Here’s what to do when you see the Chrome “Aw, snap” error

Google’s Chrome is a terrific browser with lots of great features, not the least of which is that it is fast and stable. It’s particularly good if you use it with a Google account and Google’s mobile apps like Gmail, Docs, and Sheets.

However, occasionally when you use Chrome on your Mac, things can go wrong. And when that happens, you’ll usually see the message “Aw, snap! Chrome is having problems displaying that web page.” If that happens, there are a number of things you can do to try and fix it.

Quick ideas:

  • Disable Flash player
  • Disable the Tampermonkey extension
  • Clear the caches
  • Free up RAM on your Mac

Here’s what to do first.

Tip:

“Aw, Snap” may indicate that your Mac is lacking free memory. And as everyone knows, Chrome is super memory-heavy. For a quick check, run a tool called CleanMyMac X. It has a feature called “Free up RAM” (here’s a link to the free version). Run the “Free up RAM” command and see if the error message repeats. Free up RAM is found inside the Maintenance menu.

Has this method helped you? If not, let’s dig deeper.


How to fix "Aw, snap" on every page

1. Reload the page

When you see the ‘Aw, snap’ message, you’ll notice there’s a great big Reload button right next to it. Go ahead and press it. That might be all you need to do to get it working again.

2. Check your Internet connection

Try another web page in Chrome. If that doesn’t work, launch another browser or any application that connects to the Internet and check that it works. If it doesn’t, the problem is likely to be your wifi or broadband connection and not Chrome. While you’re doing that, launch the same page that was giving the error in another browser. If your Internet connection is working but that page won’t load in another browser, the problem is that web page, not Chrome.

If it is your Internet connection that’s the problem, try restarting your router.

3. Clear the cache

If the web page opens in another browser but still won’t load in Chrome, check to see if it's Chrome’s cache that’s causing the problem.

  1. Click on the More button (three dots) to the right of the address bar and choose New Icognito Window.
  2. Type or paste the URL of the web page that wouldn’t load into the address bar and press Return.
  3. If it loads, the problem is the cache.
  4. Click on the More button again and choose More Tools then Clear browsing data.

Next to Time, choose All Time and select Cached images and files and Cookies and other site data. Now,click Clear Data. Try reloading the web page in a regular (not incognito) Chrome window.

4. Close tabs

If the web page still won’t load, it’s possible that Chrome has run out of memory. To free up memory, you’ll need to close tabs. Select each open tab in turn and, if you want to bookmark it, press Command-D. Then close the tab. Try reloading the page that was giving the error.

If it still won’t load, try closing other open applications on your Mac.

5. Uninstall extensions

Extensions add features to web browsers, but they also consume memory and CPU cycles and, particularly if they haven’t been updated for a while, can create problems for browsers. If you have extensions installed that you no longer use, it’s a good idea to remove them, even if they aren’t causing a problem at the moment.

  1. Click on the More button next to the address bar in Chrome.
  2. Choose More tools then Extensions.
  3. Look through the list of installed extensions. If you see any you don’t use, click Remove next to them.
Tip:

If you use Tampermonkey, maybe it’s the first extension you should disable.



    6. Restart your Mac

    If nothing else has worked so far, try restarting your Mac and then launch Chrome and try and access the web page again.

    7. Make sure Chrome is up to date

    To check whether the version of Chrome you’re running is the most recent, click on the Chrome menu and choose About Google Chrome. If you see an option to relaunch, it means there’s an update available. Click relaunch and then wait for Chrome to restart. Once it has restarted, try to access the web page again.

    8. Reset Chrome

    The next step, if nothing else has worked, is to reset Chrome using CleanMyMac X. This method is really cool because it only resets Chrome to its default state while leaving all your saved data intact.

    1. Download a free version of CleanMyMac X if you don’t already have it.
    2. Choose Uninstaller in the sidebar.
    3. From the list of apps, locate Chrome and check the box next to it (Tip: you can filter the results by clicking ‘Google’ in the middle section)
    4. Click and hold on the Uninstall dropdown next to Chrome.

    Now, choose Reset.

    9. Check for malware

    Sometimes Chrome, and other browsers, fails to work properly because malware has been downloaded onto your Mac. So, if nothing else works, you should scan your Mac for malware using an anti-malware tool. CleanMyMac X has one built-in. This app is a more or less universal problem fixer, and it’s also notarized by Apple.

    1. Choose Malware Removal in the sidebar.
    2. Press Scan.
    3. CleanMyMac will scan your Mac and compare what it finds against its database of known malware. If it finds anything, it will tell you.
    4. Press Remove if any malware has been found on your Mac.

    There are lots of possible reasons for Google displaying the “Aw, snap” message. It just means that something has gone wrong when it’s trying to load a web page. That something could be anything from your wifi or broadband connection to having too many tabs open or even malware. If you follow the steps above, you should be able to identify the problem and fix it. And if you use CleanMyMac to help, either to reset Chrome or to scan for malware, you’ll sort it out quickly and Chrome will be running normally again in no time.

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    CleanMyMac X

    Your Mac. As good as new.