Mac users dread the sight of it, recognizing that whatever they’re doing is about to slow down or potentially even disappear. The spinning color wheel can wreak havoc on a workday or frustrate Mac users while they’re shopping online or using their computers in their downtime. But why does it appear? And what can be done to fix it?
According to Setapp, a website designed to give Mac users easy access to great apps, the spinning color wheel appears when an application is trying to cope with more tasks than it’s capable of handling at any given time. Mac users know that the spinning color wheel sometimes appears only momentarily, while other times it won’t go away, preventing users from using the app and often requiring they force the app to quit.
Even if the spinning color wheel disappears quickly or users quit the affected app, preventing the wheel’s return is something users very much want to do. To do that, users must utilize a monitoring tool to discover which apps are putting the greatest strains on their computer. Setapp advises using iStat Menus, which helps users see how well or how poorly their Macs are running. Users also can launch Activity Monitor from within iStat Menus, which is easily found through the Finder menu bar at the top left of each Macintosh computer.
Apps that appear to be adversely affecting the computer, consistently producing the spinning color wheel, should be uninstalled completely. Once users have done that, they can then reinstall the apps. Once the apps have been reinstalled, remove the temporary files necessary for installation.
Some Macs may produce the spinning color wheel because the computers simply don’t have enough RAM. In fact, Setapp advises consumers buying new Macs to purchase as much RAM as they can afford for their Macs, as that can reduce instances of the spinning color wheel while ensuring Macs perform smoothly long after they’re purchased. Installing RAM on older Macs is often simple, though finding RAM chips that are compatible with older Macs might be difficult and require some digging. Installing RAM on newer Macs is not as user-friendly as it was on older Macs, and users may need to have a representative at their local Apple store install it for them.
No Mac user wants to encounter the spinning color wheel. But with a few troubleshooting tips, they can restore function quickly.