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How to fix virus scan failed download error?

Internet users across the globe encounter various issues daily, with one of the most nagging being the “virus scan failed” download error. This is a common error that arises when the antivirus installed in a system blocks a download, assuming it is harmful. Although categorized under one umbrella, this error comes in several forms, obstructing an array of processes such as downloading attachments in emails. Thankfully, several proven methods can assist in rectifying this problem.

Understanding the “Virus Scan Failed” Download Error

The “virus scan failed” download error arises majorly due to internet security settings, browser issues, or defected antivirus software. When your internet interference, which includes antivirus software or windows firewall, senses possible harm from a download, it blocks it immediately, leading to this error. While the interference might be essential in safeguarding your system, it sometimes confuses harmless downloads for harmful ones, causing unnecessary blocks.

How to Fix The “Virus Scan Failed” Download Error

Tackling the “virus scan failed” download error is a process that can be divided into manageable steps, including checking your antivirus software, modifying internet security settings, and clearing browser issues.

1. Check Your Antivirus Software

Your first course of action should be to investigate your antivirus software. Sometimes, the settings may be too stringent, blocking even harmless downloads. You might need to adjust your software settings to recognize certain files as safe, hence reducing “safe” blocks.

2. Modify Internet Security Settings

The “virus scan failed” download error could be a result of rigid internet security settings. You should navigate your security settings and consider disabling the option for scanning downloads if you trust the sources of your downloads. Use caution with this step, as it could increase your vulnerability to actual threats.

3. Clear Browser Issues

More often than not, an infected browser contributes to the virus scan failed error. It would be best to clear your browser cache and cookies regularly and ensure you’re running the latest browser version. Also, consider disabling add-ons or extensions that may be causing problems.

4. Registry Edit for Windows Users

Windows users can rectify the error by using a Registry Editor. You’ll need to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Policies > Attachments, then modify the ‘ScanWithAntivirus’ registry key from 3 to 1.


The “virus scan failed” download error is a common issue affecting users worldwide. However, by implementing some checks and balances, and taking the aforementioned steps, you can combat this error efficiently.

Professional Assistance

If you find the above methods a bit tasking, or out of your tech comfort zone, it might help to engage a professional. Tech support professionals have the requisite expertise to diagnose and deal with the error, saving you time and effort.

Note: Always ensure you have a good antivirus software and that it’s always up-to-date to prevent future virus scan failed errors. Additionally, only download files from trusted sources to avoid infecting your system.

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