Download Bar

Download Bar

April 23, 2024

In Chromium-based browsers, when a file was downloaded, a preview of the download process appeared in a bar at the bottom, integrated into the browser window. By monitoring the window height, attackers could detect whether the “download bar” opened:

// Read the current height of the window
var screenHeight = window.innerHeight;
// Load the page that may or may not trigger the download'');
// Wait for the tab to load
setTimeout(() => {
    // If the download bar appears, the height of all tabs will be smaller
    if (window.innerHeight < screenHeight) {
      console.log('Download bar detected');
    } else {
      console.log('Download bar not detected');
}, 2000);


This attack was only possible in Chromium-based browsers with automatic downloads enabled. In addition, the attack can’t be repeated since the user needs to close the download bar for it to be measurable again.

Fix #

Chromium moved away from a download bar, They explain why in the blog post Redesigning Chrome downloads it helps create a clearer separation of trusted browser UI from web content among other reasons.