Macbook Air 2019 and the rainbow spinning wheel

I bought my current MacBook Air 2019 back in August. I went through a fresh install and all went well.

After a month or so of using it I noticed that the rainbow spinning wheel kept showing up from time to time… usually with Pixelmator Pro. Even though it was for light photo manipulation I thought it could be just that causing it…photo manipulation always consumes resources right?

However, now I’m noticing it also with Excel (with little things like changing a cell colour).

Any ideas of what might be causing it and how to solve it?

This is Macbook’s configuration:

13-inch MacBook Air - Space Grey
1.6GHz dual‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
Intel UHD Graphics 617
16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
256GB SSD storage


PS - I’ve heard about resetting the System Management Controller (SMC), and one of the symptoms is as per the below…but I’m not sure whether this could be it…?

Your Mac performs unusually slowly, even though its CPU isn’t under an abnormally heavy load.

How much free space do you have on your SSD? Software all up to date?

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It can’t hurt to reset it and see if it helps.

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143 Gb free / 104 Gb used… should be plenty

Not upgraded to Catalina yet, but all up to date


How often do you power down the computer?


I use the “sleep” quite a lot. From time to time I do a shut down

Call up Activity Monitor, and check if there any apps/processes running in the background that have conked out. They will have the “application not responding” description added to them. Might be something there that could explain the beachball appearing periodically.

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Thanks will check that.

And beachball is so much better than rainbow spinning wheel :grinning:

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