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Is there a way to prevent downloading files from the web by just blocking them?

Are there add-ons for any of the major browsers out there that could work or is this not possible to block files from being downloaded from websites and such.

EDIT: What about maybe a firewall/anti-virus type of application?

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You specifically mean download to file ("Save target as") or also things e.g. treated by plugins (such as *.pdf)? (And surely not displayed html files and additional files (.js, .css, .jpg) – Hagen von Eitzen Mar 3 '13 at 19:32
More specifically, .exe and executables. – Rachel Nark Mar 3 '13 at 20:26
That could be handled by your antivirus or proxy – Hagen von Eitzen Mar 3 '13 at 21:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

What I installed was Public Fox and it allows you to lock down FireFox settings with a password and block files and even URLs.

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I think that you could use any of the "Ad Block" type plugins to do what you want. You would need to create filters that blocked access to the URL's corresponding to the files needing to be blocked.

Another possibility is to use a PROXY that allows filtering. This is the best solution if you want to do the same blocking for many people - as long as they are all on the same network. Any of the proxies will do this. Most proxy's are run on a separate server (e.g. SQUID) but there are a number that will run locally on a PC and will filter any application trying to access the network.

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surely squid will run locally too?! I have blocked extensions in squid once when I tried it, but you should include how, to the extent that you know. – barlop Mar 3 '13 at 22:40
Ah, yes I knew someone would bring that up ;) But I wasn't really suggesting SQUID as a viable local proxy, it is rather overkill for this question. The AdBlock approach would be my suggestion for local blocking. Explanation of setting up a server-based proxy is another question I think. – Julian Knight Mar 3 '13 at 22:44
Could an ad block plugin work if I did a *.exe for example? – Rachel Nark Mar 4 '13 at 5:33
Well, I think so, simply add a wildcard URL something like *.exe should prevent any access to an exe resource. But I've not done it myself so it needs testing - easy enough to do. – Julian Knight Mar 4 '13 at 6:27
blocking URLs ending in *.exe does not prevent all exe files from downloading: many sites use download URLs like which then download an exe (or any other) file. – törzsmókus Mar 23 '14 at 6:21

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