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Google Chrome Crash

by Chrome Blog on September 5, 2008

Many people are aware by now that placing about:% or just :% in to Chromes address bar will crash your Chrome Browser.

However i have just been made aware of a number of “pranks” involving adding hyperlinks to webpages that will crash Chrome when a user mouses over the image/hyperlink.

So if you want to test this behavior in a controlled manner i have made a test page that will demonstrate. Please note, ensure you do not have unsaved work in “any” of your tabs as Chrome will crash and close down. This does not cause any permanent harm to Chrome and is in no way malicious besides causing Chrome to close.

Click to visit the test page

There’s currently no way to prevent this behavior, and the only way to check webpages that have implemented this is to view the source code and search for the crash string which isn’t practical.

I will update this post when a fix is implemented.


As mentioned by Niosop and Man below in the comments, this has been corrected in build

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 I don't get it... 09.05.08 at 6:43 pm

Didn’t the explanatory ‘comic book’ went to great lengths to explain how when something crashes, you lose only one tab?

I’ve also had Chrome crash when opening a pdf and again, everything crashed, not just the ‘bad’ tab? Did I misunderstand something about how that’s supposed to work?


2 Paul 09.05.08 at 10:40 pm

The about:% is something that probably gets read by the main application (the one that controls all your instances of chrome, and any tabs inside them). Something like: the main application doesn’t actually run all the stuff going on, but it reads the links and text so it can keep track of it all. That % or :% must be some sort of key character (whether in the language being used, or the browsers functions) – where it reads it, says “Oh, I know that!” and then “Uhoh… it wasn’t what I thought”.

The thing with crashing inside a tab seems more specific to, say, flash games, javascript errors, and other items along those lines. Things that are specific to a web page, and not the entire browser.

One idea to help get around it a little for now – until a full fix is completed – is to occasionally save what’s currently being done. Then, when it crashes, restore whatever it can off the most recent save. Similar to Firefox’s “Tab Saver” or “Session Fix” plugins. At least then, it would be a little bit less of a brutal crash.

3 Niosop 09.05.08 at 11:19 pm

Looks like Google patched it. Just downloaded Chrome again, and version went from to, and the proof of concept site doesn’t crash it anymore.

4 man 09.06.08 at 1:39 am

yes, it is fixed.

5 keepitsimpleengineer 09.06.08 at 5:00 pm

Both release version crash Chrome (restart message box appears) when I click on Chrome’s Tools menu item “Options”. WinXP 64bit. THis does not happen on 32 bit XP or Vista Ult 64bit.

6 Skyrider 09.18.08 at 11:42 pm

I hope someone knows how to get Chrome back running after a crash. I was using it fine for several days and then it had a crash for whatever reason I do not know, and it will not recover from. I’ve uninstalled and then reinstalled but it will NOT rise from the dead! It gives a momentary 1/10th of a second flash at the top of the screen an that’s it. As far as I can tell it’s dead, buried, gone and will soon be forgotten.

7 Antonio 10.16.08 at 5:38 pm

Hello Skyrider! I have the same your problem! My Google Chrome died too and I tried reinstalling as you did…but it didn’t worked! Now I uninstalled it 🙁

8 abemore 11.26.08 at 1:32 am

skyrider/antonio, same problem. i been using chrome exclusively since it came out cuz FF crashed too much, now suddenly I closed it and it wont open any more. i rebooted, still no chrome. it just does hourglass for a moment. i was on the dev channel, so i switched it back to the beta channel. still no chrome. so now im googling… and still no chrome 🙁

9 Peter Lanado 11.29.08 at 12:52 pm

Is there a reboot string flowing between chrome applications?

Since the last update to .4, whenever using google reader and clicking on a link to open a story (like to the bbc website, pc pro, etc.), in a new chrome tab there’s a momentary pause before my whole machine reboots.

Doesn’t happen in any other browser apart from chrome. Doesn’t happen on the same sites either, different sites, length of time open.
Using avast and zonealarm, XP with SP3.

Any thoughts?

10 jacen 01.10.09 at 3:45 pm

hi can you change lego to some thinkeles

11 Wooyke 03.20.09 at 6:20 am

Hi, my Chrome is not crashing even when I type “:%” in the address bar…maybe it’s fixed 😉

12 FMogheth 04.21.09 at 8:14 am

Im using chrome for a long time and today it went nuts for the 1st time… cant have the browser open for more than 30 sec.. it crashed nad need to refresh…

any help???????/ it doesnt matter if im active or idle on the pc…

13 hany3h 03.31.10 at 3:51 pm

i am using chrome from first release
from this time chrome crashing after some time on my pc and work pc
and with some web site go crazy crashing
i use xp 32bit install new windows install chrome every release dav beta stable no way to stay on chrome more than 10 min
i love chrome because it is very fast but i am very sad because of that chrash

14 looli 05.04.10 at 1:24 pm

my google chorme always crahsed please please i want a way easy or hard but i want to fix it from this crashing

easy or hard way .. i want to safe MY GOOGLE CHORME PLEASE T_T

I’M searching in all the websites but nothing happens please help me

15 Rahul 05.10.10 at 7:42 pm

When i put my mouse over the button that said “Putting your mouse over will crash google chrome” it didnt crash lolz??

16 Harsh Ajmera 06.05.10 at 12:51 am

here is one efficient solution to prevent google chrome from crashing.. click here

17 Bibi 06.25.10 at 9:43 pm

My google chrome crash …. it show that it’s running… but take so long time to open a page, then suddenly pop up a window saying that …
“your browser is unrespond” and asking me either to kill the pages or wait…


18 Deepak 03.19.11 at 8:20 am

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