All about Google Chrome & Google Chrome OS

09 Apr 12 PSA: How to temporarily fix the Chrome SSL bug

Over the weekend, Google Chrome received an update that prevented the browser from accessing SSL based services such as Gmail, as well as Facebook and Twitter. While Google has acknowledged the problem on Google Groups, a solution has yet to be pushed out. In the meantime, there are two temporary fixes for the problem so that you can continue using Chrome without frustration.

The current version of Chrome, 18.0.1025.151, creates a file called “chrome_shutdown_ms.txt” every time the browser is closed. When reopened, SSL sites are no longer accessible, instead giving a “Invalid Server Certificate” message. Here’s how to temporarily avoid the problem on Windows 7: navigate to “Users[username]AppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser Data”, and delete chrome_shutdown_ms.txt. Reopen Chrome, and SSL sites should work again.

That can get tedious if you’re having to close and reopen the browser on a regular basis, but there is a way to stop the file from being generated in the first place. To stop chrome_shutdown_ms.txt from being written, close your current tabs (and the browser) with Ctrl+W, or click to close them individually rather than closing everything with the big red X.

There’s no word yet on when Google will be pushing out an update to Chrome to fix the problem, which seems to have affected a wide range of users. We recommend you keep an eye on this Google Groups thread in the meantime.

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07 Apr 12 Google Chrome hit by SSL bug restricting Google services

Google Chrome today has been hit by a bug that prevents the browser from logging on to Google services requiring SSL, such as Gmail and Google Docs. After an update was pushed to Google Chrome, users on Windows 7 found that trying to access Google services resulted in an “Invalid Server Certificate” message, with no way around the problem except to use another browser.

The problem seems to be isolated to those using the latest version of Chrome, 18.0.1025.151, and running the 64-bit version of Windows 7. So far the only way to gain access to Google services with Chrome again is to reinstall the browser, which will give temporary access. Once you close the browser and reopen it, the server certificate error will return.

We stumbled across the bug earlier this afternoon after updating Chrome, and had to switch to Firefox in order to access Google’s services. The bug has hit one of our desktop machines running Windows 7, but doesn’t seem to have affected a MacBook Air running Windows 7 via BootCamp.

Users of Chrome have taken to Google’s support pages with the same problem. There are two threads on Google Groups, with dozens of people all reporting the same issue. A representative from Google has replied, saying that they’re looking into the issue, as well as asking people for more details in order to troubleshoot. The exact cause of the problem is unclear right now.

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