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How To Stop The Spinning Wheel On Mac (9 Simple Fixes)

The spinning wheel, also known as the “spinning wheel of death” isn’t always as scary as you may think. Sure, it can point to serious problems, but it often means that the system is overloaded. Many users understandably struggle with how to stop the spinning wheel on Mac.

To stop the spinning wheel on Mac, close as many Safari tabs and background apps as possible to give the processors a break. You can also stop the spinning wheel if you restart your Mac or turn it off altogether. If the problem persists, you must reset the PRAM and NVRAM, install the latest update, or repair the disk.

Delete apps you don’t use anymore so storage space on your Mac is at least 15% open. Follow along as we explore how to stop the spinning wheel on Mac.

Why Is My Mac Stuck on the Spinning Wheel?

If your Mac is stuck on the spinning wheel, it is likely due to a processing error. This can happen when there are too many tabs open on the Safari browser. It also occurs when there are too many apps running in the background.

The spinning wheel, often called the “spinning wheel of death”, doesn’t necessarily mean that your Mac is broken. Instead, it typically indicates that there is a request that cannot be processed due to minimal storage space or excessive background activity.

How to Get Rid of Spinning Wheel of Death on Mac

Force Quit the App

Did the spinning wheel appear on your Mac while using a specific app? If so, that means that something is wrong with the app or it’s overloading the system’s processors. In that case, you must “force quit” the app quickly to lessen the strain on your Mac.

This happens due to app glitches, but it can also occur if the app is outdated or corrupted. To force quit the app, simply click the Apple icon on your Mac’s menu bar. Scroll down and select “Force Quit” next to the name of the app you are running. This will quickly close the app, and it should solve the problem if it’s because of the app.  

Repair the Disk

Disk errors can cause app and browser crashes, slow performance, and the spinning wheel to appear on your Mac. You can tell that’s the case if there are no unresponsive apps. To repair the disk, you must first open Finder and select Applications.

Select Utility to open the Utility menu and click on Disk Utility. Click on your hard drive to select it, then click First Aid. A window will appear on the screen, and you must click Run and Continue. This will repair the disk and the spinning wheel should disappear.

Close Safari Tabs

The spinning wheel on your Mac may be a sign that you have too many tabs open. Safari tabs with advertisements and videos and particular can overwhelm your Mac when running in the background. Close the tabs on Safari you are no longer using to increase the system’s performance and get rid of the spinning wheel.

Restart Your Mac

It may seem too good to be true, but you can get rid of the spinning wheel on your Mac in many cases if you simply restart it. This will give your Mac’s processors a much-needed break and close all browser tabs and background apps. Make sure to save any progress on apps, games, and documents before you restart your Mac.

Simply click the Apple logo on the menu bar, scroll down, and click on Restart to restart your Mac.

Force Shut Down Your Mac

If your Mac is unresponsive when the spinning wheel appears, you may need to force shut it down. You should only force shut down your Mac in emergencies, such as when you cannot interact with anything on the screen. Simply press the power button to force shut down your Mac.

Reset the PRAM & NVRAM

Your Mac’s PRAM and NVRAM control important processes, such as your display, fan, volume, resolution, and more. When they encounter glitches, it can cause the spinning wheel on your Mac because the system is unresponsive. To stop the spinning wheel, you must reset the PRAM and NVRAM on your Mac.

Turn off your Mac and let it cool down for a moment. Next, press the Option, Command, P, and R keys. Hold them for 20 seconds and let go to reset the PRAM and NVRAM.

Delete Apps

Is your Mac’s storage almost full? If so, it cannot work at its full capacity and you will encounter app crashes and drops in your Mac’s performance speed. You should always leave your Mac’s storage at least 15% empty to ensure you can install updates and avoid performance issues.

Update Your Mac

When is the latest time you updated your Mac? If it’s been a while, then there’s a good chance that your Mac’s operating system is outdated and needs a performance enhancement. Ideally, you should install macOS updates as they become available to ensure optimal performance.

If you missed the notification, however, you can still upgrade to the latest macOS version via the menu bar. Click the Apple icon, select System Settings, and click on Software Update to install the most recent macOS update.

Wait it Out

If your Mac is unresponsive when the spinning wheel appears, you may simply need to wait it out. The spinning wheel doesn’t always mean that something serious is going on. In some cases, the spinning wheel simply means that your Mac is struggling to process something. In that case, you may simply need to wait a moment or two for it to go away.

So, How Do You Stop the Spinning Wheel on Mac?

Restart your Mac or press the power button to shut it down if it’s unresponsive. Close Safari tabs and background apps that put a strain on the system’s processors to stop the spinning wheel on Mac. Reset the PRAM and NVRAM or install the latest macOS update if the spinning wheel still appears.