Can't reach any google site

Sandy Santra

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2008
350
73
Brooklyn
FIXED (see bottom)

Really could use some help on this. Have been researching and troubleshooting ten hours so far. Thanks for any help in advance.

Going to ANY google site, I get the error message: "Safari can't find the server. Safari can't open the page "https://www.google.com/" because Safari can't find the server "google.com."" The same thing happens with google.com, www.google.com, http://www.google.com, mail.google.com, etc. Have flushed the cache, rebooted, flushed the DNS, gone to a different location and used a completely different internet access point—no luck. Have created new user accounts—same problem. Even the icon on the Safari Favorites page doesn't load.

The ONLY way to reach google.com sites is to reboot with Command-R in diagnostic mode, launch Utilities, Help, Safari browser opens, and THEN I can get to a google site. That's the only way. Running Sierra 10.12.6.

All other devices—iPhone, iPad, another person's Mac in the same household—work fine.

Any thoughts? Haven't been able to find much about this in my search. Found one person who was running a gaming file on bootup and it had a line item entry that blocked google.com.

I know in advance people are going to suggest troubleshooting by running a different browser. I don't want to do that. I like a clean, simple environment on my MBP and don't want to be running Chrome or Firefox. The fact that the problem doesn't exist when booting via Command-R tells me that something, somewhere is a problem with the user account(s).

UPDATE: Finally, at one point during my troubleshooting processing I went into the Mac problem that has all the certificates (Key-something) and deleted all the Google entries. Perhaps that (dumb) action is/has perpetuated the problem?

***FIXED***

I have been running GasMask for years, and it's also loaded on the Admin account, so it probably gets deployed also whenever I create a new account. Anyway, it has several different startup options, and I had accidentally switched it over to "Test", which had a 0.0.0.0 entry blocking all of Google. Turned off the Test settings file, switched back to my Normal settings file, and now all is good.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,425
5,646
Try a DIFFERENT browser:
- Firefox
- iCab
- EPIC privacy browser

I don't know how you're connecting to the internet, but I would also try:
- Power down cable modem or other ISP input device, then reboot.
- Power down and reboot router if you're using one.
- Reboot computer.
 

Sandy Santra

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2008
350
73
Brooklyn
I ran into a number of times over the weekend. It found nothing. Just now, per your recommendation, I downloaded the latest version and ran it. No problems.

Download, install, snd run Malwarebytes.

https://www.malwarebytes.com/

Guessing have a shady Safari extension and or installed some infected software, and it keeps resetting everything at startup.
[doublepost=1551800379][/doublepost]
What's in your System Preferences>Network>DNS Server field?
It changes depending on where I am (Home, friend's house, Internet cafe). The values in the DNS Servers list and the Search Domains window on the right are different, depending on location and the router that is providing the wifi. My point: it doesn't matter. I've also at one point deleted the DNS servers, plugged in the recommended 8.8.8.8, and that didn't help, either.

I'm really starting to wonder if it's something on Google's end, that they've blocked me from accessing google sites. But I don't know.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,527
927
It's nothing on Google's side.

Go into Safari preferences. Disable all the extensions, exit Safari. Restart Safari and see if can get to Google. If so, toggle on Extensions one by one until you're blocked.

And if that does not work, go to /System/Library and /Library and look in the folders with a name starting with "Launch" and see if something oddly named in there (ie. not something you've installed). That is where maybe some sketchy stuff is loading at start and causing the issues. Also look in ~/Library (aka your home folder) for same named folders.
 

Sandy Santra

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2008
350
73
Brooklyn
It's nothing on Google's side.

Go into Safari preferences. Disable all the extensions, exit Safari. Restart Safari and see if can get to Google. If so, toggle on Extensions one by one until you're blocked.

And if that does not work, go to /System/Library and /Library and look in the folders with a name starting with "Launch" and see if something oddly named in there (ie. not something you've installed). That is where maybe some sketchy stuff is loading at start and causing the issues. Also look in ~/Library (aka your home folder) for same named folders.
Thanks. This is good advice. But I finally fixed my problem, and am going to update the question at the top of the thread.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,527
927
Good to hear issue resolved.

And for anyone that stumbles onto this thread, good lesson. Things like Little Snitch, firewall programs, etc are places to look. Settings you think are just for an account could very well be affecting every account on the machine.