Color wheel with delays at random times since most recent Scrivener and MacOS upgrades.

What happens is the rotating color wheel appears at random times while typing, sometimes lasting for what seems like half a minute or so, then goes away and the SW operates as normal. This started on the same day after the upgrades on both my iMac and my MacBook Pro.

I’ve been working off Dropbox for a few years now, and backing up there as well. I switched to do the backup on the Mac and still had the problem. Switched back to the backup file on dropbox with no perceptible change in the frequency or duration of the color wheel.

The problem appears to be independent of document or *.scriv file size. It happens with outline files that are barely started, my complete 109,000 word novel and a 425,000 word fan fiction story as well as other stories between 56,000 and 400,000 words.

At this point I’ve no idea what’s causing it though I’m not having the same problems with other SW (Timeline, 3D Medical, WORD, Excel, or Pages). I took a quick look and didn’t see any recent posts about it but it seems odd that it happened on both my Macs at the same time if there isn’t a common SW cause.

If I messed other posts about this, I apologize in advance.


Check your autosave interval, which can be found in the Scrivener -> Preferences -> General -> Saving tab. If it’s too short, Scrivener will think you’ve paused when you actually haven’t, leading to this issue.


That fixed it.


I wrote too soon - the save interval didn’t fix it. But over the weekend I rebuilt the SDD from a reformat and return to factory settings, and that fixed both the pinwheel problem, the Scratchpad crashes, and a disconcerting tendency for the machine to spontaneously reboot itself if, and only if, it was left connected to the power supply/charger overnight. .

I’m not sure what it is about the combination of SW I use, but I had to do a similar rebuild on the iMac as well to cure the same problems including spontaneous reboot if left on all night. It was the second such rebuild on the MBP, the one before this one was 17 months ago.

I’ve gotten much more accomplished at it than I’d like to be, but it worked which is what counts.

So, back to it… with a smile…


Fun times!

Are you using a true SSD, or a Fusion drive?

In this context, the spinning pinwheel sounds like some kind of caching problem or other delay in disk access, rather than anything to do with Scrivener.


I’m having this problem since last night. It’s frustrating because the color pinwheel appears every 5 or 10 seconds and won’t let me work. Everything was fine. I have MacOS Catalina 10.15.3 and because of this problem I updgraded to 10.15.4 and it still won’t work. This is running on a Macbook Air with SSD storage and Dropbox sync as well.

Any suggestions?

I’ve been doing some testing, and maybe this problem has to do with my project file, because once I closed the project and opened another one, for example, the Scrivener tutorial, it works just fine.

My project file is small, it’s 20MB file, so it’s not about size.
Maybe it’s somehow corrupted?
It’s also synced via dropbox.

Do you have any suggestions?
Is there a way to check if my project files are corrupted? Can they be fixed?