Like other browsers, Google Chrome allows users to download files from any websites. You can click the download link or right-click and select the “Save as” option to download the file to your computer. The browser has an integrated anti-virus feature that automatically prevents downloading dangerous files to your PC. However, you may be also interested in stopping even the safe downloads in Chrome. In this article, let us explain you through the process of disabling Chrome downloads.
How to Block Downloads in Google Chrome?
- Manual confirmation to prevent automatic downloads.
- Block downloads from group policy editor.
- Block using Windows registry editor.
1. Blocking Chrome Automatic Downloads
Some malicious websites will automatically trigger download of files when you load the page on Chrome. By default Chrome will start the download automatically and store the file under “Downloads” folder. However, Chrome enables users to block automatic download by customizing the settings. You can make Chrome always prompting you to specify the download location whenever a download is started. This can effectively prevent accidental downloads. Follow the below steps to prevent automatic downloads:
- Open the Chrome browser on your computer and click the menu icon (three dots) located at the far right of the address bar.
- Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
- Alternatively, you can type command URL “chrome://settings/” in the address bar and hit enter on the keyboard to access the “Settings” page.
- Scroll down and at the bottom of the page, select “Advanced”.
- Scroll down to locate the “Downloads” section and turn on the “Ask where to save each file before downloading” switch.
Chrome will prompt to confirm the location whenever you click on any download link. You have to manually confirm the location which is way of accepting or rejecting the downloads.
2. Blocking Chrome All Downloads from Group Policy Editor
- Type “Group policy” from the Windows search bar and select “Edit group policy” from the results.
- Another option to open the “Group policy editor” is by pressing “Win + R” on the keyboard then type “gpedit.msc” and click “Ok” button.
- Go to “Local Computer Policy and under “Computer Configuration” select “Administrative Templates”. From the “Classic Administrative Templates (ADM)” folder, click the “Google” folder and double click the “Google Chrome” folder from the options from the right-side pane.
- Select the “Allow download restrictions” option.
- Right-click the template to configure. On the top of the configuration wizard, check the “Enabled” option. Under the “Download Restrictions” heading, click on the down arrow and select “Block all downloads”.
- Click the “Ok” button.
- Close the group policy editor and restart your Chrome browser.
Note: If you cannot find the Google policy templates, you will need to download and add the template in your PC.
3. Disable Downloads from Windows Registry Editor
Some Windows 10 version like Windows 10 Home do not have a “Group Policy Editor”, so the above option will not work. Fortunately, you can also disable Chrome downloads from the Windows registry editor.
- Open the Windows registry editor by pressing the “Win + R” keys on your keyboard and type “regedit” then click “Ok”.
- Navigate through “Computer > HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Policy” and find the Google and select the “Chrome” key.
- If the “Google” key doesn’t exist, you will need to create the key. To do so – right-click and choose “Policy > New” and then select “Key” to create a new one. Rename the new key to “Google”.
- Right-click the newly created “Google” key, select “New” then “Key” and rename the key to “Chrome”.
- Under the “Chrome” key, right-click on the empty space on the right pane, select “New” then “DWORD (32-bit) Value and rename it to “DownloadsRestrictions”.
- Right-click “DownloadsRestrictions” and set the value data to 3 and click “Ok”.
- This will block all Chrome downloads. Other values:
- 0 – allows all downloads
- 1 – Blocks dangerous (malicious) downloads
- 2 – Blocks potentially dangerous (suspicious) downloads
- Close the registry editor and restart Chrome.
Chrome users enjoy the freedom of customizing the browser performance to suit their needs and preferences. One of these is the capability to block all downloads. You can use one of the above alternatives to stop any downloads in Chrome. However, you need to have administrative control to implement the above changes.