Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, a technology integrated into the company’s Edge browser, analyses unknown files downloaded from the internet before executing them on a device. While Microsoft’s scanner typically detects high-accuracy internet threats, it sometimes misidentifies safe programmes as dangerous, such as the Mozilla Firefox browser.
According to a recent Techdows report, users claim Microsoft Edge prevents them from installing the official website’s popular open-source browser. This would happen if you downloaded your browser installers stable, beta, dev, or nightly.
Reddit users identified two separate browser instances that could harm their device by flagging the reputable open-source browser. Users trying to download the browser were greeted with the message “Firefox installer.exe was blocked” as it could harm their device.
However, we tested downloading on Microsoft Edge Beta on Linux at the time of publication and discovered that Mozilla MSI and EXE installers were not flagged as malware. The browser detection engine appears to have been finally updated to avoid identifying Mozilla’s software as harmful.
While Mozilla’s browser detection may have been an unintentional false positive, this isn’t the first time a company has discouraged users from using a competitor’s service. WhatsApp Messenger, owned by Facebook, was previously reported to block links to the Telegram Messenger service in its Android app, reportedly fixed in later updates. Microsoft has yet to issue a statement about Firefox blocking Edge, but once it does, we’ll update the store.
Some users say the browser flags Firefox Nightly as potentially malicious and prevents installation.
The issue stems from the software’s Microsoft SmartScreen technology and previously Google Chrome.
What’s unusual is that Mozilla signs the software, which should mean it can be trusted, but the volume of nighttime Firefox downloads is so low that the software doesn’t recognise it as a common application
In any case, we believe anyone downloading Firefox can bypass any Edge restrictions. Maybe some of our readers are involved? Please remember as we proceed.