If you have tried to download FileZilla in recent years you might have noticed that it has some serious problems. Most notably, when downloading FileZilla using Microsoft Edge browser you will see if is actually downloading a file named FileZilla_3xxxx_win64_sponsored-setup.exe and that it errors out with COULDN’T DOWNLOAD – VIRUS DETECTED, and if you get around the download problem you see a Windows Security popup showing Potentially Unwanted App Found, which blocks FileZilla


The file name gives away the problem; it contains the word SPONSORED: FileZilla_3xxxx_win64_sponsored-setup.exe

The official FileZilla download from now includes “sponsored” add-ons that are at best junk and at worst malware. The security industry calls these “Potentially Unwanted Programs” (aka PUPs) and you should be very careful with PUPs.

There are three ways around the FileZilla PUP problem:

    Download FileZilla using a different browser like Firefox but then you have to override Windows Defender’s alerts that you are installing Potentially Unwanted App’s
    Download a clean version of FileZilla from https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1 . You will notice the word SPONSORED is not in the downloaded file name. This is still not great because FileZilla will check for updates in the future and who knows when they will decide to add malware/spyware/bloatware into their upgrades
    Download the “portable version” of FileZilla from https://portableapps.com/apps/internet/filezilla_portable . If you were not already aware, “portable apps” don’t install in the traditional sense and can be run completely standalone from even a USB stick. Portable versions of FileZilla have never had the “potentially unwanted apps” included in them and are far less likely to in the future.
    The best options is just using a different free FTP clients that are less prone to malicious add-ins, like WinSCP or SmartFTP.

1 Comment

Oeler · July 1, 2024 at 4:44 am

It’s really a cool and useful way to download FileZilla safely. I had not thought about FileZilla Portable… what I am going to do. Thanks Man!

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *