Apple products are renowned as being one of the most intuitive and functional computers that people can use. Unfortunately, though, Macs aren’t immune to problems that every machine suffers from.
One of the most common that people encounter is the infamous ‘spinning wheel of death.’ Fortunately, though, there are steps you can take aside from waiting for your machine to fix itself.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Mac spinning wheel of death.
In the event that you’re witnessing the wheel of death on your Mac, one of the simplest routes you can take to resolve this issue is to press the Command + Option + Escape keys simultaneously.
This will bring up a small window that lists all of the processes that your computer is currently running. You’re able to navigate through this window, though, and select the program that’s giving you issues.
After clicking on the program, click the ‘Force Quit‘ button at the bottom right of the window in order to terminate the application.
Instead of pressing these keys at the same time, you can also click on the Apple logo () at the top left corner of your screen. A menu will drop down afterward, and one of the options will be ‘Force Quit.’
Additionally, you’re also able to right-click the application from your Mac’s dock and then select ‘Force Quit.’
All of these will open the same window, so the method you use is left up to personal preference.
Occasionally, your Mac will become so unresponsive that Force Quitting isn’t an option. You may even find that you can’t move your mouse at all and that your keyboard is completely unresponsive.
Although this method isn’t ideal for your Mac’s hardware, it’s sometimes the only option you can take. If you don’t force your computer to shut down while it’s frozen, it eventually will on its own when its battery runs out of energy.
To get started, you have a few different options you can take:
- Holding the Power button for approximately 10 seconds
- Pressing the Control + Option + Command + Power keys simultaneously
- Pressing the Control + Option + Command + Eject keys simultaneously*
*The third option is only available on Macs that have a disc drive.
After completing one of the above methods, your Mac should restart on its own. If the root of the issue was only a hiccup in your computer’s processes, everything should run as intended.
Occasionally, though, your computer’s freezing will have a more serious cause.
Why Do Computers Freeze?
There are a handful of reasons why your device may freeze during use, but not all of them are something to be concerned about. It’s still important, though, to try and discern the reason behind the incident.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most notable causes.
During periods of intense CPU usage, you may find that your computer’s performance drastically slows. If your speed drops low enough, your computer will likely freeze.
In most modern Macs, though, overheating is rarely caused by CPU usage due to the preventive technology in place. One of the most likely scenarios is an individual using their laptop on their bed while it’s surrounded by blankets.
The blankets easily block off the laptop’s vents, making it impossible for the machine to cool itself. Eventually, system performance grinds to a halt and freezing occurs.
Put simply, drivers are software that allows hardware to function properly. It’s common to install drivers for things like videogame controllers, audio devices, etc.
As with any other software, though, drivers can become corrupt or otherwise fail to function appropriately. This can lead to a handful of detrimental effects, computer slowdown and freezing being one of the most prominent.
To help prevent this, make sure that you keep your drivers as updated as possible. If there’s a setting you can activate for your drivers to automatically check for updates, this will minimize your chances of having issues in the future.
Sometimes, more complex software is the root of the problem. This is especially true for programs that were developed by third-parties or that were downloaded from suspicious developers.
If your computer freezes whenever you use a particular program, it’s likely that the application is at fault. If you downloaded a legitimate copy from an official source, you can contact the developer and see if they have any advice.
If you’re experiencing this issue, chances are that other people are as well. They’ll guide you in the right direction if there’s a known solution.
Most types of malicious software seek to debilitate your Mac so that the hacker can utilize your personal information before you’re able to react. Other malware slows your computer down as a secondary effect of displaying so many advertisements.
If you don’t notice anything out of the ordinary and still experience a slowdown, there’s a chance a virus ma be running malware in the background.
Performing a thorough virus scan will help determine if anything suspicious is at play.
Handling the Mac Spinning Wheel of Death Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about the Mac Spinning Wheel of Death in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward getting back to browsing as soon as possible.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.