Chrome Loses Internet Connection

I’ve got a problem where Chrome loses access to the Internet. Other programs including other web browsers on my computer still work. But Chrome just stops being able to access the Internet.

I have three Windows PCs and it’s happened on all three of them at one time or another. I use Chrome for work, so it’s particularly annoying. Quitting Chrome and restarting doesn’t seem to fix it, but rebooting does.

I’m not running much in the way of extensions on Chrome either. For example this just happened on my work laptop and the only extensions its running are the Google Docs Chrome Apps. I think my desktop is running those + EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere and that’s it.

Any thoughts on what’s going on?

Ah, Chrome; the IE6 of the modern web. But this time with tracking!

What do you mean by ‘other browsers’? If you use a different browser that’s still chromium based (e.g. Vivaldi) do they have the same issue?

Do you use the same antivirus or whatever package(s) across all environments that could be potentially interfering?

I’ve been trying the same pages in Firefox which does work (I run NoScript on Firefox and use it for random web browsing). Chrome shows the loading indicator for a long time and then times out.

That’s actually a good question on Chromium, I’ll have to try running Edge next time and see if that has issues as well (IIRC that’s based on Chromium now).

I am running Malware Bytes on at least two of the PCs I’ve had issues on.

FYI you will likely be on ‘legacy Edge’ unless you’ve specifically downloaded and installed new Edge, no idea when they’re planning to include that in a standard windows update.

I had another thought, in that this could potentially be a DNS issue, though I’m not sure how rebooting ‘fixes’ it if this is indeed the case.

So, if you’re not aware a DNS (Domain Name Server) is a 3rd party server your browser will connect to in order to find out which IP address to actually connect to when you go to e.g. google.com.

Basically, this means the connectivity issue may be between you and the DNS rather than you and the actual website. I think chrome uses whatever DNS is configured in your operating system but firefox is configured separately. It now defaults to using a more secure version called DNS over HTTPS and points to cloudflare’s DNSs.

You may find the following useful: http://www.whatsmydnsserver.com

1.1.1.1 is cloudflare’s DNS address if you want to try switching to it - https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/dns/what-is-1.1.1.1/

Lilke @fox.ferro said, it’s probably a DNS issue. Chrome will not always use the OS DNS resolution system and will try to do its own (non-configurable) DNS resolution (it’s a Google “don’t do evil” thing, don’t ask), and if there’s anything wrong with that (offline DNS server, or blocked somewhere) it fails.

I know of no workarounds other than using other browsers; Chromium might be a good option since it doesn’t do that (it’s strictly a Google thing) if you absolutely need Chrome-like behavior.

IIRC desktop chrome should be following default DNS settings and not do its own thing. Mobile chrome does do its own thing depending on settings.

I had some issues that can only be explained by Chrome doing its own DNS resolution on desktop as well. Example: in my company we have an internal configuration of our external domain on our local DNS servers (so computers can connect using internal LAN addresses to certain servers, due to limitations in the firewall) and all browsers would work fine with that… except Chrome, sometimes. Chrome would try to connect to the external IPs for those domains - even with the OS configured DNS servers having pointers to internal IPs - and the only explanation was “it’s using some other DNS server to resolve those domains”. It seems Chrome does respect host files in the local OS though, which is… odd? Go figure.

Yeah I guess then the question is what causes Chrome to lose it and fall back (?) to alternate DNS?

Because https://www.dnsleaktest.com/ does show Chrome using whatever I set the OS settings to

Not sure, but thanks for spelling “loses” right in the topic! One of my internet pet peeves.

Only Google knows. Isn’t a different browser an option? Because that is probably the best option you have.

I use Chrome and it definitely uses what DNS I tell it to. In fact recently my ISP had a DNS failure and it took Chrome down. I redirected to 1.1.1.1 and it resumed working.

This is actually causing your issue. I spent a whole lot of time tracking down similar issues. It also manifested for me as audio crackling. But it is the Web Protection module for Malwarebytes. See this thread in their forums (and there are others): Problem with Chrome/Malwarebytes and resolving host - Malwarebytes for Windows Support Forum - Malwarebytes Forums

Workaround for now appears to be to disable Web Protection, and disable your scheduled scans. Or, reboot after any scans. They are aware and are working on it.

Thanks everyone. I tried replacing the Hostnames with IP Numbers on the theory that that would get around temporary DNS issues but I couldn’t get that to work in any of the web browsers. Not sure why, I could swear I’ve connected to test servers just using IP Numbers before.

@bmarinari I’ll try turning off Malwarebytes next time it happens.