affected clicked on a link or button, nothing happened. Even a look at the download list did not shed any light on the darkness, because the desired file did not appear there either – let alone an indication of why the download had not taken place. But as a look at a Google announcement from February 7, 2020 shows, the alleged bug is actually a feature, in this case, the desired security function.

The table from the Chromium blog illustrates the escalation of the security function

Chrome blocks unsafe downloads

As early as March 2020, the group equipped its browser with a new protective function that is supposed to prevent downloads from “mixed connections”. These are unprotected downloads that do not use the SSL encryption of the actually secure website – you can tell that the address is with
HTTP instead of HTTPSbegins.

While Chrome in version 81 to 83 only issued hidden console messages in such cases, Chrome 84 warned users from July 2020 when trying to download executable files with the extension “.exe”.

In Chrome 85, they were actively blocked from August 2020 and additional warnings were issued for archive files such as “ZIP” and “ISO”. Chrome 86 again blocked the archive files and warned against security-critical documents such as “PDF” and “Docx”.

With Chrome 87, the second-highest escalation level has now been reached: The browser also blocks documents from mixed connections and warns of images, music files, videos, and even simple text files such as files with the extensions “PNG”, “MP3”, “MP4″ or ” TXT “. The process is then completed with the upcoming browser version. Chrome 88 is expected to be released in January 2021 and will then block all files from unencrypted connections.

How to bypass download blockages

So if you get the described download blockage, you shouldn’t bypass it for the reasons mentioned. In the best-case scenario, the problem will resolve itself by converting the operators of the websites concerned to secure download technology.

Otherwise, it will probably help to navigate to another download page. However, if you are convinced that the download is safe, you can easily break the lock. All you need to do is right-click the download link and use the Save link as an option in the context menu that follows. This does not work for download links that are integrated using Javascript. However, the use of a download manager helps there.

About Odutolu Timothy

Passionate about technology and communication, Timothy Odutolu has more than 5 years of experience writing for various niches in these fields. He's more comfortable writing about the key trends in the business-to-business software-as-a-service (B2B SaaS) niche. He is also a generalist with interests in journalism, DIY and outdoor, and other writing services. He's reachable via Twitter, LinkedIn, and email through or

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