How To Check If A File Is Safe For Downloading

How To Check If A File Is Safe For Downloading.

File downloads are all the time a dangerous enterprise. If you aren’t cautious, you would possibly find yourself ruining your pc when downloading.

The web has many web sites that declare they’ve the right file. Most of the time, it’s a must to open the file to substantiate the file is protected. And by that point, it could be too late to guard your PC from malware and virus packages.

Avoid Dowloading From Suspicious Websites

This is a no brainer. Downloads from shady web sites or third-party apps that seem suspicious ought to be prevented in any respect prices. These events’ downloads could include further recordsdata that unknowingly set up malware in your methods. Here are some sources you must keep away from.:

Pop-ups and Redirects

Imagine clicking a obtain hyperlink and a pop-up seems. The pop-up has one other obtain button it desires you to press. If you click on on it, it should take you to a distinct web site and make you obtain from there.

This sort of situation is frequent on many web sites. The pop-up could take you to a shady web site the place downloading recordsdata places your PC in danger. If a pop-up seems, it’s best to shut it instantly and take a look at once more.

An excellent method is to make use of a pop-up blocker. But some web sites favor opening pop-ups for downloads by design. In these circumstances, test the handle of the pop-up bar to ensure it’s the similar because the obtain web page domain.

Avoid Downloading Torrents

Torrents is a extremely widespread P2P file-sharing web site. Typically recordsdata present in torrent websites are copyrighted or business materials. Most of them are offered by nameless sources and there’s no telling if the file is tampered with.

Applications downloaded from torrents could or will not be the purposes you need. There is not any incentive to offer the fitting file for downloading as a torrent. You could also be downloading a malware program or a virus in your PC.

Apart from the authorized side, torrents are extremely unsafe for downloading recordsdata. You ought to keep away from downloading torrents from unknown customers. To affirm a file is protected, it’s a must to obtain it from a identified, trusted supply.



HyperText Transfer Protocol is the spine of the web. Internet searching and downloading works in a stream of HTTP requests and responses. Simply put, HTTPS is encrypted HTTP. Secure encryption ensures that the web site you’re visiting is trusted.

  • Go to the obtain web page on the web site.
  • Click the lock button next to the web site handle.
  • Make positive that the inexperienced lock is on and a safe connection message is displayed.

How to Check if a File Is Safe Before Downloading It

To defend your self from obtain threats, all the time carry out a security test earlier than downloading. Continue studying beneath to know a few of the common security approaches to obtain a file.

Scan Using Antivirus


Depending on the kind of Antivirus you could have, you are able to do a file test earlier than or after performing a obtain.

Antivirus packages designed for on-line safety combine into your web browser. Then, while you click on on a file hyperlink and it begins downloading, they immediately test it for any safety dangers. If discovered, they may forestall it from downloading and immediate for motion.

Some Antivirus packages even have an possibility to take a look at a hyperlink earlier than clicking it. Normally, you must discover this feature while you right-click on the hyperlink itself. If the file is unsafe, the Antivirus will provide you with a warning instantly.

Check the Format

Know your file codecs. Whether a brand new or previous Windows person, all the time ensure that to allow file extensions in Explorer by default. It’s a safety hazard that they flip it off by default. Turn it on from the explorer File choices .

Many web sites resembling Fileinfo permits you to search from their massive database of file extensions. File extensions are three or 4 characters lengthy. They are the final characters after the interval (.) proven within the file title.

  • Make a word of the file extension displayed on the web page earlier than downloading it.file-extension
  • If it’s not displayed, click on on the obtain button however don’t affirm downloading but.
  • When the browser provides you the affirmation field, word the file extension.
  • Or, you probably have already downloaded the file, go to the obtain location and make a remark of file extension.file-extensions2
  • Make positive that the format is protected and matches the extension of the file you’re going to obtain.

Check the Dates and Number of Downloads


Most web sites show the uploaded date on the downloads web page. This date tells you when the file was uploaded to the positioning. If it’s a reasonably latest date, it’s seemingly the positioning moderators haven’t vetted the file but.

Another key info is the variety of downloads. Newer recordsdata could not have been downloaded by different customers but. Thus the file hasn’t but constructed up a rapport with the customers. Give the web page a while, and when you see the numbers enhance, you possibly can deem it’s protected to obtain the file your self.

Note that these two components will not be full indications of the validity of a file. They solely inform you whether or not a file is trusted and downloaded by different customers.

Check Md5 File Hash

Md5 sum file hash is a well-liked technique of verifying any file. Md5 algorithm takes a file and generates a 128 character distinctive hash. This method, if the obtain file is tampered with, the ensuing hash can be totally different

Many obtain web sites provide md5 hash together with the obtain hyperlink. With it, you possibly can confirm if the file you get is similar because the one they supply. This is an efficient method should you belief the file supplier to allow you to obtain your file safely.

Note that you’d nonetheless need to obtain the file first earlier than you can begin checking it. You ought to open the file solely after you’re positive it’s protected to take action.

  • Note down the file hash next to the obtain hyperlink.md5-table
  • Go to any on-line md5 hash checker instrument.
  • Upload the file and let the instrument generate hash for you.
  • Compare the file hashes collectively to ensure they’re the identical.check-hash-emn178

Use Windows Sandbox(Windows Pro or Enterprise Versions Only)

Windows Sandbox is a particular characteristic offered by Microsoft as a testing floor. Even should you handle to interrupt your sandboxed Windows, it gained’t have any impression in your base Windows in any respect. So, it’s a good suggestion to check all of your suspicious obtain hyperlinks in a sandbox surroundings.

Note that the characteristic is out there in Pro and Enterprise variations solely. Other Windows customers can use a digital field or VMware image as a substitute.

  • Go to the Start Menu and sort ‘windows feature’.
  • Select Turn Windows characteristic on or
  • On the offered checklist, choose Windows Sandbox to toggle it
  • Press OK.
  • Go to the Start Menu once more. Type Windows Sandbox and press Enter.
  • Open the browser contained in the sandboxed
  • Go to the downloads web page.
  • Download your file contained in the sandboxed Windows.
  • After downloading utterly, you possibly can open the file and do all of your checks to confirm it.
  • Once verified, you possibly can shut the sandbox.
  • Select OK to delete all contents of the sandbox completely .
  • Repeat the obtain in your base Windows system.

Check the Forums


Forums are the place to affirm the validity of any file. Most of the obtain web sites present a dialogue discussion board for web site guests. Anyone can register for an account within the dialogue discussion board and publish their questions. Other skilled customers can write solutions and even upvote questions and solutions.

The content material on boards is usually posted by guests such as you. If you do a fast seek for the file matter you possibly can discover what different individuals are speaking about it. They can affirm for you if the file is protected to make use of. Or they will warn guests to not obtain the file.

Some customers even make time to level you to the right file that you simply’d must obtain. Since anybody can publish on the boards, you continue to should be cautious in believing what you learn. I all the time suggest taking the file boards with a big pinch of salt.

Check File Reviews


If the positioning doesn’t present a discussion board, they could but present file opinions. A file evaluate summarizes the security and verification of the file you’ll obtain. File evaluate will be expressed by way of ranking or a brief remark. They each describe the expertise of different downloaders.

Before clicking the obtain button, all the time ensure that to test the file opinions first. You may discover related opinions on different web sites resembling or file stage.


Virustotal is a dependable web site to carry out security checks. It has two modes, the primary file mode and the second is hyperlink mode. File mode lets you add a file and confirm if it’s protected. Link mode lets you run a security test even earlier than downloading the file.

Virustotal runs virus scans towards a database of a number of distributors. It then studies if the file handed all security checks. For now, we are going to keep on with using hyperlink mode.

  • Do a right-click on the obtain button/hyperlink on any web page.
  • Select Copy hyperlink handle.copy-link-address
  • Open a new tab and go to 
  • Click on the URL tab.virustotal-URL
  • Paste the URL on the URL field.virustotal-url-box
  • Press Enter to start out scanning.
  • Wait till Virustotal runs full safety checks on this hyperlink/file.virustotal-checks

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Disable Automatic Downloads in my Browser?

To disable the automated downloading of recordsdata, comply with these steps.


  • Go to the handle bar and sort chrome://settings/content material/automatedDownloadschrome-settings
  • Change the setting to Don’t permit websites to mechanically obtain a number of recordsdata.automatic-downloads-chrome
  • Remove any web site that’s allowed to obtain recordsdata mechanically.


  • Click on the hamburger icon and choose Settings.
  • Go to Applications underneath General.firefox-settings
  • For every content material sort, click on on dropdown motion to vary to Always ask.firefox-download-settings


  • Go to the Safari menu and choose Preferences.safari-preferences
  • Under the General tab, choose a File obtain location.
  • Select Ask for every obtain.safari-general-preferences
  • Under the General tab, choose a File obtain location.
  • Select Ask for every obtain.

Check out more article on – How-To tutorial and latest highlights on – Technical News