Fix the “Download Failed Network Error” on Chrome [2023]

Fix the “Download Failed Network Error” on Chrome

What is the “Download Failed Network Error” and how do we fix it?

The “Download Failed Network Error” which affects Chrome users occurs due to an unstable connection to the file being downloaded, which in turn affects the parity of the file. Simply restarting your connection, refreshing your page, and reattempting the download should resolve this error.

What Causes the “Download Failed Network Error”  on Chrome?

Here’s a list of causes that lead to this error:

  • Outdated browser
  • Internet speed or quality issues
  • Antivirus or Firewall settings
  • Outdated or Corrupted Google Chrome extensions
  • Bad or Old network drivers
  • Misconfigured Default Downloads location
  • An issue with the website being downloaded from
  • Entries within your Hosts file
  • Issues with your VPN service

Let’s dig deeper.

1. Update Google Chrome

Updating Google Chrome is an essential step in resolving the issue.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the top-right corner of the browser window.
  • From the drop-down menu, select “Help” and then click on “About Google Chrome.”
  • This will automatically check for any available updates for your browser.
  • If an update is found, click on “Relaunch” to install it.
  • Wait for Chrome to restart and then try downloading again.

2. Check Your Internet Speed and Connection

Ensuring a robust network connection is crucial for smooth downloads on Google Chrome.

Connectivity problems, notably slow internet speed or an unstable connection, often trigger the error message.

Internet speeds can fluctuate due to several reasons such as bandwidth throttling by your service provider or congestion in your Wi-Fi router’s channel.

To address these issues, periodically run speed tests using reliable tools like Ookla Speedtest.

If it doesn’t match up, try troubleshooting further by resetting the router or reaching out directly to your ISP to pinpoint and resolve potential connectivity obstacles that could be causing download errors on Google Chrome.

3. Check Your Antivirus Settings

Features like HTTPS scanning within certain antivirus software often flag and block all download attempts, including those completely free from risk.

To modify these settings, first, access your antivirus application and locate its various protection features. Try temporarily disabling any scan-related function such as HTTPS scanning or real-time protection.

This will halt these preemptive blocks and allow for uninterrupted downloads.

Be cautious though; this step does lower your defenses against potential online threats while disabled, so it’s important to re-enable these protections once you’ve completed any necessary downloading tasks.

4. Use Incognito Mode

  • Start by opening a new Incognito window.
  • Press ‘Ctrl+Shift+N’ for Windows or Linux, or ‘Cmd+Shift+N’ for macOS.
  • Try to download the file again in this mode.
  • Disabling all your extensions temporarily.
  • Enable them one by one while trying to download a file after each change.

5. Reset Chrome / Check With Another Browser

Reset Google Chrome: 

Sometimes, misconfigured settings or corrupted files in Chrome can cause download failures.

To reset Chrome, go to the menu in the top right corner (the three vertical dots), select “Settings,” then scroll down and click on “Advanced.” Under the “Reset and clean up” section, click on “Restore settings to their original defaults.”

All Chrome settings will be reset to default. Your bookmarks, browsing history, and passwords will not be affected 🙂

This will reset your browser to its default state and may fix any download issues.

Try another browser:

If resetting Chrome doesn’t solve the problem, use a different web browser altogether and try downloading the file again.

Popular alternatives include Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari for Mac users. By using another browser, you can determine if the issue is specific to Chrome or if it’s a more general network error.

6. Check The Network Drivers ( Update / Reinstall )

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Identify the network adapter in your device by going to the Device Manager.
  • Right-click on the network adapter and select “Update driver.”
  • Choose the option to search automatically for updated driver software.
  • If an update is available, it will be downloaded and installed on your system.
  • If there are no updates or if updating doesn’t fix the issue, you can try reinstalling the network driver.
  • Go back to the Device Manager, right-click on the network adapter, and select “Uninstall device.”
  • Confirm to uninstall the driver and restart your computer.
  • After restarting, Windows will automatically reinstall the network driver.

7. Check Windows Attachment Manager Settings

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Open the Control Panel on your Windows PC.
  • Go to “Programs” and then click on “Default Programs.”
  • Select “Set Associations” to access the file type associations.
  • Scroll down and find “.exe” in the list of file types.
  • Click on “.exe” and then click on “Change program.”
  • Choose a default program to open .exe files (e.g., select “Windows Command Processor”).
  • Do the same for files that you know: like jpg, etc.
  • Click “OK” to save the changes.

8. Change the Default Downloads Location

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the top-right corner to open the menu.
  • Select “Default System Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  • Scroll down and click on “Advanced” to reveal more options.
  • Under the “Downloads” section, click on “Change” next to the “Location” option.
  • Choose a new folder or location where you want your downloads to be saved.
  • Once you’ve selected a new location, click on “OK” to save the changes.

9. Check the Issue With the Website

It could be a  problem with the website itself.

Sometimes, the error message can be misleading, suggesting that there is a network problem when in fact it’s an issue with the site you’re trying to download from.

To check if this is the case, you can try downloading files from different websites and see if the error persists. If you can successfully download files from other sites without encountering any issues, then it’s likely that there’s a problem with the particular website you were having trouble with.

It could be temporary server issues or compatibility problems between your browser and certain elements on the website.

In such cases, contacting the website administrator or support team may help resolve the issue.

10. Clear Cookies and Other Site Data

Here’s how to do it:

  • Open Google Chrome and click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner.
  • Select “Settings” from the dropdown menu.
  • Scroll down and click on “Privacy and security.”
  • Click on “Clear browsing data.”
  • In the popup window, choose a time range for which you want to clear data. For example, you can select “Last hour,” “Last 24 hours,” or “All time” to clear all data.
  • Check the box next to “Cookies and other site data.”
  • Optionally, you can also check other types of data like browsing history, cached images, and files, etc., if you want to clear them as well.
  • Click on the “Clear data” button.

11. Remove Chrome Extensions

While using Google Chrome Extensions ( third-party extensions) can improve your browsing experience, some of them can cause the download to fail, so let’s disable them for now. 

Here’s how to do it:

  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click on the menu icon (three vertical dots) in the top right corner of the browser window.
  • Select “More tools” from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose “Extensions” from the submenu.
  • A new tab will open, displaying all the extensions you have installed.
  • Find the extension you want to remove and click on the trash bin icon next to it.
  • Confirm your action by clicking “Remove” in the pop-up window.

12. Configure Windows Attachment Manager

Here’s what you can do:

  • Open the Start menu and search for “Windows Security.”
  • Click on “Windows Security” to open the app.
  • In the left panel, click on “App & browser control.”
  • Scroll down and click on “Reputation-based protection settings.”

13. Check Your Hosts File

Here’s how:

  1. Open File Explorer on your Windows PC.
  2. Navigate to the following location: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc.
  3. Look for a file named “hosts” (without any extension) and right-click on it.
  4. Select “Open with” and choose a text editor like Notepad or WordPad.
  5. Now, you’ll see a list of IP addresses and corresponding domain names in the host file.
  6. Scroll through the file and remove any entries that you suspect might be causing issues with your downloads.
  7. Save the changes you made to the host’s file by pressing Ctrl+S or going to File > Save.

14. Disable VPN

Here’s how:

  • Open your VPN application and locate the settings menu.
  • Look for an option to disable or turn off the VPN connection.
  • Click on the option to disable the VPN.

If you are still having issues, why not give our PC repair technicians a call today!


Can I prevent future occurrences of the error?

You can minimize its likelihood by ensuring a stable internet connection with adequate speed and signal strength. Additionally, keeping your devices and software up-to-date while avoiding simultaneous heavy bandwidth usage can also help reduce the chances of experiencing this error.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...