Mysterious MacBook temporary spinning ball when attaching to email
August 24, 2015 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I have a late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina which I recently upgraded to Yosemite. Ever since, when I'm trying to attach a file to an email (Gmail), when I try to click on the file in the finder window that opens, I get a spinning ball for about 8 seconds. Then it stops for a second or two, spins another second or two, and stops. I am then able to attach the file. This does not happen every time — sometimes (maybe one out of three tries) the attaching works correctly without hesitation.

This happens in Safari, Firefox or Chrome, so it is not a browser issue. It did not happen before the Yosemite upgrade. It also happens with the browser-based Comcast email interface, so it is not a Gmail issue. However, while I don't use Apple Mail, I do have it set up, and when tried creating a message there three or four times, the attaching worked correctly.

I have done a full reinstall of Yosemite (10.10.5), but the problem remains. I have done a full scan of the computer for virus problems using ClamXav, and it's clean. As problems go, this is on the low end of the annoyance scale, but it would be nice to get rid of it. I'm not using any strange browser plugins, and as noted above, the problem is not browser-dependent, anyway. Any ideas appreciated.
posted by beagle to Technology (11 answers total)
 
I have had similar issues when a "recent" file I opened was on a ejected disk image or removable drive...every time the system spends a few seconds looking for that item and/or trying to re-mount the drive. Is it possible that's whats happening to you? Maybe some file you attached like 9 places down on the list is causing problems.
posted by Captain_Science at 12:17 PM on August 24, 2015


How much memory do you have installed, and what else do you have running?
How full is your disk/SSD?
posted by scruss at 12:18 PM on August 24, 2015


How much memory do you have installed, and what else do you have running?
8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

I usually have Word, Excel, multiple browser windows, maybe one or two other things. But this will happen immediately after a restart with nothing but a single browser window open.

How full is your disk/SSD?
22.82 GB available on a 250GB disk
posted by beagle at 12:22 PM on August 24, 2015


every time the system spends a few seconds looking for that item and/or trying to re-mount the drive.
Most of the time I'm attaching stuff out of the downloads folder, which I kind of use the way some people use their desktop. Or from the "Today" folder option. It has been quite a while since I used a thumb drive so I would think those items have gone out of the finder window by now.
posted by beagle at 12:25 PM on August 24, 2015


Most likely its still rebuilding the Spotlight index.
Leave the unit alone for a couple of hours to recover from its big upgrade.
Connect to power, leave the top open and keep it awake for 5 hours using Caffeine.
posted by Mac-Expert at 4:08 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most likely its still rebuilding the Spotlight index.
I'll try your suggestion but Spotlight is not showing a progress bar that would indicate an incomplete index.
posted by beagle at 4:19 PM on August 24, 2015


You could also check for folders that have hundreds or thousands of items in them. That can cause hiccups.
posted by alms at 5:31 PM on August 24, 2015


You could also check for folders that have hundreds or thousands of items in them. That can cause hiccups.

Aha, this makes the most sense so far as a possibility. That's the case with my Downloads folder, but easily remedied. It has been larger in the past under Mavericks without problems, but maybe Yosemite is more sensitive to folder size. I'll try downsizing Downloads, and will report back.
posted by beagle at 6:01 PM on August 24, 2015


I haven't tracked down the culprit, but i've had this issue on my 2012 rMBP running yosemite. I've also, browser agnostic, had sites like imgur break unless i drag and drop stuff in.

It seems to be a general problem with that load-file-to-browser open dialog box. It's just gotten really, really glitchy.

Sometimes it hangs the whole damn browser, once again, doesn't matter which browser in these upload-dialog situations.

I don't know what to add, just wanted to throw out there that this isn't some issue with your machine or environment, necessarily.

On preview(since i started this comment right after you posted this and lost track) it has nothing to do with spotlight or large folders, since neither of those are an issue/something active on this machine.

Not sure what it is, but i know what it's not.
posted by emptythought at 10:03 PM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm going to cautiously declare victory. After peeling 90% of the Download folder items (basically everything older than a certain date) into a "Downloads 2" folder, I have had, at most, a fraction of a second of spinning wheel once or twice out of dozens of tries. Oddly, even, attachments/uploads from the still-quite-large Downloads 2 folder are going through with no problem. *knocks wood* It looks like alms has it. Emptythought, I hear you about large folders, but this is the ONE thing I changed last night, and it really does appear to have resolved the issue.
posted by beagle at 12:31 PM on August 25, 2015


Hmm, i'll try that i guess. I have maybe... 15 items on my desktop, and ~20 or 25 in downloads. That really shouldn't count as a lot on a modern system. If it solves the problem i'll likely be more annoyed than relieved tbh.
posted by emptythought at 1:55 PM on August 25, 2015


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