Downie 4 contains code that threatens users with deleting random files

It is being reported on Reddit that Downie 4 (a video downloader app developed by Charlie Monroe Software) contains code for a popup that claims to have deleted random files on the computer as a ‘punishment’ for allegedly using a pirated/cracked version.

It has been confirmed on X that this code exists in the app:

The developer has now also confirmed that this is true, and that the message is really there, after initially accusing others of lying:

However, he claims that no files were ever deleted. If I were at Apple, I’d revoke his developer certificate for unethical behaviour.

It is now probably best to uninstall Downie 4 as a precaution. It has also been confirmed that his other app, Permute, contains the same code.

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I’ve used Downie and Permute for years. I’m literally waiting to give the developer more money for the next major paid upgrade.

I get how fragile trust is but I also understand that ISV are affected greatly by cracked software why warnings like that can be put into software.


I have also used Downie for years, and it’s a great app for whenever I need a video offline (mostly for education purposes). Warnings that the license is suspicious would be fine, as would be a refusal to launch the app until this is sorted. It wouldn’t be the first app to do so.

This seems to have occurred for a legitimate user because of a mismatch between the email address to which the app was registered and the email address used to ask for support.

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It’s obviously a joke. People are acting silly about this.


It’s a ‘joke’, but it’s an immature and a very poorly executed one. :confused:


I’ve been using Downie 4 since 2016. It’s been a good app and the one time I needed support the dev was quick to respond. Thanks for the info, but I plan to keep it.

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Another Downie 4 advocate here. While I don’t support a legit user getting a scare-tactic message, I’ve never experienced anything suspicious while using it myself.

It will be interesting to see if the Downie dev joins this thread to offer an explanation, apology or whatever

Joke or not it’s not an acceptable way to operate. Just deleted Downie from my machine. And yes, it WAS a legal copy.

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I like the app and picked it up from MPU forums. What I don’t like about the app is it needs to ring home every time it’s launched else it won’t work, like WTH. I use Little Snitch and deny all connections except the website I’m downloading from. But with Downie, I HAVE to allow connections to the dev’s domain else it says license isn’t verified (after 2 retries), I don’t know what data they are collecting and posting back home. I can’t sit there monitoring their behavior.

I only want to allow the website I am downloading the video from, that’s it. Other major apps don’t do this home ringing to verify license. Once it’s added and confirmed, its done. Alfred, Keyboard Maestro, Hazel, BetterTouchTool, DaisyDisk, PopClip and countless other do offline license verification. They are top notch apps.

The developer clearly seems kiddish and immature. The moment I find a good Alfred workflow, I’m out! (and it won’t be just because of this thread though)


More than poorly executed. Like they say, it’s takes a lifetime to build trust, and 5 second to lose it.

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I had to google to find out what this app is… why would anyone pay for this? I would think the users here have homebrew installed and have installed the approriate FREE app. I have automated mine with TextExpander.

Downie is included in SetApp. I think a developer who even “jokingly” does this is an unprofessional jerk.

I’ve uninstalled Downie, and removed my positive reviews.


Feel free to share your free app name.

Although, the free apps aren’t as useful though. Downie provides a easy interface and downloads from most website (even reddit). it’s very user friendly and thats the reason people like(d) it.

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Very kiddish and unprofessional. If you read this reddit thread, you’d see more about this dev

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I like it because he isn’t as closely watched by Google as youtube-dl/dlc. It’s easy for him to keep up. There are some other nice things about the software.

Agreed that the important thing is to automate whatever you’re using!

Joke or not, There are good reasons for Sandboxing.

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I like it and have used Downie for years to download videos I want to keep offline and in my archive.

These are usually not YouTube videos – sometimes, I attend a free webinar or a free online conference related to my work and want to keep a copy afterwards for whatever reason. I am not sure how long these recordings are kept on Zoom and LinkedIn, for example, but sometimes I don’t want to risk it as I feel these could be useful in the future. Maybe it’s just my anxiety but it’s not a hoarding habit – I am very selective about this.

A couple of years ago I did my master’s and had to analyse lots of content – some of which was video, which I wanted to have offline for various reasons. Offline analysis is easier. Sometimes content disappears, is taken offline, or expires, and you based some of your work on it. Sometimes you need to include a video in a presentation or a report, and you are not sure if you’ll have a good connection at the meeting.

Downie is very easy to use and will manage to download videos on most sites which is why it was worth paying for, for my use case at least. It even has a guided extraction process where you help it to detect a video when it is unable to do so automatically. I haven’t tried other tools (incl. command line ones) but please share your thoughts on them.


It’s a little rich for a developer whose app knowingly breaks the terms and conditions of a commercial service to be at least somewhat aggressive in enforcing his app’s terms and conditions, plus deleting anything without permission is way beyond the pale.


I imagine some people will now just pirate it to make him mad. :innocent: