Google Chrome keeps crashing? It might be your antivirus

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A Symantec antivirus suite is causing the latest version of Google Chrome (released on October 22) to crash unexpectedly. 

As reported by ZDNet, the problem appears to involve Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) – a security package that's popular with businesses. After upgrading to Chrome 78, many users have reported the browser crashing repeatedly, displaying the message 'Aw snap! Something went wrong while displaying this webpage.'

The problem only seems to affect SEP 14, which is an older version of the security suite, but is still used by some organizations that haven't yet upgraded.

How to fix it

Google has has acknowledged the complaints, and recommended that any business users who find themselves unable to load webpages in Chrome should speak to their IT department and advise them to upgrade to SEP version 14.2 or later. 

You can also disable the added protection that triggers this incompatibility using the RendererCodeIntegrityEnabled policy in Chrome," suggests product support manager Craig Tumblison, but doing so could leave the browser open to attacks, so it's not the wisest course of action.

If you're experiencing the same problem at home, Tumblison recommends posting in the relevant support thread, including the name and version number of your antivirus software, so Google can work out a fix.

In the meantime you could switch to a different browser temporarily. Although it's based on Chromium, the latest release version of Microsoft Edge is unaffected, or you could use the opportunity to take Firefox, Opera or Brave for a spin.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)