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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

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download “Virus scan failed” error remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

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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