How to Solve “Spinning Beach Ball In Mac” Problem

Updated on April 14, 2021 | Blog   | No Comments  

Overview of Spinning Beach Ball In Mac Problem in Details

This error condition in Mac is also named as Spinning Wait Cursor or Spinning Disk Pointer. The other name is, of course, the Spinning Beach Ball effect. The effect is produced, when the mouse cursor gets replaced by the colourful pinwheel.

This is automatically displayed by the Windows server when the application is unable to handle the events, which are received by it. If there is no response from the application, then this condition arises. This tells the user that, Mac is too busy and the task is not being able to respond normally.

An example of real-life can be cited as the Mac Mini, 3 to 5 years old getting slowed and every time the user clicks on any item, the spinning beach ball effect is displayed. The user has tried to make repairs in permissions and used a professional utility for cleaning the Mac, but without any result.

The spinning beach ball can also occur in the Windows environment, due to the way Windows writes files so that they are broken. This rarely happens with the robust Mac OS X. So, a regular defrag is not necessary for the Mac. A way to Optimise Slow Mac Performance is a bootable backup to check, as the optimization of the hard drive also takes place. Professional defrag software can also be used.

Major Causes and Their Corresponding Solution

The reasons for this Beach Ball condition arise mainly due to hardware reasons or software reasons.


The main reasons for the hardware-related error are as stated below :

1.1)Mac Is Unable To Handle A Complex Software Task

The Spinning Beach Ball appears when the Mac is not able to deal with a complex task, and the CPU is overtaxed for a temporary period, by even a syncing with iTunes.

The solution lies in the use of Activity Monitor for a CPU usage graph. We can have an activity graph in the corner of the screen by using :

Activity Monitor ->Control-click on the Dock icon-> Dock Icon is selected -> Show CPU Usage

1.2)Enough RAM Is Not There

A faulty RAM always means that virtual memory swapping and paging will take up more CPU cycles. This, in turn, will lead to the lesser availability of CPU cycles to apps. If the app is not getting enough amount of CPU time, the beachball will appear.

The solution lies in enough RAM, as permissible by the user’s budget.

2.A Full Start-Up Disk

If there is a full startup disk, then due to lesser space available, the beach ball appears, due to problems in the swapping of files. The solution lies in at least 10 GB of free space in the startup disk. The Activity Monitor can be used for this situation also.

An overall solution, if the cause of the problem cannot be isolated, is the buying of a new Mac. We must try and avoid the concurrent running of a lesser number of apps, at the same time.

3.Startup Disk Entering The Standby Mode

A solution for this lies in the prevention of the Startup disk from entering standby mode. This is achieved with the Energy Saver option in the system preference.

4.Software Problem

The causes are due to software, when the application is hung, due to some infinite loop condition, or are simply inefficient. Sometimes, some background processes may be hogging the CPU Cycles.

The user needs to find out which of the apps are taking up more of the system resources. The CPU tab of the Activity Monitor is used and then sorted by the % CPU column. The first ones consume the most amount of CPU space.

Sometimes, a little patience and a Force Quit or Restarting the computer solve the problem. Please tell whether the “Spinning beach ball in Mac” problem is solved or not and share your experience with other VikMajra customers via the below comment section.

About The Author

Poonam Yadav

Poonam Yadav is an expert technical writer and editor with over 10+ years of experience. She has deep knowledge about Software, IT Companies, Tutorials on Different Topics. She loves to explore new technology and DIY tools.

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