When I use Finder, whenever I open or close a folder, even if it just has a single text file inside, my computer completely freezes for 30 seconds to one minute. In addition, whenever I click the green button to unfullscreen a fullscreen application, my computer lags for 5-10 minutes, and does so again if I try to drag the application. The computer also lags for a minute when closing any application.

A possibly related issue is less extreme lag when clicking on any text field, regardless of if its in a chrome browser or part of the OS. Even clicking on the title and body sections when asking this question induced 15 second freezes each. This text lag affects the login screen.

My computer can still run KSP and Minecraft easily, so I don't think its a CPU problem (though my computer lags if I click on a text field in those games).

Additionally, the first tab, be it in Safari or Chrome, that I open after each midnight takes 5-10 minutes to open.

Restarting and resetting NVRAM has no effect.

  • Which Mac? What version of macOS? Have you tried Safe Mode? – Allan Jan 6 '20 at 10:59
  • Also having a screenshot of Activity Monitor's CPU tab will help. – nohillside Jan 6 '20 at 11:03
  • @nohillside I can't take screenshots due to lag, but I checked the activity monitor and while at first normal, when I tried to move the activity monitor window, it froze like normal, and when it resumed, something called "spin dump" was now taking up 95% of disk before the monitor went back to normal. – qazwsx Jan 7 '20 at 3:28
  • Ah, spindump, that's a problem I had as well in the past. See below for a partial answer. Which version of macOS are you running? – nohillside Jan 7 '20 at 5:11
  • @qazwsx use a screen capture video. Although activity monitor might also freeze. Also try Safe mode support.apple.com/en-in/HT201262 as Allan said. – anki Jan 7 '20 at 5:53

spindump is used by various system components to create reports when an unresponsive application is force quit. Reports are stored at:


So what you could do is to have a look at that directory to see which application required a lot of forced quits (aka crashes). Please raise a new question if you need help in reading the log.

In the meanwhile you can do the following to keep your system usable:

  • Keep a Terminal window open
  • When the system slows done to a crawl, switch to Terminal (via CmdTab)
  • run sudo pkill -STOP -l spindump; sudo pkill -STOP -l tailspind (you will be asked for your password once)

This will pause any running spindump processes (which is better than outright killing them because then they will be most likely restarted immediately).

Two caveats here

  • This will only work if the user you are logged in with has admin rights. If it doesn't, please add a comment and I can show you how to make this work for a non-admin user
  • It helps to put this in a shell alias (less character to type to execute it). If you need help with that, comment accordingly as well
  • No application has had forced quits or crashes, just lots of lag – qazwsx Jan 7 '20 at 12:13
  • @qazwsx Did you check which files are in the directory? Anyway, the trick to pause spindump will work in either case. – nohillside Jan 7 '20 at 12:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .