Readers continue to contact us with questions about their Macs and iDevices, so we’ve decided to run Ask MacRx more frequently during the week. Today we address one of the most common questions for a Mac consultant, why do I get that spinning beach ball all the time?
It seems like there is never a day goes by that I am not confronted with the Spinning Ball of Death, most often while in Safari (although granted, that is the application that I use most frequently). Lately (post Lion installation) I have even been getting a message “Browser is Not Responding.”
MacBook (mid-2007) 2.16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo 2GB
OS X Lion 10.7.1, Safari 5.1
I’ve taken it into an Apple Store and they reset a few things and reinstalled the OS, but it continues to happen each and every day. Sometimes when it stalls out and crashes, I get a “You computer stopped working because of Error YYYHHRRNR. Do you want to send a report to Apple?” I always do, but have a suspicion that some programmers are sitting in Cupertino laughing with one another, “Hey, Error YYYHHRRNR nailed that fool again! Ha, ha, ha.”
There are lots of things which can cause the spinning beach ball, it’s the “long wait cursor” under Mac OS X. Common culprits are not enough RAM or not enough disk space. You have 2GB of RAM in your MacBook, that model can be expanded up to 3GB which will make some difference. If you have less than 10GB hard drive space free this can also cause problems. Deleting files can solve that problem.
Another possibility is a program which has crashed or is running poorly with memory leaks. When you have some time, try a few tests running just one program at a time for a while, see if that causes the problem. Add more slowly and see what breaks the bank. If you get a specific error message enter the exact text into Google and see what you find, that often gives clues as to where the problem is.
For more info see Why Is My Mac Running So Slowly? [MacRx]. Let me know if that helps.
Thanks for the swift and thorough response. Hadn’t expected “personal service” but do appreciate it. I’ll take a pass at testing out the various possible culprits sometime very soon and if I learn anything, I’ll be happy to share it.