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I'm experiencing a weird issue on my M1 Mac (MacOS 12.3) where Chrome will suddenly hang and all browser windows will become unresponsive. When this happens, Safari also hangs and will not resolve any web page. After 5-10 minutes, the problem resolves itself and all the pending tabs either load or refresh and the system is fine again.

I have tried to narrow it down:

  • When hanging, I cannot even access an ip address on my local network or local to my machine
  • Connecting to a VPN does not fix it
  • All other software works fine (spotify, slack, command-line tools)
  • I can ping my DNS host and make DNS requests over the command-line, all ok
  • I can use nmap to make port 80 requests to other hosts, all ok
  • I am running the standard built-in firewall, but no other firewall or antivirus software

I'm completely stumped. Any suggestions as to what I could try next?

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  • Check on multiple networks. Could be your own router or ISP.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 15 at 18:42

1 Answer 1

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As a temporary fix whenever this happens to my M1 Max MacBook Pro running macOS 12.5, I've used the following steps:

  1. Disable the Wi-Fi connection via either Settings > Network > Turn Wi-Fi Off, or by using the Menu Bar dropdown for Wi-Fi
  2. Wait for the hanging webpage tabs to recognize the dropped network connection
  3. Re-enable the Wi-Fi connection

I think the underlying issue is that I migrated from an Intel-Based MacBook Pro—I've never seen this issue with two other M1-based MacBooks I used regularly, and neither of them had been migrated from an Intel-based MacBook. The behavior also seems to show up only when I'm opening several tabs in rapid succession, though I'm less confident on that count.

I strongly suspect that completely erasing all content and settings on the MacBook would fix the issue—there's probably a network setting somewhere that was migrated when it shouldn't have been. I haven't yet reached the level of desperation/annoyance necessary to try that fix, though, and have not yet determined which network setting is the problem.

In addition to the troubleshooting steps listed in the original question, I've also confirmed that:

  • curl works fine in Terminal when the browsers (Google Chrome and Safari) are both acting up
  • Disabling the built-in firewall does not prevent the issue from happening

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