Avast SafeZone is a special browser within Avast’s Internet Security suite designed to protect you malicious downloads, keyloggers and malware. The browser is sandboxed, meaning it’s isolated from the rest of your computer. Even if you currently have malware on your computer, SafeZone is still safe because it’s a special quarantined part of your system. While it’s great for banking, online shopping and any site where you might use sensitive information, it’s not ideal for downloading files you want to keep.
Unless you change the default settings in the browser, you won’t be able to easily access any files you download while in SafeZone. Your downloaded files are placed in a special folder that can’t be access from your desktop. When you try to open them in SafeZone, the browser either freezes or you receive an error message. Avast wants to protect you from potentially dangerous downloads, but what if you want to keep a downloaded statement or receipt? They can be recovered, but it will take a few steps.
Locating Your Downloads
The first step is to locate your downloads to begin with. After you’ve downloaded a file, click the menu button near the top right corner of the SafeZone browser. The button has three horizontal lines on it.
Next, open the Downloads folder by clicking Downloads in the browser menu.
This opens a new tab with all your recent downloads. Click Show In Folder under the file you wish to keep. (Please note, SafeZone blocks any screen shot tools, so for this example, I’m using a file downloaded in Google Chrome which functions and looks the same as SafeZone.)
Write down the exact name of the file on a piece of paper. You may need this for the second step if you have multiple downloads to go through.
Entering Safe Mode
Close SafeZone and any other open windows on your computer. You’ll have to restart your computer to recover your downloads. While SafeZone lists your files as being located in your Downloads folder, a quick peek in the folder once you’re back to your desktop shows you the downloads aren’t there. To access them, you must restart your computer in Safe Mode.
If you have Windows 7 or earlier, restart your computer and press the F8 key the second your computer first boots. From the Advanced Boot Option screen, use your arrow keys to select Safe Mode and press Enter on your keyboard to boot into Safe Mode.
For Windows 8 and 8.1, press Win + R and type msconfig.exe. Select the first result that appears.
Select the Boot tab and check Safe Boot in the bottom half of the window. Press OK to save your settings. Do not change anything else.
Select Restart when prompted to restart your system in Safe Mode. If you haven’t saved all open work, choose Exit Without Restart. The next time you restart your Windows 8 system, it’ll boot into Safe Mode automatically.
In part 2 of this article, we’ll learn how to recover the files from SafeZone.