More Ways to Fix and Prevent Mac’s Spinning Rainbow Wheel

spinning rainbow wheel

Image via Unsplash

Editor’s note: this is an addendum to our wildly popular How to Fix and Prevent Mac’s Spinning Rainbow Wheel post. Make sure you’ve checked that one out first, then come back here for a laugh and more solutions!


When You Can’t Stop Seeing the Spinning Rainbow Wheel

Your Mac is running slow and you keep getting the spinning rainbow wheel. You’ve attempted several solutions, but no luck.

Life is starting to feel like this:

spinning rainbow wheel

Image via

Or this:

spinning rainbow wheel

Image via Reddit

Or this:

spinning rainbow wheel

Image via Sent from the Moon

And definitely like this:

spinning rainbow wheel

Image via xkcd

Okay, it’s bad. We got it. Let’s try a few other things to clear up your situation.

More Fixes to the Spinning Rainbow Wheel

Download CleanMyMac 3. Do it now.

We made a passing reference to this program in our last post, but in the year since then we’ve spent a lot more time maximizing MacPaw’s product and it’s truly a game changer for Mac speed and performance. It’s resolved many issues for me on my six year old Mac and, thus, my machine is humming along beautifully. Plus, you can download a free trial before committing to it. That’s a no brainer in our opinion!

spinning rainbow wheel

Repair Disk

Apple gives you a free tool in within the “Disk Utility” section that can repair your Mac’s hard disk. This repair might not always speed up your MacBook Air, but it’s worth a shot.
To run  your Disk Repair,
  • Restart your Mac
  • When you hear the startup chime press Command + R
  • Release the keys when you see the Apple logo
  • Disk Utility > Continue
  • Select Disk for repair
  • Click First Aid
  • Click Run

Run Apple Diagnostics

Go through the built-in program — it knows the system best and can help you sweep up any issues causing your machine to overwork and overheat.

Turn off Programs that Run at Start Up

To confirm which programs run at startup go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. Turn off or uninstall programs you don’t use daily.

Check Your Wifi Connection

We recommend the following steps:

  • Ensure you’re on a high-speed broadband connection.
  • Reconfigure your wifi by going to System Preferences > Network > Advanced. Delete old wifi networks and reconnect your computer to your preferred network.
  • Reboot your computer and try the wifi again.

Did our solutions for your spinning rainbow wheel work? Tell us which one in the comments! If not, tell us what you tried and what’s going on — we’ll try to help you find another solution.

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About the Author
Kylie Larson is a content wrangler, helping both small businesses and large organizations get their message up and out. When she's not writing and organizing online, you'll find her walking the dog, with a camera in hand, riding the Chicago blue line, and in the midst of a home renovation project that never ends. Connect with her at
  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Your Mac Spinning Rainbow - Mach Machines

  2. Alana Reply

    The problem with all the fixes is that you lose the changes that have been made. I don’t want to force quit because of that. The rainbow wheel has been spinning for about 30 minutes. Will it ever stop by itself?

    • Kylie Larson Reply

      Unfortunately, a rainbow wheel spinning for 30+ minutes is highly unlikely to stop itself. If you have a computer prone to rainbow wheels, follow the steps here AND save your work frequently. You can set many programs to autosave work every couple of minutes. So sorry you’re having a tough time with that rainbow wheel!

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