According to some reports, after upgrading Chrome on macOS, the system becomes effectively “bricked” and unbootable.

Why did this happen and what can be done to get the machine up and running again?


Google acknowledges this is a known issue with Google Software Update that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled.

According to this official Google support post, this is a known issue:

We recently discovered that a Chrome update may have shipped with a bug that damages the file system on macOS machines with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled, including machines that do not support SIP. We've paused the release while we finalize a new update that addresses the problem.

The post goes on to make it clear this issue only affects macOS systems with System Integrity Protection (SIP) disabled

If you have not taken steps to disable System Integrity Protection and your computer is on OS X 10.11 or later, this issue cannot affect you.

The solution is to boot the affected machine into recovery mode — start up the machine while holding down Command (⌘) + R — then open up a Terminal window and enter the following; be sure to change /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD to match your default boot volume:

chroot /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD   # "Macintosh HD" is the default
rm -rf /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle
mv var var_back  # var may not exist, but this is fine
ln -sh private/var var
chflags -h restricted /var
chflags -h hidden /var
xattr -sw com.apple.rootless "" /var

Then reboot the system and yhis will remove the affected version of Google Software Update, and restore the damaged portion of the file system.

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