Google acknowledged late on Thursday that its Chrome browser was causing crashes on some MacBook Air models. Google issued a statement to Gizmodo saying that the problem affects Mac with Intel’s HD 4000 graphics chip running OS X, and it said it has pushed an update to users disabling the features causing the problem while it works out a long-term solution.
According to Google’s statement, the issue is a memory leak within OS X itself. Tapping the feature with that leak results in a kernel panic, and that’s when the MacBook Airs crash.
Google’s full statement:
We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.
The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new MacBook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.
While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware.