11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 5, 2012 11:18 AM by woodmeister50
grok12 Level 1 (0 points)

After using Lion for a month or more my only real complaint is that I get the spinning pinwheel every now and then for maybe 5 to 10 seconds.  It is annoying but my question is:


Is the spinning pinwheel something that all Lion users experience or should I be looking for something to fix on my system?

iMac 22.5, Mac OS X (10.7.2), Safari 5.1.2 iPhoto 8.1.2 Time Caps
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 (103,365 points)

    Not seeing the beach ball on Lion here at all.


    Not enough free space on the startup disk can cause the SBBOD. (Spinning Beach Ball of Death)


    Right or control click the MacintoshHD icon. Click Get Info. In the Get Info window you will see Capacity and Available. Make sure you have a minimum of 15% free disk space.  Freeing Up Hard Disk Space - Mac Guides



    The Spinning Beach Ball of Death

  • gail from maine Level 7 (20,947 points)

    You mean the terrible turning beachball of death? Based on the other posts with this question, I'm thinking that you are not in the minority here. I haven't upgraded to Lion yet, but even with 10.5.8 I get it when using certain applications. If it is not happening all the time, and is not interferring with your ability to do what you need to do, then it is just the machine letting you know that it's processing really hard at that moment.



  • grok12 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply, Carolyn, you've given me good advice in the past and I appreciate it.


    I have 206 GB available out of 499 GB capacity so it does not look like that is my problem.  I read though the link to The Spinning Beach Ball of Death and I decided to empty my safari cache since I had not done that in a while.  Doing that brought up the pinwheel for about 12 seconds.  Perhaps that will fix my problem but I'll have to wait a bit to see if it is a fix.


    I'm encouraged that you do not see the pinwheel so I will keep looking for something to fix on my mac.

  • grok12 Level 1 (0 points)

    Gail, I almost never saw the pinwheel until I moved to Lion and then started seeing it very frequently.  And it comes at times when I'm not starting off some big cpu hog app or anything like that.  It seems to occur less frequently that it did right after I switched to Lion but it is still often enough to be annoying.


    It is a mystery to me but I'm encouraged that Gail does not see it so I think that I may find the problem if I keep looking and fix it.

  • gail from maine Level 7 (20,947 points)

    Best of luck to you!



  • PiperCub Level 1 (0 points)

    A month or so ago I bought a new maxed out MBP with Lion pre-installed. Before Lion on my 2004 MBP I saw no spinning beach balls. Now I get them too often to be amused, and usually can only escape by crashing the system. Yesterday I got a SBBOD on initial boot. Lion seems to want to retain state information for Safari, Word, Text Edit, and perhaps other apps, and I wondered if this was related. So when I shutdown and I'm asked "do you want to save windows" or something to that effect, I uncheck the box to say "no". And I make sure I do not shutdown with any open windows for the system to "shut down" (or not). That has helped reduce the SBBOD experiences, especially with Safari. But then I am still getting an out-of-the-blue SBBOD for no apparent reason. This is not a resources problem, and I made sure there are no startup items causing it. I am waiting for Apple to respond to this, but not holding my breath. Either I retreat to a previous OS or tough it out until a 10.7 update fixes it or 10.8 does. I have not seen this sort of problem with an Apple OS for many many years.

  • Bobby Collins Level 1 (10 points)

    Grok12: ("share water"?) - I tried the same thing, dumping my safari cache - mine resulted in 27 seconds of beach ball!

    And I, too, am getting the ball much more often than with Snow Leopard.


    I miss Steve.

  • grok12 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, Piper, it is pretty hard to believe that this is happening.  Your case is significant because you had Lion pre-installed so it can't be due to any upgrading mistake.

  • grok12 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bobby, I just spent 68 seconds of SBBOD on a cache empty and I had done it about a week ago.  What can I say, it's just so surprising.

  • ProfGunman Level 1 (0 points)

    Witnessing much the same after a Lion upgrade. I've found that it's usually app-specific (e.g., if I get the SBBOD in Outlook, I can tab over to Firefox to do something else, or vice versa). I've also found that I get an inordinate number of "permissions differ" in Lion that I never saw in Snow Leopard. Not sure if it's because some of the apps I use haven't been optimized for Lion, or what. I have found that Repairing Permissions in the Disk Utility can minimize the SBBOD.

  • woodmeister50 Level 5 (5,170 points)

    I only get it in two situations.  One is when I open an

    app or open a finder window that connects to a network

    drive on my AEBS, but that is because it is waiting for

    that drive to spin up out of sleep.  The other is whenever

    I quit Photoshop CS4.  For what ever reason, it does

    not want to quit without a Force Quit.


    Other than that, I don't see it except very rarely (once amonth?).

    This is on a wide range of machines. Three of which were upgraded

    to Lion and one that was purchased with Lion.