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Google Chrome will soon ban MP3 and APK downloads: Here’s why

Google Chrome will soon be gradually warning and then blocking the download of unsafe files that could potentially contain malicious code.

  • Published: February 11, 2020 12:38 PM IST

Google’s Chrome browser is one of the most popular browsers in use for both desktop environments and on smartphones. Chrome’s speed, features and seamless connection with the rest of your Google account make the browser a popular choice irrespective of what platform you’re on. The browser will soon, however, start keeping a check on what you download, for your device’s own safety. Also Read - Google Chrome will soon identify and label slow loading websites

Google recently announced that Chrome will ensure that secure webpages will only allow secure content to be downloaded. This means that the browser will remover support for insecure downloads, confirmed by an official blog. Also Read - Google Chrome to get option for quieter notifications, fixing annoying notification prompts

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Starting with Chrome 81, the browser will gradually begin showing users warnings and blocking the mixed-content downloads. By the time Chrome 86 releases in October 2020, all mixed-content downloads will be blocked. Chrome’s users on mobile will see a delayed rollout by one release. Here is a full timeline of when you will not be able to download certain file types anymore. Also Read - Google Chrome is testing global video play or pause button to stop auto-playing videos

What kind of files will be affected by the Google Chrome ban?

Starting with Chrome 81, executable files (.exe, .apk, etc), archives (.zip, .rar, .iso, etc), media files (.png, .mp3, etc) and other files (.pdf, .docx, etc) will get warnings before downloads. With version 83, downloading executable files will be blocked. With version 84, archive files will be blocked. Chrome 85 will prevent the download of other kinds of unsafe files including .docx and .pdf files. With version 86, most media files will be blocked.

“Insecurely-downloaded files are a risk to users’ security and privacy. For instance, insecurely-downloaded programs can be swapped out for malware by attackers, and eavesdroppers can read users’ insecurely-downloaded bank statements,”­ said Joe DeBlasio from Chrome’s security team. The company has stated that the steps are a part of Google’s ­efforts to migrate developers to HTTPS.

In other news, Google Chrome will be soon getting support for better tab management. The browser will be helped by Microsoft Edge’s team. Microsoft recently announced the stable version of its new Edge browser that is based on the Chromium engine, something Google Chrome is also based on. The new features will include the ability to move multiple tabs to separate windows.

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  • Published Date: February 11, 2020 12:38 PM IST