Home Guides How to fix “Virus scan failed” error in Chrome [upd. September 2021]

How to fix “Virus scan failed” error in Chrome [upd. September 2021]

5 min read
Virus scan failed error in Chrome
This article takes a dive into a scenario where the process of downloading files or extensions in Chrome is accompanied by a ‘Virus scan failed’ notification.
  1. What is “Virus scan failed” Chrome error?
  2. Automated removal of “Virus scan failed” Chrome malware
  3. Restore Chrome settings to their original defaults
[September 2021 update]

What is “Virus scan failed” Chrome error?

Google Chrome fans are accustomed to hassle-free web surfing and feel privileged due to the speed and special perks they get. No wonder the software is dominating the global niche of web browsers, boasting a market share of more than 65% in 2021. However, even in such a fine-tuned environment, things don’t always go as expected. Sometimes Chrome users encounter error messages saying “Failed – Virus scan failed” when trying to download arbitrary files from the Internet. This is the browser’s response to situations where it’s unable to verify the source of a specific download, including its publisher details and security certificate of the web page it originates from. Since these basic checks aren’t passed, Chrome cannot proceed to scanning the object for viruses. Ideally, this occurrence is the exception rather than the rule and it should be extremely rare. But what if the “Virus scan failed” errors become the norm, accompanying every instance of downloading a file?

'Failed – Virus scan failed' error message in Chrome
‘Failed – Virus scan failed’ error message in Chrome

There are two basic facets of this issue. One of them stems from a native Windows security feature called Attachment Manager. Its goal is to safeguard users from potentially harmful files that arrive with emails, or ones that are downloaded from the web and exhibit malicious traits. If this protective service masterminded by Microsoft identifies an entity that may be dangerous, it won’t allow the user to open it and will typically generate an appropriate warning dialog. Since a web browser is everyone’s conduit into the open Internet, it becomes the pivot of this notification routine. In Chrome, the appropriate alert appears in the status bar down at the bottom of the main window. It mentions the name of a suspicious file that has just been downloaded, as well as the “Virus scan failed” error proper.

Disabling the Attachment Manager in Windows Registry Editor can be an effective troubleshooting vector
Disabling the Attachment Manager in Windows Registry Editor can be an effective troubleshooting vector

If you are absolutely sure that the object is harmless and the warning is a false positive generated by the operating system, here is how to get around the built-in Windows defenses blocking the process. Go to the Registry Editor by typing ‘regedit’ and selecting the respective entry in the system search area. Once the utility is opened, expand its hierarchy tree in the following order: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Attachments. Find an item named “ScanWithAntiVirus” – by default, its value is set to “3” (see screenshot above). Go ahead and change it to “1”. When done, exit the Registry Editor. Again, this should stop the “Virus scan failed” messages in Chrome as long as their source is the inability of the dedicated OS feature to check the downloaded object for malicious characteristics. Keep in mind that this method works in non-malware situations only.

Another big issue in terms of these error reports is that they may be a symptom of a virus attack. Adware, PUPs (potentially unwanted programs), or browser hijacking infections are the types of harmful code most likely setting this noxious activity in motion. The most conspicuous impact of these browser-polluting threats ranges from ads injection to replacement of default Internet settings resulting in unsolicited redirects to rogue sites. Meanwhile, besides the tip of the iceberg being in plain sight, there can be additional covert effects such as a disruption of traditional security mechanisms. For instance, the offending app may try to disable system-wide antivirus protection along with Chrome’s proprietary defensive routines. If this is the case, the “Virus scan failed” notifications reflect an unsuccessful attempt of Windows, a third-party AV tool, or the browser’s security modules, to inspect the downloaded file. In order to dodge this particular turn of events, use the steps below to identify and get rid of the electronic troublemaker.

Use Combo Cleaner for Windows to remove “Virus scan failed” error

When faced with malware like “Virus scan failed”, one of the best shortcuts in terms of removal is to use Combo Cleaner, a lightweight and incredibly effective application with PC security and optimization features under the hood. It detects and thoroughly deletes threats while giving you insights into the overall health of your computer.

This program’s protection power spans modules that forestall all known types of malware, including ransomware and browser hijackers, and take your online security to the next level by blocking phishing sites and other suspicious web pages. Follow these simple steps to eliminate the infection for good:

1. Download Combo Cleaner installer.

Download “Virus scan failed” error remover

Combo Cleaner scans your PC with no strings attached, but you’ll have to buy its fully functional version to remove the threats it detects. The disk optimization tools that find large files and duplicates are free to use.

Download and run Combo Cleaner installer on your PC

2. Open the CCSetup.exe file to get started. Several subsequent screens will allow you to make initial customizations so that the program works exactly as you need from the get-go.Setup customizations

3. The installation will be followed by an update of malware signatures. Once this process is through, click the Start Scan button in the left-hand sidebar.Start initial scan

4. Combo Cleaner will then check system locations that are most often polluted by Windows malware. The first scan can take a while to finish.Combo Cleaner scan in progress

5. Combo Cleaner will display a system tray notification as soon as the scan is over. Click the Resolve found threats button to view the results.Scan completed

6. The scan summary shows the names and types of the detected threats as well as their statuses and locations. Click the Remove all threats button and follow further on-screen prompts to get rid of these items.Scan results

Use Control Panel to get rid of the “Virus scan failed” error

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows. Depending on the OS build, select Uninstall a program (Windows 10, 7 and Vista) or Add or Remove Programs (Windows 8).Access program uninstall screen on Windows

• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find an unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.Uninstall unwanted program

Restore Chrome settings to their original defaults

In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for Chrome web browser misconfigured by malware that calls forth “Virus scan failed” errors.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings.Go to Settings in Chrome

• Click Advanced in the sidebar, scroll down to Reset and clean up, and select this option.Click Reset and clean up in the sidebar

• Click Restore settings to their original defaults.Restore Chrome settings to their original defaults

• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset settings on the warning message.Reset Chrome settings

• Restart Chrome.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download “Virus scan failed” error removal tool


How do I fix failed virus detection in Chrome?

How do I fix failed virus detection in Chrome?

If Chrome’s virus detection feature is acting up by generating false positives or the “Virus scan failed” errors, there are a few things you can do. Start with techniques that won’t remove your customizations or otherwise affect the web surfing experience. One of them is to check the browser for updates that could introduce improvements to the built-in security module. If available, apply updates without a second thought.

It’s also a good idea to disable extensions that claim to enhance the security and privacy of your web routine. They may tamper with the native virus identification logic of the browser. Try turning them off one by one to spot the problem catalyst. Another option is to clear the browsing cache (images and files) as well as cookies and other website data using the “Clear browsing data” feature in the “Privacy and security” menu of Chrome settings. When done, check if the issue persists.

If none of this helps, try changing the default settings of the “ScanWithAntiVirus” feature using the Registry Editor. Please refer to the main part of this article to learn how this method works. In the event that this tweak is to no avail, use a reliable security tool to check your PC for malicious programs and get rid of all the threats found.

How do I disable virus scan in Chrome?

How do I disable virus scan in Chrome?

You can do this by turning off the feature called Safe Browsing, which blocks known-harmful websites, downloads, and extensions. Keep in mind, though, that this is useful functionality that adds a solid layer of protection to your activities on the Internet. Therefore, disabling it only makes sense if you have tried everything else and couldn’t fix the problem. Here is the walkthrough:

  • Click Customize and control Google Chrome at the top right and select Settings
  • Select Privacy and security in the sidebar
  • Scroll down to the Security entry and click it
  • Activate the radio button for “No protection (not recommended)”
  • Chrome will display a confirmation pop-up. Click Turn off if you are sure.

Turning off Safe Browsing in Chrome

Now, check if the “Virus scan failed” warnings are still appearing. If they are, re-enable the Safe Browsing feature to keep your web navigation sessions safe. Be sure to try all the methods above to address the bug.

Can you scan Google Chrome for viruses?

Can you scan Google Chrome for viruses?

Both the Microsoft Defender Antivirus and third-party AV programs can identify security issues in Google Chrome when checking your entire system for threats. For instance, they may pinpoint malicious extensions that make unauthorized changes to the default search settings or quietly harvest personally identifiable information (PII) they don’t need for normal operation.

By the way, this browser has an interesting feature onboard that many users are unaware of. It can scan your computer for threats, and this inspection may reveal sneaky security problems in Chrome itself. To give it a shot, go to Settings, click Advanced in the sidebar, select Reset and clean up, and click Clean up computer. Launch the scan and see what it detects.

Chrome checking for harmful software

Is it possible to check Chrome specifically? Yes and no. A classic security scan with traditional tools can find dangerous code at the level of the system, in general, and at the level of installed browsers, in particular.

Rate article

3.35/5 (17)


  1. Sv

    September 8, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    “regedit” helped !


  2. fuck this error

    November 19, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    how to download that shit if my supersmart browser says “virus scan failed”
    fuck everyone from microsoft in windows part for not fixing this error for YEARS


    • mokaddem13

      December 25, 2021 at 8:02 am

      use the first technique buy pressing windows+r and type in regedit and continue the following steps they wrote first


  3. regina healy

    January 13, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you so much! This problem has plagued me for ages. Your firstsolution worked for me and I am chufffed that i wasable tofollow your instructions to get it sorted.Now if you could sort out my space bar issues that would be great!;)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *