Google says a Chrome update might be killing some Macs

Mac Pro

What you need to know

  • It was originally believed that the issue lay with Avid Media Composer software.
  • However it appears that a rogue Google Chrome update is at fault.
  • Google has shared steps impacted users can take.

We shared a story yesterday in which a number of Mac Pro users were reporting that their machines would not start correctly after being shut down. At the time it was thought that the presence of Avid Media Composer was the cause, although now it seems that isn't the case at all. Instead, Google has confirmed that its Chrome update corrupted some macOS file systems.

Google confirmed the issue in a Chrome support thread, saying that "a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled." SIP is designed to prevent apps from modifying system files, but it needs to be disabled to allow apps like Avid to have a direct connection to a Mac's graphics systems. That's where the link to Avid came from.

Google says that it has now ceased the rollout of Keystone – the Chrome updater software that caused the issue – while it works on a fix. In the meantime it has also shared details on steps impacted users can take in order to get their machines back up and running.

We've reached out to Avid for comment on their stance following this news after it confirmed yesterday that it was aware of the ongoing issues. At that time Avid gave the impression that the issue was related to its own software. We'll update this post if and when we receive a response.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.