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How to fix “Virus scan failed” error in Chrome

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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


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 60% in 2019. 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.


Automated removal of “Virus scan failed” Chrome malware

When dealing with the “Virus scan failed” error threat, you can get a lot of mileage out of the Malwarebytes automatic security tool that will pinpoint and iron out the infection in minutes. Malwarebytes is one of the big names in the anti-malware industry with an immaculate track record of protecting systems against all prevalent forms of harmful code.

The solution uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect both known and zero-day threats, including potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), ransomware, exploits, and malicious sites. It boasts low system footprint, high scanning speed, and intuitive interface where every module clearly explains what it does. Follow the steps below to come through the malware predicament unscathed:

1. Download and install the latest version of Malwarebytes onto your PC.

As part of this step, you will be prompted to specify where you are installing the program (personal or work computer) and toggle the advanced setup options if you so desire. You can use all the premium features for 14 days free of charge.

Download “Virus scan failed” error remover

2. Once the application is up and running, go ahead and click on the Scan button in the bottom middle part of the GUI.
Click the Scan button

3. Wait until Malwarebytes checks for updates of its proprietary Katana detection engine and scans the memory, startup items, registry, and file system for threats.
Malwarebytes scan in progress

4. When the scan is completed, go over the report listing the infections that have been identified. Make sure there are checkmarks next to all the unwanted items and click on the Quarantine button as shown below.
Malwarebytes scan results

5. You will be prompted to restart your computer to finish the removal process. Click Yes to do it immediately or close the dialog and restart later on.
Restart to complete the removal process

6. As soon as the threats have been moved to Quarantine, they can no longer harm your computer. If you are sure that you won’t need to restore any of those items at a later point, click on the Detection History pane at the bottom left of the Malwarebytes home screen, select the Quarantined items tab, and click Delete.
Delete quarantined items

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

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows. 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 My Cinema Pro, Magic Actions for YouTube or another unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal doneUninstall 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, click the icon for Chrome menu and choose Settings

• Scroll down the settings screen and click Show advanced settings

• Click Reset settings

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

• 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

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