You can call it 'spinning wheel,' you can call it 'beach ball,' you can call it 'wheel of death' or any other way you like. The thing is, whatever you name it, the result will be the same – a slower MacBook Pro or Air, iMac or Mac mini. A spinning wait cursor (an official name) can easily drive most of the users mad. Instead of breaking your Apple computer against the wall in rage, try to find out the main cause of the problem without losing your temper and then solve it ASAP.
For starters, we'll remind that spinning wheel stands for an app trying to cope with more operations than it can at a time. It usually happens to different browsers like Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla. It is not necessarily the fault of weak/slow Internet connection.
If you’re lucky, you will observe the beachball for a minute or just several seconds. In other situations, it may show up over and over again. Sometimes, it gets endless so that a Mac owner has nothing else to do except for force quitting the hung app or restarting the device. Of course, the entire data is lost this way. That is why a spinning wheel is also dangerous in addition to being matchlessly irritating. In any case, a beach ball on your screen means that the software is closing the processing tasks to free up space and memory for the new commands. When the application becomes fully unresponsive, it hangs, making the user worried or sleepy. It depends on how urgent the tasks are.
Both Apple native utilities and third-party cleaners provide Mac maintenance. Basically, keeping your Mac clean and healthy is the only sure-fire way to get rid of the Spinning Beach Ball of Death (SBBOD). Many Mac owners treat it as the cause of some larger problem. But it is not actually true. The beach ball is a symptom of the “disease,” and you should know the primary cause(s) to fix it properly and on time.
Purchasing a new machine is the measure of last resort. A user may need it once the processor is dead, but it's not the case with the beach ball.
There are plenty of reasons why Mac slows down, and its owner starts seeing the annoying spinning wheel of death on its screen – e.g., a huge number of startup items, resource-hungry apps running in the background or filled hard drive. Of course, some users can spend some money on new RAM or SSD, but what about people who do not want to start with extra expenses?
In the next section, take a closer look at the possible ways to fix problems associated with the beach ball.
Are you stuck on Apple logo and spinning wheel? Both Mac OS X and macOS can experience problems associated with the rainbow-colored pinwheel/circle. Below you can find a list of the possible ways to fix problems that could lead to the never-ending turning spinning beach ball on your screen.
Method #1: Uninstall useless apps and extensions
You can do that by simply dragging and dropping them to Trash. Preferably, you also should clear out app-related stuff that may stay on your Mac even after you remove unneeded software. Usually, it lurks in the Library folder and contains the name or the acronym of the app or its developer in the title.
To speed up the process, you can make use of specially designed cleaning apps that will do the job in your place.
Method #2: Free up some disk space
Many ways to free up the disk space on Mac exist. With the help of Activity Monitor, search for the largest and outdated files on your Apple computer. You may also look for the duplicates with the help of the third-party cleaner of your choice. Other types of junk include temporary files, login items, startup items, cache, cookies, downloads, etc.
Method #3: Re-index Spotlight
Spotlight is something that allows searching for the files you store on your Mac. The utility creates and maintains the index. Sometimes, it appears to be corrupted. Thus, take the recommended steps to fix it:
Setting up a third-party cleaner might be an excellent solution for those who do not possess enough skills and experience to erase useless files or choose extra RAM/SSD/HDD. Working with utilities like Terminal may be risky for the newbies, so it is better to decide on the special cleaning tool.
However, if you decide to buy extra RAM, be ready that only advanced users can install it properly. Otherwise, you'd better contact an Apple Store or an authorized service center to have RAM installed.
As far as Safari is the most popular browser among Mac owners being set by default, it would be useful to dedicate a separate block to solving the problem with its spinning wheel. After the upgrade to macOS Sierra or High Sierra, you may notice that the browser is hanging up too often. There is nothing left except for the Force Quit option.
Force Quit is not the best decision as the browser may finally fail. A smarter way out is to follow this step-by-step instruction for Mac users to test Safari’s work and fix the issue.
We hope, this article will help you resolve your issues, and you will be seeing the rainbow-colored ball on a sunny beach but not on the screen of your Mac!