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How to Fix the Google Chrome Bug Corrupting Macs

Right now there is a peculiar phenomenon going on right now where Macs are crashing for seemingly no good reason. First reported by Mac users in Hollywood, witnessing their Mac Pros crash, this issue has thankfully been solved, thanks to Google figuring out that Chrome is responsible for the flaw.

Variety reported the initial outbreak of crashing Macs, which all seemed to have trouble running the AVID Media Composer program. Thankfully, a Google Support Managed named Craig explained the cause and solution in a blog post that notes "a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection ... disabled." 

While initial reports seemed to suggest that only Mac Pros were getting hit, this note from Google suggests that any Mac not running System Integrity Protection, SIP for short, is at risk.

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SIP is a technology that Apple introduced in macOS El Capitan, which came out in 2015, that's meant to protect your system from malware. In Apple's words, it restricts the root user account and limits the actions that the root user can perform on protected parts of the Mac operating system. This issue seems to be popping up now because AVID users often need to disable SIP.

How to fix the macOS bug that's crashing Macs

1. Boot into Recovery Mode by holding Command+R as your Mac boots up.

2. Click Utilities.

3. Select Terminal.

4. Run each of the following commands.  You may need to replace "Macintosh\ HD " with the name of your hard drive, if you renamed it.

chroot /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD 

rm -rf /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle

mv var var_back     

ln -sh private/var var

chflags -h restricted /var

chflags -h hidden /var

xattr -sw com.apple.rootless "" /var

5. Reboot. Chrome should do the rest to fix your system.

Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.