Okay, this is a strange one.
Ever since 2017 rolled around I have had this weird situation where I cannot load any pages from an Apple server on one of my iMacs. The strange things about this are:
- It happens using either Safari or Firefox - but Google Chrome works fine
- The iTunes Store, Mac App Store, etc are also affected
- Every other device on the same network (e.g. iPhones, iPads, MacBook Pros, Apple TV, PCs, etc) all connect fine to these servers (including the same Safari/Firefox browser versions running within macOS on a virtual machine on the same iMac)
- The problem persists regardless of how I connect this particular iMac to a network (i.e. ethernet or Wi-Fi, directly or via a router)
- All other web servers (as far as I can tell) load fine
Restarting the iMac has no effect, neither does using Safe Mode. Nor did clearing caches, switching off extensions, switching to another user account. I also checked Google Chrome's settings (looking for some sort of DNS caching/prefetching option) to see if I could identify why it works, thinking that would help me troubleshoot the issue - but I didn't see anything obvious.
However, one solution I have found that resolves this issue is:
- connect using a VPN that places me in another country
- load apple.com in Safari
- disconnect from the VPN
- now all apple servers load fine in Safari and Firefox, as well as both the iTunes and App Store apps
Unfortunately, within a day or so the problem reappears and again, the only fix I've found is the one above. While this fix only takes about a minute, it is nevertheless frustrating, especially when you're in the middle of a workflow and have to access Apple's servers all the time!
Does anyone have any ideas about this?
Remember: This affects Safari, FireFox, iTunes and the App Store apps but not Google Chrome? And only those apps on one iMac are affected, but not within macOS on a virtual machine on the same iMac.
The iMac in question has the following specs:
- 21.5" Mid-2010
- 16GB RAM
- Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.6
- Safari 10.1 (but since v10.0.2)
- FireFox 52.0.2 (but since v50.1.0)
- iTunes 220.127.116.11 (but since v18.104.22.168)
- App Store 2.1