Q&A: Spinning beachballs and a slow system

Q I enclose some excerpts of logs copied from Console. Can you explain why my Mac keeps showing the ‘spinning beachball’ and is often so slow, and what I can do about it?

A Looking through your logs there is evidence of several third-party extensions to OS X which are resulting in warnings and errors. These include:

  • WireTap Anywhere, which is not compatible with OS X 10.7 and later,
  • DropBox, which you should check is the current version, as some older releases can cause problems,
  • iGlasses,
  • Growl,
  • My Living Desktop,
  • PopChar,
  • SMARTReporter.

More worryingly there are signs of CleanMyMac, which can misbehave and cause this sort of problem.

Restart your Mac in Safe mode, with the Shift key held down, and have a good clean through the various LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folders, and LoginItems, stripping out unwanted enhancements. Then restart, again with the Shift key held down, and restart one last time, without holding any key down.

Check your logs again to ensure that thing are running smoothly again.