Mac Mini rainbow wheel

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Lynne326, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Lynne326 macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
    Does anyone know why my Mac Mini takes so long to open a simple program like text edit, for example? Ever since I got it I have to wait for the rainbow wheel. My Macbook Pro would open stuff immediately, but the mini is always lagging on everything.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!

  2. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    What model of Mac Mini do you have? SSD is probably the reason for instant reaction on your MacBook Pro if it's a Retina model. Most Mac Minis only have hard drives.
  3. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Upgrade your Mini with an SSD. Your MBP has an orders of magnitude faster disk.
  4. Lynne326 thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
    Here is what it is:
    MacOS Sierra - version 10.12.6
    Mac mini (Late 2014)
    Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5
    Memory 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
    Startup Disk Macintosh HD

    I've had the mini for about 9 months, purchased new.

    I should have said that my Macbook Pro, which is a 2010 model used to be fast until I upgraded the OSX to El Capitan, now it does the rainbow wheel delay too. I was thinking the upgrade caused it. I don't think the Macbook has SSD.

    Thank you for your help, Sublunar!
  5. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    The MacBook Pro can be upgraded to SSD, the Mac Mini 2014 model can't. It would appear both come with traditional hard drive which isn't the fastest thing and more recent macOS versions just make the whole thing slower.

    The Mini can be upgraded with external storage - like a USB powered SSD - which may improve the responsiveness of the OS.
  6. Lynne326 thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
  7. Celerondon macrumors 6502a


    Oct 17, 2013
    Southern Cal
    These two statements about 2014 mini storage upgrades are both contradictory and incorrect. A 2014 mini can be upgraded to SSD storage (several different ways) and such an upgrade will (not “may”) improve performance.
  8. sublunar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Allow me to correct myself - the word 'internally' was missing. So the 2014 Mini can't be upgraded with an internal storage solution without some major warranty killing work. You can install external storage to the 2014 Mini using USB SSD though my 2012 Mini is connected to my SSD via an external Thunderbolt dock and eSATA - much more costly.
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009

    If you don't want to open up the Mini (it's a tricky job, with pitfalls inside), you can buy an external USB3 SSD like this:

    Then, plug it in and set it up to be "the boot drive" (the Mac doesn't care if it boots from an external drive).

    It will run MUCH faster, and you will be VERY happy with the increased performance.

    Actually, you can do something similar with the MacBook Pro.
    Buy a 2.5" "bare" SSD, and "swap it out" with the internal hard drive.
    It's a simple, easy procedure that anyone can do. A 15-minute job.
    Go to to see how to do it.
    If you get an external USB3 enclosure as well, you can put the old hard drive into it and use it as a backup or for extra storage.
  10. Neodym, Apr 5, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018

    Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    The 2014 mini can be upgraded internally to an SSD. It just does not have two 2.5” bays anymore, but only one. Implications on warranty may have to be applied, but afaik it is not sealed, so one could argue that user-side upgrades such as installing a disk drive may not void warranty (iirc there have been court decisions about that, which were pro self-upgrading).
  11. Lynne326 thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
    Thank you everyone, lots of good information you've shared. I do have already have an enclosure, so that would be a good option.
  12. pacmania1982 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2006
    Birmingham, UK
    I have the 2.6GHz Mac mini with 8GB RAM. The first thing I did when I got it home from the store was to swap out the platter drive to an SSD. SSD is the way forward.
  13. Lynne326, Sep 12, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018

    Lynne326 thread starter macrumors member


    Jun 25, 2011
  14. ivnj macrumors 65816

    Dec 8, 2006
    I have the same nini. Got it on august30th. I very rarely get the beschball. Its pretty fast. No ssd. Just 1tb regular hd.
  15. audiocl macrumors newbie


    Nov 28, 2017
    Milano, Lombardia
    Long time to open text-edit is not a speed disk issue!! Have you try to reboot in safemode? And also before open and change the type of disk maybe is better to try a clean install of os

Share This Page