Recently (last few days or so, never before) I've noticed that every time I answer a question, at least once during the process my tab will become unresponsive (without Chrome alerting me that the page is unresponsive or anything, but I can no longer type or click on anything). This forces me to open another tab with the same question and finish my answer. This does not happen to me except when I am working on an answer, and I have not had any issues with other sites. In addition to being rather obnoxious, this has caused me on several occasions to lose a chunk of my answer, and in one case caused me to accidentally submit an answer halfway through TeXing a formula (it seems what I type is still processed, at least for a few seconds, just not rendered). Has anyone else had this problem, and is anything being done to address it?

Browser info: Google Chrome, version 17.0.963.56 m (I have not tried using another browser yet).

I've been having the same problem, reported here. –  Zev Chonoles Feb 21 '12 at 9:26
@ZevChonoles Ah, that didn't show up in my search because I restricted it to questions. It seems likely that the switch is responsible. Should I delete the question? –  Alex Becker Feb 21 '12 at 9:32
@AlexBecker could you provide your system specs and a link to one of the answers that gave you issues? –  Geoff Dalgas Feb 26 '12 at 16:44
@GeoffDalgas Windows 7 Pro 64-bit AMD Phenom II X4 965 processor (3.40GHz), 8.00GB RAM, browser as stated in question. This has happened to me on (I believe) every single answer in the last two weeks, so the easiest example is simple my latest answer:…. –  Alex Becker Feb 26 '12 at 16:47
Same here (Chrome 18.0.1025.118 beta-m, Win-7-64) –  leonbloy Mar 22 '12 at 13:44
Can you confirm whether this is still an issue? (apologies for the edits on the linked post - I was testing and submitted by mistake) –  Oded Jul 31 at 13:17
@Oded This was a major issue throughout 2012, but it was corrected in Chrome 24 (and acknowledged, for example, by leonbloy whose old comment is above yours). Feel free to tag this -norepro or -completed; it'd be hard to find Chrome 17 or 18 around, anyway. –  900 sit-ups a day Jul 31 at 16:09
@Oded Also, the report is similarly obsolete. So is ... –  900 sit-ups a day Jul 31 at 16:21
@900sit-upsaday - thanks for confirming ;) –  Oded Jul 31 at 17:14

3 Answers 3

Well, I don't have a permanent fix (obviously, ?) but here's what I do when it happens to me.

Note that the MSE saves your answer several times while you start writing an answer afresh. The amount of data you lose is considerably less. However, if you are editing a post substantially, then you'll run the risk of losing data due to the fact that site could become unresponsive.

So, in such cases, what I understand is that it is a superficial thing happening. That is: What you do to the page is happening but you don't see it. And, any request you submit to the page is not taken in. In this case:

  • You could click on the answer frame of the webpage.

  • Select the whole answer by pressing Ctrl+A. Then, copy the answer by pressing Ctrl+C.

WARNING : You won't see the selection but believe me, it's happening.

  • Now kill the unresponsive page and go back to the answer you were editing. Click on the edit menu and select the whole thing and replace it with what you have copied by pressing Ctrl+V.

This does the job for me.

And, I am not a Pro when it comes to these things as is evident from my language above. So, feel free to edit the answer to make it concise.

+1, this is a good tip! –  Alex Becker Feb 21 '12 at 22:06

I posted this on Meta.Stack a few days ago without realizing that it was also posted here.

Stack exchange occasionally freezes while writing an answer or editing

From what Jarrod Dixon said in the comments, it looks like they are working on it at the moment.


There is a new version of the MathJax preview code that is now being used on, and I hope that it will resolve the problem you have been having. It should also provide faster math preview and more responsiveness while typing. It is a complete rewrite of the code that hooks MathJax into the editor, however, so be sure to report any other problems that you might have.

I had the same problem even now. –  user21436 Mar 27 '12 at 12:09
You might need to clear the browser cache and restart before it will take effect. One way to tell if you are using the new code is to see if the math is rendered immediately rather than after a short delay. I'm assuming this is still on Chrome/Windows? How long an answer (approximately how many equations) was it? –  Davide Cervone Mar 27 '12 at 12:13
Thank you for the tip. I'll try it out and let you know. And, while writing this answer is when I had the problem. –  user21436 Mar 27 '12 at 12:16
I was able to retype your answer (as fast as I could type) in Chrome 17.0.693.79 on Windows 7 without problems. If you continue to have problems, will you use the About MathJax entry in the MathJax contextual menu and tell me what font mode is in use (it is right below the MathJax title at the top)? Thanks. –  Davide Cervone Mar 27 '12 at 12:39
Hi, I have had this problem recently, but probably not related. It becomes unresponsive within typing few lines and becomes responsive rendering MathJax this way. I have cleared my cache and all was fine. I am reasonably sure, I am using the new system at place as the rendering is rather quick. Thank you for your time. : ) –  user21436 Mar 28 '12 at 11:39
Hmph. It would never let me add anything to that answer. : ( –  user21436 Mar 28 '12 at 12:04
When it becomes unresponsive, is it when the first equation is trying to be typeset (that is, when you enter the close delimiter for the first equation)? At that point, MathJax may be loading its input and output processors to handle the math, and that can take a little time. Your image seems to suggest that the fonts are not being loaded properly (perhaps the delay is waiting for them to load and timing out). If this happens for you again, will you enter javascript:alert(MathJax.Message.Log()) in the URL type-ion area and let me know what you see? Thanks. –  Davide Cervone Mar 28 '12 at 12:15
PS, I'm not sure I understand the comment about not being able to add anything to the answer. Does that mean it freezes for you right away? –  Davide Cervone Mar 28 '12 at 12:16
It becomes unresponsive within typing a few characters. :-( –  user21436 Mar 28 '12 at 12:17
Will you try the javascript command I mentioned above? Also, will you open the javascript console (before starting to answer) and see if any error messages are displayed when it freezes up? Thanks. –  Davide Cervone Mar 28 '12 at 12:19
About the longer comment, you left, yes, I'll let you know. : ) And, it is not at the first equation. It is when I typeset a display equation, mostly, that it started to behave this way. –  user21436 Mar 28 '12 at 12:19
BTW, now I finished with the help of a text editor. : ) –  user21436 Mar 28 '12 at 12:20
Perhaps we should continue this via email and post a summary? Contact me at dpvc at union dot edu. –  Davide Cervone Mar 28 '12 at 12:27

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