Microsoft Edge blocks and flags Firefox installer as harmful

Some users reported that Microsoft Edge is blocking all versions of Firefox Installer such as release, beta, dev and nightly when we try to download.

In case you don’t know:

  • Chrome uses Safe Browsing technology to protect users from malicious websites and files.
  • Microsoft Edge uses SmartScreen for the same
  • Both browser vendors use their technologies on Google and Bing search engines to alert users to malware.

More about Microsoft Defender SmartScreen protection in Edge

Microsoft Defender SmartScreen in Edge analyzes files downloaded by users against a known list of files

If it comes across an app or app installer not known or commonly downloaded by users, it blocks the file download and shows a warning.

Protection is enabled by default in Settings > Privacy, Search & Services > “Microsoft Defender SmartScreen”

Edge even offers an optional feature to block potentially unwanted program downloads.

You can enable it by toggling the “Block Potentially Unwanted Applications” setting.

Microsoft has also integrated PUA protection into Windows 10 starting with version 2004.

Microsoft Edge blocks Firefox installer

Coming to the article, in the case of Firefox, according to Reddit threads [1] [2]Several users confirmed that Edge is warning them when they download Firefox saying that the installer could harm their device.

You can see the warning shown by Edge in Downloads Flyout in the screenshot above.

Firefox installer.exe has been blocked because it may harm your device“.

Some affected users said they successfully downloaded and installed Firefox after disabling Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.

We cannot reproduce this for any version of Firefox. The false positive may have been fixed server-side by Microsoft.

The irony is disabling the Defender SmartScreen setting, causing Edge to falsely trigger the Firefox download as unsafe.

We hope it’s normal. Chrome will do the same when you disable safe browsing.

Read: Beware! Chrome/Chromium Edge flags downloads as harmful if you disable this security setting

If you are facing the issue right now, it is unwise or not recommended to disable Smartscreen, instead use another browser to download Firefox or another app that you have problems downloading from Edge.

By now, Firefox’s Edge download blocking may have been removed.

In fact, since Bing flagged the popular VLC Player as dangerous in the past, after a short time, the red flag was removed.

What is your opinion on this? Let us know in the comments below.

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