Spinning Beachball when coming out of sleep or when deactivating the screen saver


We set our Macs to require a password when woken from sleep or the screensaver.

Around the beginning of November several of our 10.8.x Mac users started to advise that they were seeing the dreaded spinning beachball/pinwheel when trying to wake their Macs.

It appears we were not alone in this issue.

As you can see from my messages in the thread, I tried various things & it didn’t help that this coincided with us updating our Mac Servers to 10.9 & an odd issue where on our DNS some .local zones just “appeared.”

Anyways, it was tracked down to an issue with the showInputMenu key in the com.apple.loginwindow.plist being set to true & a recent update.

As we deployed this setting via MCX through the JSS we needed to change the value from true to false as shown below:

Display Name: Login Window Show Input Menu – User Level
Application Domain: com.apple.loginwindow
Key Name: showInputMenu
Key Type: boolean
Key Value: false

If you’ve got this issue & set the showInputMenu key via a script, then run the below once per Mac & it should delete the key out of the com.apple.loginwindow.plist.

14 thoughts on “Spinning Beachball when coming out of sleep or when deactivating the screen saver

  1. Karsten Ackmann

    One of my customers has this issue right after power on or reboot. Setting showInputMenu to false or deleting the key only lasts for some reboots. The issue ocurred only on 10.8.5 clients with iPhoto and RawCamera 5.0.1 or 5.0.2 Update. The only constantly working solution was a downgrade to the latest RawCamera 4.x Version and disabling the 5.x Updates in the Software Update Server. Thats’s not a satisfying, but a working solution, until there is a better one.

    • Ben Toms

      Thanks Karsten.

      Out of interest, have you been setting the showInputMenu key via MCX?

      Also, have you tried setting it to false instead of deleting it? (via a script).

    • Bjoern

      @Karsten: How did you install the previous RawCamera 4.x downgrade ??
      I´m not able to apply that package when the newer 5.02 version is already installed.

      The beachball issue at the login window / screensaver password occured since the installation of
      the Apple camera raw update 5.01 and still exists in version 5.02 !

      In my case the issue was resolved by disabling the “showInputMenu” for the login window in system preferences > users & groups > login options.

      Which RawCamera 4.x version have you installed ?

    • Hi Joe,

      FWIW that didn’t resolve things for me.. also the command is in the thread you’ve linked in Bjorns comment.. i’ve added it below:

      defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist showInputMenu

      • Thanks, Ben.
        Since leaving my earlier comment, I tested changing the system-wide setting for the login window using
        defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow.plist showInputMenu
        …but I found, to my dismay, that changing the setting when someone is logged in may lead to undesirable behaviour when the next log out or restart: in my tests the log out effectively hung with a grey screen. Because of this, I’m looking into a way to use launchd to run this script once on startup.

  2. jdh

    I have the same problem but am on a new install of El Capitan on a 2009 iMac just upgraded to an SDD. Everything seems ok but this beachball when coming out of Sleep and intermittent long shutdown times.

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