I just got a help request from a frustrated friend. She has a new Macbook Air and is unable to access Google Mail via any browser. Specifically, here is what she reports to me:

She can access other Google Suites pages (Drive, Calendar) with no trouble.

When she goes to mail.google.com she gets the following error messages:

  • In Safari: "Safari can't open this page."
  • In Chrome: "This site can't be reached, server took too long to respond (err connection times out)."

She said it doesn't work in Firefox either, but I'm not sure what the error message is.

She also reports that she doesn't have this issue on any other Apple device or on her PC.

Other interesting details: She had the exact same problem on her old MB Pro.

If it were just one browser, I would think it's a corrupted cookie file or something. But I don't see how that could affect multiple browsers.

Any thoughts?

  • This is an interesting problem! When she got the new MBA, did she transfer data via Time Machine restore, Migration Assistant, or manually copying files?
    – NoahL
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 3:31
  • @NoahL Not sure -- I asked her that same question but haven't had an answer yet.
    – mweiss
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


I suggest to check the /etc/hosts file for any entries containing mail.google.com. This can be done by opening the Terminal and running:

cat /etc/hosts

Ignore all the lines starting with a # and look for any line containing mail.google.com. If there is one, you can follow this guide to remove the entry.

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