Fix a Spinning Wheel Loading Indicator on iPhone or iPad Home Screen

Mar 18, 2022 - 8 Comments

Fix the spinning loading wheel icon on iPhone or iPad

Are you seeing a constant spinning icon indicator on your Home Screen, next to the wi-fi, location, and battery icons in the upper right corner?

The spinning loading icon shows up when the iPhone or iPad is attempting to contact a remote server, or load data. It looks like a spinning wheel made up of little dashes, and when it has gone haywire it will rotate endlessly, never going away.

If you see the spinning wheel icon while you’re on the Home Screen of the iPhone or iPad, it is likely because something on the Home Screen is attempting to use the internet.


Often this is something like a Home Screen widget, whether it’s a bundled Apple widget like weather, clock, Find My, calendar, or a third party widget like Coinbase, Robinhood, custom photos widgets, or any of the myriad other third party Home Screen widgets out there.

While it can be challenging to track down which widget is causing the spinning icon wheel to show up on the Home Screen of an iPhone or iPad, it’s pretty easy to determine if any other app is involved. To test this, switch to another app like Safari or Chrome, and if the wheel indicator disappears then you know it’s probably a Home Screen widget, or something active on the Home Screen, that is causing the issue.

Another curious reason the spinning wheel loading indicator can appear sometimes is due to a prior Siri query.

How to Get Rid of the Spinning Loading Wheel Icon on iPhone or iPad

While sometimes simply waiting and doing nothing allows the process, widget, app, or task to complete and the loading indicator goes away on it’s own, if it doesn’t, here are some steps to fix it:

Use Siri

Activate Siri and perform any internet based Siri query, like summoning Siri and asking “Hey Siri, what’s the weather”.

This is an interesting trick but simply using Siri often works to get rid of the spinning wheel indicator.

Turn Off Background App Refresh

Sometimes, apps may be doing things in the background causing the loading wheel indicator to spin endlessly no matter what you are doing on the iPhone or iPad.

You can see if this is the culprit by disabling Background App Refresh by going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh > OFF

Quit All Open Apps

Some users report that quitting out of all open apps removes the spinning loading wheel indicator icon from their status bar.

Reboot the iPhone or iPad

Turning the iPhone or iPad off and then turning it back on again almost always works to stop the spinning loading wheel icon from showing up if all else fails. This is probably because it disrupts communication between whatever is trying to reach the outside world, and restarts that attempt (or gives up entirely) when the device is rebooted.

So if all else fails, simply turn the iPhone or iPad off, then turn it back on again.

Did these tricks help you resolve the spinning wheel icon from showing up in the status bar of your iPhone or iPad on the Home Screen? Did you find another reason the spinning loading wheel indicator was showing up? Share with us your own thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

8 Comments

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  1. David Mac Makin says:

    When I clicked on the headline of the article to read more, all I got was:
    =====
    Are you seeing a constant spinning icon indicator on your Home Screen, next to the wi-fi, location, and battery icons in the upper right corner?

    The spinning loading icon shows up when the iPhone or iPad is attempting to contact a remote server, or load data. It looks like a spinning wheel made up of little dashes, and when it has gone haywire it will rotate endlessly, never going away.

    If you see the spinning wheel icon while you’re on the Home Screen of the iPhone or iPad, it is likely because something on the Home Screen is attempting to use the internet.
    =====
    Um, where’s the tip?
    Thanks,
    Dave Mac ^.^

  2. FKPTN says:

    and the F** fix is?

  3. Brenda says:

    How do you fix the spinning wheel? I didn’t see that in your article

  4. Igon Cang says:

    And the timer alarm levels what do with the spinning wheel?

  5. Terry says:

    I have an iPad Pro 12.9 the timer alarm is so quiet I can’t hear it I can’t figure out how to turn it up

    • Paul says:

      The spinning wheel icon won’t impact the volume on your timer. But if you go into Settings > Sounds > you should see the volume slider for sound effects. Or you can open the Clock app and then use the hardware volume buttons on the iPad and press volume up button to make the audio louder.

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