People using apps are used to install them. If your app doesn't come with an installer, users are confused how to get it up and running. They don't understand what happens during installation, they just know that they always have to do it. So some applications (which don't need installers) come with a simple installer just to avoid confusion. May 24, 2013 also, at the same time one simply has to look at all the Application folders on the mac and the various ways they are accessed or pointed to. When you say something like you just have to (manually) put the app file in the applications folder these things are all over the place. I have an 'Applications' folder under my Home folder that has two.
The rainbow-colored circle is a painful sight to see for Mac users. If you’re lucky it disappears in a few seconds, but more often it remains for minutes, leaving you helplessly locked out of the app or your whole Mac. Since it’s not always clear how to deal with with the wheeling cursor or what caused it in the first place, let’s break it all down. In this article we’ll take a look at what is the spinning beach ball, why and when it shows up, and what you can do about it.
What is a spinning color wheel?
Initially, it’s a system indicator. It’s official name is the Spinning Wait Cursor, not so official — the Spinning Beach Ball of Death or SBBOD. The ball signifies that your Mac cannot handle all the tasks given to it at this moment.
Every app on your Mac has a so-called window server. When an app receives more events than it can process, the window server automatically shows you the spinning ball. It usually takes about 4 seconds for the app to decide that it’s non-responsive.
Why does the Mac spinning wheel of death appear?
Well, the reasons are countless. First, it can be a stand-alone issue with a certain app. Second, it could be faulty hardware or insufficient RAM. We’ll go over each possible issue and see how it can be fixed, depending on the cause. Sometimes, the only way out it getting a new Mac, but most of the cases can be fixed with the right software or system commands.
How to stop the spinning ball on Mac?
In case you just need unlock one frozen application, that’s a job for Force Quit.
To fix an application stuck with a spinning cursor right now:
- Click the Apple icon in the top left corner.
- Choose Force Quit (or press cmd+alt+esc).
- Select the app that won’t respond.
- Click Force Quit.
Simply shutting down the process is a brutal way of problem solving and it doesn’t address the issue that caused the freezing. It could have been an accidental glitch in the program, but if it keeps freezing or spreads further to other software and services, you need to look deeper.
What if the application keeps freezing when you open it again?
Reset or reinstall the freezing application. Macs don’t have a proper uninstaller and moving applications to the Trash bin leaves plenty of app leftovers. Some of them could be the reason why the spinning wheel showed up, so if you leave them the issue will stay.
How to reset a Mac app to its default settings or uninstall it
There are two ways to reset apps: one would be to use application’s own preferences or settings and look for reset options there. But in case the app won’t let you do that (because it keeps freezing), you can turn to third-party solutions, like CleanMyMac X for instance. It’s a handy app for Mac maintenance and cleaning with plenty of useful tools, including reset and uninstallation.
- Download CleanMyMac X, an app for Mac maintenance.
- Open it and click on the Uninstaller.
- Select the app you need to reset from the list.
- Click on the small arrow next to the application icon
- Click Applications Reset.
If the beach ball keeps rolling when you use the app again, reinstall it completely by pressing Uninstall instead or Reset. Remember, simply moving the app to the Trash doesn’t do the trick, since its leftover files remain on your hard drive.
Important: if you have a licence for the paid app, makes sure to save the number somewhere.
What if your whole Mac becomes unresponsive?
Possible issue: Overworked processor
One of the reasons for the wheel to show up could be that your Mac is getting old. You can figure out if that’s the case by checking the CPU usage. To check the CPU usage, turn to Activity monitor. Find it in the Applications/Utilities folder or run a Spotlight search. Or, if you have CleanMyMac X, use it’s Menu in the top bar.
The bottom table shows System load in percentage. If it’s way above 50% and remains there for long, especially without any specific reason like games or heavy rendering programs, this might be the signal your processor is the bottleneck.
Fix: If your processor is overworking regularly, only buying a new Mac will fix the problem entirely. Sorry.
Why Do All The Applications Have App Mac Free
Possible issue: Low disk space
You don’t even need to have a full startup disk to see the nasty ball. Just a heavily loaded hard drive, with lots of large files can already cause troubles with loading.
Fix: Hard drive cleanup. Thankfully, that’s an easy task. You can get CleanMyMac X and in free up tons of space in a few minutes. With CleanMyMac you don’t need to dig into folders and look for files you don’t need, the app will find and sort them, plus all the system junk your Mac has been accumulating for months.
Why Do All The Applications Have App Machine
Possible issue: Insufficient RAM
Another possible hardware issue is insufficient Random Access Memory. To figure out if you need more RAM, open the Activity Monitor again. It’s in the Applications/Utilities folder. In the Memory tab, you can see Memory pressure table with a graph. If the graph is red and your memory is constantly strained under all the running apps, you’ve found the problem.
Fix: You can upgrade RAM by buying and installing more of it. It’s usually enough to have 8 GB for most tasks and applications, apart from heavy video rendering and the likes. Here’s a detailed guide on how to upgrade RAM on Mac.
That’s about it concerning the spinning beach ball and how to deal with it. We hope this guide has been of help and you’ll stop the spinning wheel of death on your Mac once and for all.
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Emailing is probably the activity we do the most on our computers. Even if you don't work on a computer during the day, you probably sit down in front of it to check your inbox at the end of the day. If the Mail app that comes with your Mac doesn't provide the features you need, you're in luck. There are dozens of great email apps in the Mac App Store. I've tested many of them and these are my favorites. Each one has a little something special that makes it unique.
Polymail for Mac has a fantastic interface with cute buttons everywhere so you don't have to think about what to do next. It actually looks like it belongs on a mobile device, except that you click the buttons instead of tapping them.
There is a fourth section that appears whenever you select an email, which displays all of the past correspondences you've had with that particular contact or group of contacts. It's great for quickly tracking down something you've talked about in the past.
You can set up new mail with a pre-made template, send calendar invites, get notifications when someone has read your email, and schedule an email to be sent at a later time.
You can also write or respond to emails with rich text formatting. So, if you want to change the font, add bold lettering, bullet point a section, or just slap an emoji in there, it's all available right from the toolbar at the top of your new email. The only thing it's missing is Touch Bar support, which would really make this app shine.
Polymail can be used for free, but you'll need to sign up for a subscription if you want all of the awesome features that make Polymail stand out, like read notifications, send later, and messaging templates. You can add these features for as low as $10 per month. If you are a heavy email user and these features entice you, give the free trial a run to see if it's worth your money.
If you want your computer email experience to look and feel more like a mobile experience, with big, easy-to-find action buttons, Polymail is the one for you.
Spark has this 'Smart Inbox' feature that separates mail into categories: Personal, Notifications, Newsletters, Pinned, and Seen. That is, any email that is from someone in your contacts or otherwise looks like a personal email will be filtered to the top of the inbox list. Below that, in a separate section, emails that look like alerts from companies you deal with, like your gas company or Amazon, that include some kind of alert or notification. Below that, you'll see a section called 'Newsletters' which is exactly that. Below that, there are emails you've flagged or tagged as important in some way. Lastly, emails you've seen, but haven't moved to another folder.
Spark also allows you to snooze an email and come back to take care of it at a later time. This is invaluable when you regularly get emails that you need to respond to but don't have time for until the end of the day. I use it all of the time.
It also has gesture-based actions for getting to inbox zero. You can swipe to the right or left to delete, archive, pin, or, mark an email as unread.
And it has Touch Bar support, which I love.
Spark is best for people that like to have their inbox organized before they go through and move emails to new folders, address them, or delete them entirely. If that sounds appealing to you, try Spark.
Kiwi for Gmail
If you have one or more Gmail accounts, you should consider switching to Kiwi. This all-in-one triumph brings the look and feel of Gmail for the web to the desktop in the form of an app. With the service's unique Focus Filtered Inbox, you can view your messages based on Date, Importance, Unread, Attachments, and Starred. In doing so, you can prioritize your emails in real-time.
Perhaps the best reason to use Kiwi for Gmail is its G Suite integration. Thanks to the app, you now get to experience Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as windowed desktop applications. Kiwi is available for Mac and Windows.
New on our list for 2020, Postbox has been designed for professionals, but anyone with more than one email account should continue using it. Available for Mac and Windows, Postbox works with any IMAP or POP account, including Gmail, iCloud, Office 365, and more.
Postbox offers one of the fastest email search engines available, which is ideally suited when you need to find files, images, and other attachments. With the app's built-in Quick Bar, you can move a message, copy a message, switch folders, tag a message, Gmail label a message, or switch folders with just a few keystrokes.
Looking for more? Postbox comes with 24 (counting) themes, and much more.
What's going to be your next email client for Mac?
Updated February 2020: Guide updated to reflect price changes and more.
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