How to Fix the Intermittent WiFi Problem With the Spinning Beach Ball on a Mac

Woman Using Laptop

Like any computer, Macs may encounter problems with WiFi connections. Sometimes, they cannot connect to one. Other times, they just randomly become very slow. But in this article, we will talk about the issue with the spinning beach ball and intermittent WiFi.

The Problem With the Spinning Wheel and the Intermittent WiFi on Mac Computers

According to some Mac users, the problem begins with the WiFi connection starting to cut out at completely random times. And every time it happens, they notice the following things:

  • The WiFi icon grays out first before finally losing the internet.
  • When the cursor is moved over to the WiFi icon, the spinning beach ball appears.
  • If the WiFi icon is clicked, a menu of WiFi networks is shown with the spinning beach ball.

What Does a Spinning Beach Ball Mean for Macs?

Although the spinning beach ball is not a serious problem, some Mac users panic when they see it. When you see it on your Mac, it only means one thing: your Mac is hard at work. It is possible that your Mac might be calculating something or your hard drive is still spinning up after being awakened from sleep.

Depending on the apps you have opened, you may see this ball for a few seconds. However, there are times when it occasionally gets stuck while you are connected to a WiFi network.

So, how can this problem be resolved?

5 Possible Fixes to the Intermittent WiFi Problem With the Spinning Beach Ball on Mac Computers

If the spinning beach ball does not go away after a few minutes and you experience an intermittent WiFi connection, you can try the following fixes:

1. Check Your Internet Speed.

If you constantly experience intermittent WiFi network issues, the first thing you should do is check your internet speed. Sometimes, your internet connection is too slow because it’s what you are actually paying for.

To find out what plan you are currently subscribed to, visit your internet provider’s website. After that, run a quick speed test. Check if the numbers match. If they do, then there is no problem with your network. Otherwise, continue with the next fixes.

2. Force Quit All the Active Apps.

Oftentimes, the active apps on your Mac trigger the spinning beach ball to appear and the intermittent WiFi connection problem to arise. To resolve this problem, you have to force quit all the active apps on your Mac.

Here’s how:

  1. Press the Command + Option + Escape combination on your keyboard to open the Force Quit window.
  2. Select all the actively running apps on your Mac.
  3. Click Force Quit.

3. Restart Your Mac.

Restarting your Mac might sound like a cliché solution, but it works. There are instances when an app or a process associated with your WiFi network will get stuck, and the best solution to fix it is a good old-fashioned restart.

If the beach ball still appears after this, try the next solution.

4. Repair Your Disk.

If you suspect that your hard disk drive is at fault, try to repair it. Here’s how: 

For macOS 10.7 or Later

  1. Switch off your Mac.
  2. Press and hold down the CMD + R combo while pressing the Power button until you see the Disk Utility option on your screen.
  3. Select Disk Utility and hit Continue.
  4. Choose your Mac’s hard disk volume and navigate to the First Aid section.
  5. Hit Repair Disk.
  6. Once the repair is done, restart your Mac. 

For macOS 10.6 or Earlier

  1. Insert your installation disc into the disk drive.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Press and hold down the C key to start up your Mac from the disc.
  4. Continue holding the key until your Mac has successfully started up. When the installer screen appears, select Open Disk Utility.
  5. Choose your Mac’s hard disk volume.
  6. Navigate to the First Aid section.
  7. Hit the Repair Disk option.
  8. Once the repair process is completed, restart your Mac.

5. Your Network Preferences.

Does the spinning beach ball appear while trying to load web pages? If that is the case, it might not be clear whether the web page is taking so much time to load or whether your internet connection is at fault. To figure this out, check your network preferences.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open the Apple menu.
  2. Select System Preferences -> Network.
  3. Choose Assist Me.
  4. Click Diagnostics.
  5. Select your preferred connection type.
  6. Click Continue to begin the test.
  7. Once the problem is identified, follow the onscreen prompts to deal with it.

Tips to Improve Your Mac’s WiFi Connection

We’re assuming that at this point, you have already resolved your problem with your intermittent WiFi connection and the spinning beach ball. Now, it’s time to improve your WiFi connection’s speed. Below are a few tips to take into account:

1. Restart Your Router.

Router problems can often cause problems with the WiFi network. If you are experiencing slow speeds on both your smartphone and Mac, there is a chance that your devices are not at fault. It could be your router.

To fix this issue, try restarting your router. Just switch it off, wait a couple of seconds, and then switch it on again. You may also move your router to another location and make sure there are no microwaves or metallic objects around it as these things may affect the signal.

2. Enable the Wireless Security Feature of Your Router.

Have you failed to switch on your router’s security feature? If not, then it is possible that your neighbors are enjoying the free access.

Make sure that you check your router’s manual. Set it up with the highest security levels. And finally, generate a secure password that nobody else can guess.

3. Clean Up Your Mac.

If you want to experience a fast browsing speed, you have to clean your Mac up from all the clutter it has. Of course, you can perform the manual cleanup. But if you want it done faster and more efficiently, we suggest that you use a Mac repair tool. A reliable tool already knows what to remove and what not, making it safe and reliable. After deleting all the unnecessary files, you will have not just a fast internet speed but also an efficient and fast Mac.

Wrapping Up

That’s it! We hope that this guide has helped resolve your intermittent WiFi problem with the spinning beach ball. If the problem still persists at this point, it is best that you take your Mac to the nearest Apple Center. Have it checked by experts and let them give you the best possible solutions.

Which solutions above have helped you with your WiFi problem? Let us know in the comments.

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