Using one browser to download another is one of the simplest alternatives for migrating between browsers on your computer. In Windows 10, Edge assumes the role of paving the way for others, however, according to reports in Reddit communities, the Microsoft program started to block the direct download of rival Firefox, classifying it as “potentially harmful software”.
“Firefox Installer.exe has been blocked as it may damage your device”, Edge immediately informs. The classification does not prevent the download itself, but requires a few more clicks or even the deactivation of Microsoft Defender SmartScreen to allow the installation of the competing browser.
According to comments on Reddit, this approach applies to all versions of Firefox – stable, beta, dev or Nightly – so there is no need to suspect that they are a warning for unstable distributions, not recommended for the vast majority of users. Here, the notification did not happen, so this may be an eventual error or has already been corrected.
The “potentially harmful” label may not have been part of a Microsoft strategy to undermine Firefox’s growth, but only a flaw in the system’s native protection. It is worth remembering that, although Chrome remains in absolute leadership – soon followed by Safari, in second place -, Firefox and Edge compete for third place by a tiny margin. In April, it was won over by the Mozilla browser.