Not exactly news: Chrome crashes frequently when editing math in MSE. And the crash often loses all the work (change the last often to always, if we are editing an already posted answer).

More than a year has passed (this post, from April 2012, mentions that the problem started about 6 months before), several Chrome versions have passed (17 to 23), the issue has been reported several times (thread above, and several others), but, in my experience, things are exactly the same. It happens, in my experience, regardless of computer, Chrome, or Windows version.

The only different behaviour I've experienced lately is that, instead of the old dreaded "Aw Snap" message, the Chrome tab freezes completely (nor even a copy is possible).

Apparently, nobody has a clue about the causes (I'm aware that the whole thing is technically quite complex) and we are just hoping that some update (Chrome, MathJax, whatever) will soon fix things. I, for me, am losing those hopes. Don't take this as a rant. I love SE. It's just that, perhaps because I edit frequently, this is extremely frustrating for me. Beside raising awareness about the issue, in case it helps, and besides asking if there is some current work focused on this problem, I'd like to know how the other users (specially the most active people, who type much more than me) cope with this. Have you all ditched Chrome, at least for MSE? Do you disable the automatic math rendering?

I also wonder if, for the benefit of new users who are not aware, this issue should be more visible (eg, in the help for the editing).

Update: I'd also like to know if someone has found some reproducible scenario of the crash (I doubt it), and if there are some relevant opened issues at Chrome or MathJax. On Chrome, I don't see much.

  • $\begingroup$ I gave up using Chrome, but then again I was always into Firefox. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Dec 18, 2012 at 19:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ My understanding from the previous threads is that the error is in Chrome, but that it's not a high priority on google's end to fix one obscure problem with one website. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2012 at 20:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I use Netscape Navigator. $\endgroup$
    – GeoffDS
    Dec 18, 2012 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ The Chrome situation is a considerable problem. I once had to write an answer twice because of a Chrome crash... Well, I still use Chrome but write Latex in the notepad. $\endgroup$
    – Nameless
    Dec 18, 2012 at 20:24
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    $\begingroup$ I use chrome, I find that crashes tend to only lose perhaps a line of work when writing an answer (and also, if the page freezes, you can return to an almost complete copy of what you were writing by simply refreshing the page) although it is still annoying, both that it crashes and that work is lost. I have recently discovered the issue about editing, and it is extremely annoying. It can partially be worked around by copying your edit every few minutes and then pasting it back in after a crash, although this is still a hassle. Perhaps it's time I switch back to firefox... $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2012 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ IE is excellent for MSE. Firefox is sometimes very slow. I strongly recommend IE. $\endgroup$
    – soup
    Dec 19, 2012 at 11:03
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    $\begingroup$ FYI, it is actually a little less than a year, as the problems began in March, 2012 (the original post said "a couple of months", but was edited in October). Not that that makes a whole lot of difference, but just to keep the record straight. Three things occurred at roughly the same time: a new version of the SE editor, a new version of MathJax, and a new version of Chrome; this made it hard to tell which was the cause, or if it was a combination of the three. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2012 at 0:00
  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations, @leonbloy for reaching 10k! $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Jan 20, 2013 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim: Thanks, Tim. $\endgroup$
    – leonbloy
    Jan 23, 2013 at 20:29

2 Answers 2


Tentative answer: maybe we should not give up on Chrome. The problem appears to be fixed in Chrome 24 (knocking on wood): I have had no crashes since the upgrade.

  • $\begingroup$ Same here (knocking on wood included!) $\endgroup$
    – leonbloy
    Jan 23, 2013 at 20:28

I am currently using Chrome 19 and have used earlier versions without any crash problems. "It happens, in my experience, regardless of computer, Chrome, or Windows version." I use Linux; is it possible this is a Windows-specific problem?

  • $\begingroup$ Chances are that this is/was Chrome-for-Windows problem, caused by some particulars of JavaScript implementation on Windows, like memory management. $\endgroup$
    – user53153
    Jan 20, 2013 at 15:47

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