The Spinning Disc Pointer or Spinning Wait Cursor which is popularly known as Spinning Beach Ball of Death (SBBOD) is not always a welcome sight when you are using your MacBook Pro. In fact, it is the lead cause of frustration among Mac users. The probable cause of the Spinning Beach Ball is a software or series of software running at the same time that overtaxes the CPU. The guide below will help you to fix the spinning beach ball.
1. Detect Software
Detect the software that is using up your system memory. According to Human Interface Guidelines released by Apple, the spinning beach ball is an indication that the windows server cannot handle all the even it receives. You can do this by opening the ‘Application Monitor’. You can find the Activity Monitor by clicking on the ‘Macintosh HD’. On the left panel scroll down to places and click on ‘Application’.
Scroll to the bottom of the applications displayed to find ‘Utility’. Click on it to show the utility tools. ‘Application Monitor’ should be on top of the list because programs are by default arranged in alphabetical order. Double click on it to open.
Once it is open, click on % CPU tab on the top row in the fourth column to arrange the apps in descending order of CPU cycles. This means that the app that uses the most CPU cycles will be at the top.
2. Close Software
You can close programs that are using up your CPU space when you spot them on the ‘Activity Monitor’ (assuming the program is not currently in use). Click on the program and then click on ‘Quit Process’. It will present you with the option to either ‘Quit’ or ‘Force Quit’ the process. Closing programs with the most % CPU should eliminate the beach ball.
Keyboard command to stop spinning beach ball
Pressing the red X button by the top corner of a program does not always close the program. The program continues to run in the background and this can be the cause of beach balls. If you don’t want to go through the long process of locating your ‘Application Monitor’, you can use a keyboard command to close programs running in the background.
1. Reveal background programs
Hold down the command button and press the Tab button a couple of times to reveal which programs that are open. Each time you press the tab button, the indicator moves to the next open program allowing you to easily select among open programs.
2. Close unused apps
Using the tab button, navigate to the app that you want to close or to apps that are no longer in use. While holding down the command button, press Q and the app will close. This should restore the speed of your mac and get rid of the spinning beach ball.
3. Shut down or restart
If you have carried out the processes above and the spinning beach ball is still present, it is possible that a Mac system process is frozen. Shut down or restart your Mac by holding Command + Eject or Command + Control + Eject respectively.