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It is usually called the Spinning Beach Ball Of Death. It means that an application is not responding. You can either -

Click and hold on the application's icon in the dock and a menu will pop up with the option to Force Quit. Select that and the application should quit; if not try selecting it again and it will often quit the second time

or

Hold down the three keys Command (cmd), Option (alt) and Escape (esc) together. This will show a Force Quit menu window. Select the offending application from the list of running applications and click the Force Quit button. Click on the Red close window button to dismiss the window.

Other than that you may see the SBBOD if the Mac is running slow for some reason - loading a large video or something like that - but it should clear once it has caught up with itself.

Another option to try is a good Disk Utility for the Mac. If you optimize your hard drive, it should help speed up your Mac and stop the rainbow beach ball from re-appearing. See sources and related links.

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13y ago
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13y ago

Make sure the application and Mac have the latest updates.

The program has either stalled or stopped working and the computer is waiting for the application to respond and waits a certain amount of time to quit, unless the application froze then you have to Force quit it.

Another reason is if you only have the minimum amount of Ram the computer will start using your hard drive as virtual Ram and as the Hard Drive is much much slower then "Normal" Ram it takes a lot longer to read and write to it. Especially if your HD is almost full. If your programs are always getting the "Spinning Beach Ball" most of the time adding more Ram stops it.

Sometimes if you haven't restarted for quite a while some applications that haven't been updated or haven't been written very well won't release the Ram they had used after you quit it so only a restart will clear it. Simply shutting down the computer for several seconds will clear everything up.

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14y ago

If you want to get rid of the spinning colorful wheel on your monitor you just wait for it to load.

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Q: How to get rid of spinning coloured ball on my MacBook Pro?
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