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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 11, 2011
For the past two days, I have experienced the spinning beachball constantly. I am using a Macbook Pro, El Capitan, 10.11.6. In the couple years I've had the computer, I have never had a problem with this.

The first time it happened, I was using a free wireless connection in a retail store. During this time, I also got a "Your startup disk is almost full warning". I've cleared some memory, I have 27GB open, but the spinning beachball hasn't stopped. There have been plenty of times in the past where I've had far less memory available and this hasn't happened.

It spins every time I click a link, every time I start to type in a search bar, and every time I try to scroll using the two finger method or the side bar.

I have run Etrecheck and there is nothing that seems out of the ordinary, but I'm not a very savvy computer user. It did say my Flash was out of date so I updated that. My cache folders are are very small, under 1GB.

I have not downloaded anything new within the past couple weeks.

Any ideas what might solve this problem? If you need other information please let me know. I appreciate any help you can offer.


macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland
27GB free space might not be enough unless your hard drive is 128GB.

Check your Safari Extensions if you have any...turn them off and see if it's better.

Create a new User Account and see if Safari is problematic when logged into it.


macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
OP wrote:
"Any ideas what might solve this problem? If you need other information please let me know. I appreciate any help you can offer."

Which year of manufacture is your MBP?
Does it have a platter-based hard drive, or an SSD?

If it has an older HDD in it, you would see GREAT performance increases by upgrading to an SSD.

Brian in post above makes an excellent suggestion, about creating a "temporary" user account for test purposes.
If your problems suddenly vanish when logged into the test account, then that points to something in your regular account that may be mucking things up.
You can delete the test account later if you wish.


macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2016
Check the Safari memory consumption in Activity Monitor. I had the same problem lately and noticed that Safari was using 4.5 GB of RAM even without any webpages/tabs opened (I have 4 GB RAM). After closing Safari completely (not just hiding it) - no beachballs for last two days (at present time Safari is using 400MB of RAM)...hope it stays that way...
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