How to Get Rid of Pinwheel on Mac

By Mario Calhoun

The rotating pinwheel on your Macintosh's screen appears when the computer is processing information, usually when several applications at once are taxing your computer's available memory. Though the pinwheel icon is necessary to indicate that a memory-hogging application is running, you can eliminate the pinwheel by closing the application and monitoring your system's memory use. The Activity Monitor, a built-in utility, provides constant updates on your system information, including memory usage, hard disk space and network activity.

Step 1

Click the desktop screen to access the Finder menu, and click the Apple menu at the top of the screen.

Step 2

Click "Force Quit" and select the application that has "Not Responding" next to it in parentheses.

Step 3

Click "Force Quit" in the list of currently running applications, and click "Force Quit" in the pop-up dialogue box to confirm you want to shut down the application. Any unsaved information in the application will be lost during the force quit action.

Step 4

Click the Go menu at the top of the desktop, and click "Utilities."

Step 5

Double-click "Activity Monitor" and click the :"System Memory" tab near the bottom of the application window.

Step 6

Click "CPU" to sort the running processes according to central processing unit usage, and click the process that has a high CPU number. Click "Quit Process" to close the process, free up memory and restore stability to your computer's memory.

Tips & Warnings

  • Click the Apple menu and click "Restart" to reset your computer's memory, which helps improve the overall performance of your computer.