When starting and opening Google Chrome web browser, especially in recently updated Chrome version 78 or newer, all web pages crashed with the following error message:
Something went wrong while displaying this webpage.
While the Chrome crashes on some web pages is pretty common happenings, but this time the crash happens on every tabs and every web pages that one opens in Chrome web browser. The crashed web pages and tabs include any and all websites, Chrome new tab page, Chrome’s Settings page, Chrome’s extensions page, About Chrome page, About Version page, Chrome URLs page and more. To make matter worse, Chrome crashes as soon as you start the web browser, and inability to access Settings making any change to configuration or reset the Chrome.
The cause of the ‘Aw, Snap!’ Chrome crash issue appears to be due to outdated version of Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP), though not all computers and workstations installed with SEP client may experience the disruption.
Symantec explains that the issue is due to incompatibility of SEP Application Control technology with Microsoft’s Code Integrity feature, which is enabled by default in version 78.0.x of Google Chrome (chrome.exe) and 78.0.x of Microsoft Edge Chromium.
To resolve the issue, Symantec recommends users of SEP to upgrade to the latest version of Symantec Endpoint Protection, i.e. version 14.2 or later to address and resolve the incompatibility for systems running operating systems other than Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 RS1. The later two operating systems still need to update to SEP 14.2 or later, but have to wait till November 12th, 2019 when Application Control definitions will be released to resolve this issue for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 RS1 devices.
If upgrading SEP is not an option, or the OS is one of those listed above, or you encounter the issue even though you’re not running Symantec Endpoint Protection, there is an alternative workaround to fix the incompatibility, by disabling the Code Integrity feature of Google Chrome web browser.
To do so, run the following command to run and open Chrome web browser instead:
Or set the following registry key to 0 with Registry Editor:
Key: HKLM\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome Name: RendererCodeIntegrityEnabled Type: DWORD (32-bit) Value: 0
Other possible but not recommended solution including running Chrome in compatibility mode, downgrade Chrome browser version to 76 or older, or even rename the Chrome executable.
To run Chrome in compatibility mode:
- Right click Chrome icon or shortcut.
- Select Properties.
- Go to Compatibility tab.
- Click or tap on Change settings for all users.
- Select to check Run this program in compatibility mode for.
- Select Windows 7 in the drop down box below.
- Click or tap on OK or Apply to save the settings for all users.
Other undesirable alternatives include downgrading Chrome version to version 76 or earlier. However, to do so, you need to disable auto-update feature of Chrome too, else Chrome will always try to automatically upgrade to latest version, which may bring back the problem. Another is to rename the chrome.exe inside \Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\ folder to another name, such as chrom.exe, and the browser appears to work properly after that, despite the messy solution. Thus, both solutions are not recommended.