Fix Your efw File Problems

The First Computer Bug

I got a question on my post about how to fix the Removed by HIPS FW bug and I thought it was worth answering in another post. Mark, who has Roadrunner as his ISP, had downloaded their free offer of CA Internet Security suite and had since noticed that many of the files he was trying to download (i think from e-mail) where getting changed to .efw files. This is CA’s way of making sure you don’t accidentally run a file on the off chance that it contains a virus. The real problem here is that it can often prohibit you from running files intentionally! There are two ways to handle this:

  1. Rename the file extension - If it’s supposed to be a .zip file just rename it to .zip from .efw and you’re good to go! You will have to know what the file extension was supposed to be in the first place, but that’s all you have to do and it will work just like normal.
  2. Disable the quarantine - If you trust yourself more than CA does then you can just disable the feature that renames the files, here’s how:
  • Open the CA Security Center
  • Click on CA Personal Firewall then Open Advance Settings
  • On the Personal Firewall window, click the Email icon on the left
  • Select the Email Attachments tab on the top right
  • Scroll down and double click the .ZIP entry to pop up a small settings window
  • Uncheck the Quarantine all matching files box and click OK
  • Do the same for any other file types you regularly recieve

That should do it! Your version of CA could be a little different than the instructions provided above, but hopefully that will be enough information for you to find what you need, Good Luck!

P.S. If you just have CA for antivirus and are sick of it, then consider trying the free version of AVG. I have a link to the download site along with some other useful and free programs on my post about Great Free Software.  If you want a full internet security suite and are willing to pay for it, try one of the best: Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0

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  • Randy

    Yes, I have CA Security and my gut feeling told me to simply change the extension to “zip” but sometimes I will get a corrupt file message after I’ve changed the extension, and I can’t open the file. I didn’t think to use “exe” so I’ll try that the next time I get the corrupt file mssg.

  • trika

    I found your page after doing a search on the .efw extension. I have CA at work and file extensions started changing on me in the past few months (both incoming and outgoing) and I thought it might be CA but I wasn’t sure. I had figured out that I could download the file and change the extension to .zip, but not all files were zip files. Plus, people I sent files to didn’t know how to do that.

    Thanks for posting this solution. I’ve made the changes to CA and hopefully won’t have this problem anymore. :D

  • Silvia

    Thanks for your help.
    I solve my problem! Thanks a lot!!!

  • Shelley Saunders

    My problem is slightly different. I wanted to download a program from Tech Republic. I downloaded it, and it had the extension .efw. So I saved it to my hard disk, then changed the extension to .zip, and I got a corrupt file message. I do have CA Security Suite (via RR), but don’t see how that has any bearing on my problem, since the file I want to download is from Tech Republic. Could CA still be changing the extension before the download?

  • Daniel

    Hallelujah! Thanks a lot for this solution.

  • Daniel

    Oh, my problem was similar to Shelly’s. I was downloading .RAR and .ZIP files from websites and they were coming up as .efw

  • David

    I’m not sure how it works, it can certainly change the extension as you download and make it look like it was an .efw file the whole time. It’s also possible that someone uploaded an .efw file accidently. Since .zip didn’t work for you try .exe or .rar

  • Mike

    I downloaded the renewal update for CA and the file came in as an EFW file. I tried to change the extension to a .exe and then to a .zip file but neither changed it from an EFW. I have followed your instructions under Disable the quarantine above and hope that will work.

  • Rob

    I had the same promblem (If You Trust The Source) I found out, just disable CA firewall (Temp) and it will download the right File ext.. Lately I had Ca Firewall Enable (Don’t No Why)but I been Downloading exe files,but strangely it would download a efw file. So much for Ca Firewall… I will leave it Disable…

  • Victoria aka CaliforniaQtee

    Thanks so much for the info-I chewed out a couple of game sites because all the sudden my downloaded files/games were “efw” files! Now, I feel I owe them an apology, lol…thanks again. :)

  • merk

    AWWWWESOME…. thanks man.
    Up until this point I didn’t even know what an EFW file was. Great job, and thanks again.



  • peter khan

    I was having problems to access a .zip file that was sent via email. The .zip file changed to .efw file type after download. I decided to search the .efw file because iI was familiar with it. Blessed I was when I stumbled on this site, read and follow the instuctions given, because I have CA, and it worked. Thank you very much, I just understand more about CA and .efw file types.

  • Sam

    I have RR, had EZ Armour but now RR change to CA Security Suite. I remember last time when I made some changes to EZ Armour mess up others, so your post is great and easy to understand the issue.
    Thank You for taking the time to save me a headace.


    CA is one of the best PC and enthernet protecting programs. I have used NOD32 Anti-Virus all year long, never gimme a problem. Since I was decided to have some things new to learn I picked CA LOL:) the only thing bother me is “.EFW file” but, I find out to fix it in the first place. OohLala:) Here is my way to fix it.
    1. Change the file to whatever, you downloaded zip, rar, tar, …… if you remembered.
    2. There is another way to handle this (efw file) Search around in google if you can fine (7ZIP) compression. Install and right click on “efw file” in your folder and extract it with (7ZIP) compression program. That’s EZ and Good luck.

  • Ian

    I too got caught with the stupid efw file, and after doing what you said, was great. thanks

  • David

    I’m glad I could help with those pesky efw files. The steps above should help you if you are trying to open or unzip an efw file, if you are just looking for an efw file opener then you’ll need to follow step 1 above and open it after you’ve renamed it, chances are that you already have a program that can do the job!

  • jake

    Thanks a ton mate i couldnt figure out for the life of me what EFW was, did a quick search and found your post here and followed it to this website, thanks again it rly heped!

  • 911

    The reason you get corrupted files after changing the filetype to something other than .efw is because you have no clue to what it should be. CA changes .exe, .rar, and .zip to .efw with no way to know what it originally was. If it originally was .zip, and you change it to .exe, it is no better than leaving it .efw, because Windows is trying execute a zipped file, and it won’t work. If you change .efw to something else, you have only one chance in 3 of getting it right.

    Changing the filetype to ‘protect’ you is an awfully bad idea. Changing it with no way to know what it should be is even worse.

  • nine_eleven

    There are about 2 dozen filetypes that CA converts to .efw. If you just try changing them to .zip or .rar, or .exe, you are still very likely to have an unusable file. Look in the “email attachments” tab for a list of the filetypes it blocks. My main problem with this is that they also block these from dowhnloads that are not Emails.

  • Richard

    Thank the lord for folk like yourself that share their knowledge to make our lives a lot easier. Keep up the support it is really appreciated. Thanks

  • Me

    Great post, It really help me. Thanks

  • JR

    Thanks, your info on the efw files is great! I would have never been able to fix the problem without you, sharing your vast knowledge. Again thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lorian

    Thank you thank you!

    I figured it was the CA program but couldnt figure out how to get it to stop!

  • Darlene

    Thank you so much for this…I've had that same trouble with all downloads….and I have roadrunner to with CA….I thought that was when it started..but wasn't sure…thanks a bunch for the fix…

  • KnightKnetwork

    Happy to help! With all the Roadrunner .efw download file problems, you'd
    think they would let you know it's a possibility before you install CA.

  • Bill

    I've sent a support question to CA fussing about this problem because it happened to me over night. This is one thing I found on the net that might be helpful. If you open the file with a text editor like notepad and look at the first 2 characters of the file you can salvage some info. If they are PK rename to ZIP, if they are MZ rename to EXE, if Rar! then RAR. These are the only ones I found. When I hear from CA I'll post again.

  • KnightKnetwork

    They don't seem to alter the file in anyway but renaming it so those headers
    must be universal and not something related to CA. It would be good to know
    which ones that CA looks for to do their renaming. Please do let me know
    what you hear.

  • Bill

    CA sent me this link that pretty much follows what you said.

    They did not mention the use of a text editor to determine the original file type.

    Thanks for your hard work!

  • KnightKnetwork

    Thanks for following up Bill. I found a few of the headers myself, but the
    only one worth passing along is that an exe could also have 'ZM' as well as
    'MZ'. Perhaps I'll code something up to make a best guess rename.

  • 'Cartney

    This worked for me(Disabling Firewall did not):

    Open CA Security Center>Help(There is a 'drop down' arrow next to the help button. Select this and choose 'online support'. This will take you to their website). Choose 'Technical Support' then your CA product type. There should be a 'Search Knowledge Center' input box. Enter 'efw'. It will provide a couple options to try.

    If you have a CA software version where the above path is bogus try copying and entering this into your browser:

    One option mentions to go to CA Firewall then select Email tab then turn off Email Protection. I downloaded an executable file after doing this and it still resulted in a EFW. The 'My Computer' option worked.

  • Clare


  • Jessica

    This post was a huge help with a customer that was experiencing download problems due to CA antivirus. I was able to read the post to them on the phone & fix the problem in about 5 minutes.
    Thank you so much. J

  • Raymond

    Thank you you help me I didn't no what to do !!!!!

  • matt

    Thank you SO much! This worked like a charm, and now i can start playing Pokemon on the computer again, lol =)

  • Mike Post

    Great article, man. Keep up the good work and please do keep sharing.

    Thanks in advance!


  • charly

    intersting dicussion, i must sat ca antivirus i does offer ?

  • streetchemistry

    Thank you so much!!! This was very easy to follow, and quick to fix.

  • J Griff

    Thanks a bunch! Changing the email settings in my CA software fixed the problem.

  • Morphdude

    Just ended up getting rid of CA due to complications…

  • KnightKnetwork

    Glad it helped!

  • Iv

    I like it!

  • Jay

    Thanks so much! I also have CA and for a quite awhile was baffled about these EFW files. I changed a folder full of downloads all to ZIP but was still having problems opening some of them. After reading a few of the posts I realised that I had changed some EXE and RAR files to ZIP.
    I was please to find a little free downloadable program that allows you to change file extensions.
    You can also add file extensions.

    Thanks again, Jay

  • Tracey Lewis

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
    I just installed CA and did not know it would change my zip files. Your fix worked perfectly!!! Thanks a bunch! Tracey

  • Tracey Lewis

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
    I just installed CA and did not know it would change my zip files. Your fix worked perfectly!!! Thanks a bunch! Tracey

  • Ebony


  • Kristy

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!!

  • William Dean

    Very helpful. Thank you. I've been frustrated trying to open this .efw file, yet all these sites I've pulled up to help me only want to install new software for a “free” scan, then charge me for what may or may not be a remedy. I know where to come for advice from now on. Again, thank you.

  • Marty

    Thanks for the heads up. I was attempting to update my Advanced System Care 3 and the .efw file extension was attaching itself to my download. I changed the extension to .exe and voila…Everything is golden.

  • JnCali

    OMG Thank you sooo Much for this post! This helped me fix my problem. It is exactly what was happening to me. This helped tremendously and relieved the frustrations I was having!