Whenever I type File:/// into the URL bar in Chrome, into Text Edit, and more, it crashes the app. I found out about this after reading this blog post.

How can I avoid this crash and make it impossible for apps that get this string whether it's typed, pasted or arrives in a file, message or download?

  • Does it crash the app, or does it crash your system?
    – kojiro
    Feb 4, 2013 at 20:57
  • @kojiro: the app. In case of programs like Chrome or text editors, this is a VERY severe bug, seeing as you lose all work.
    – houbysoft
    Feb 4, 2013 at 21:41
  • I'm not arguing it's not severe, I'm just pointing out that the title and last sentence says system, but it does not, in fact, crash your system.
    – kojiro
    Feb 4, 2013 at 22:01
  • 3
    Are you more concerned about people typing 8 characters on your computer than you are about them selecting Force Quit or Shutdown from the Apple menu? Feb 4, 2013 at 23:50
  • 1
    @RussellBorogove The danger is not someone typing on your computer but people sending you a message, mail or document with the text in it. Mail will crash, reopen, crash until you manually delete the file with the dangerous content.
    – Matteo
    Feb 10, 2013 at 7:19

2 Answers 2


It's a bug in 10.8.1 and 10.8.2 only.

The workaround for this pesky bug is to disable two items in Language & Text Preference Pane in System Preferences on affected versions of Mountain Lion:

  • Select (click) on Text in the middle towards the top of the window
  • deselect (uncheck) "Correct spelling automatically"
  • deselect (uncheck) "Use symbol and text substitution"

Credit for this workaround goes to user shess on the open radar web site.

enter image description here

  • This doesn't work if it's a message received in Messages.app
    – Gert
    Feb 5, 2013 at 8:49
  • @Gert Nice - it also won't work in some cases where you get a file with that string (or similar string) embedded in the filesystem and the crash code starts getting fancy with what looks like a URL/URI. I would be astounded if the next security or dot update doesn't squash this high profile bug.
    – bmike
    Feb 5, 2013 at 22:42
  • 2
    let's hope so. Just for the record. To fix Messages.app, you need to remove your chat.db in ~/Library/Messages/
    – Gert
    Feb 7, 2013 at 6:33

bmike has the workaround, I'll provide the "why": According to this article from TheNextWeb, a feature called Data Detectors, which scans text for meaningful formats (dates, locations...) also looks for file URLs. It does this by looking for "file://", case-insensitive. However, later in the procedure, it asserts that the string should start with "file://" lowercase -- and when this is not the case, such as when there is a capital F, it throws an exception, which apparently (and extremely sloppily) brings down the whole application.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .