Constant Spinning Wheel in the Status Bar on iPhone Issue, Fix

A spinning wheel in the status bar on your iPhone means that there is a network activity like downloading, sending/receiving data etc. This is a small spinner icon (see the image below) located on top of your screen. Several users have reported that they see this non-stop spinning wheel. It just keeps constantly spinning indicating that some network activity going on in the background. You probably want to resolve this because this may reduce battery life. This short article explains how you can resolve the spinning wheel problem.

spinning wheel

See also: Black Screen With Spinning Wheel, Fix

Several users stated that they started to experience this program after an iOS update. Some users worried that this is a sign of spyware and that some unwanted and secret activity is stealing sensitive information. This is NOT spyware and you do not need to remove anything. This is likely a simple bug.

According to the Apple’s documentation, the spinning wheel in the status bar “shows over-the-air syncing or other network activity. Some third party apps may also use the icon to show an active process.” If this spinning wheel is appearing constantly, it may mean that something is wrong. Here is how you can stop this:

See also: No Sim Card Installed

  1. Update your iPhone. Simply go to Settings > General > Software Update and if there is an update available, simply tap Download and Install. Software Update
  2. Force close everything running in the background. If your iPhone has a Home button, simple double press the Home button. If your device does not have a Home button, then swipe up from the bottom of your home screen. This action will display the recently used apps. Swipe up all of the apps.
  3. Open Siri: Some users have stated that opening Siri will stop this. Simple launch Siri. If your iPhone has a Home button, press and hold. If your iPhone (iPhone X or later) does not have a Home button, then press and hold the side button. And ask something. Anything. Just use Siri.
  4. If your phone’s Siri is disabled, enable it by going to Settings > Siri & Search and toggle on Siri.
  5. Restart your device. You can shut down your device by going to Settings > General > Shut Down.
  6. Disable Hey Siri if it is enabled. Simply go to Settings > Siri & Search and toggle off Hey Siri.
  7. Disable Background App Fresh by going to Settings > General > Background App Fresh and turn this on.
  8. Force restart your iPhone. Different iPhone models require different steps to do this. Here is how:
    1. If your iPhone has a Home button (iPhone 6s and earlier models) then press and hold the Home and Side buttons together for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo.
    2. iPhone 7 models: Press and hold the Side and volume down buttons for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo
    3. iPhone 8, iPhone X and later models: Press and release the volume up then volume down buttons then press and hold the side button for at least 10 seconds until you see the Apple logo.
  9. Reset Network Settings. Note that this action will delete all your network settings like your Wi-Fi passwords etc. Simple go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.

iPhone Proximity Sensor Not Working?

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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83 thoughts on “Constant Spinning Wheel in the Status Bar on iPhone Issue, Fix”

  1. I’ve had this problem through two different phones, got a new phone thinking it was a phone issue but the problem continued. Pressing the button for Siri and then pressing it again usually works but it’s annoying because if I don’t catch it then it’s happening it will drain my battery. The only thing that completely fixes it is turning off dictation, but that’s annoying because I use dictation all the time so that’s unacceptable to me. I’d try just turning off the highway Siri thing and that didn’t work.

    Reply
  2. Switching off and on, spinning wheel went avay. But I also have disable my background refresh. (OFF).
    Thanks from Brazil
    Fred

    Reply
  3. Thank you for these tips! Activating Siri worked for me! I have an iPhone 8 . After reading previous comment I tested the dictation and that didn’t leave the wheel spinning once I stopped dictating. I am curious however what makes it start and not stop … hmmm

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  4. I have a first gen SE, and this procedure worked. Network spinner stopped spinning constantly. Another issue was my internet router was only operating at 60% download speed. Contacted Century Link and had them “refresh” my connection. Speed is now normal.

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  5. I have the same issue. Now I’ve turned nearly everything off so my brand new iPhone SE is a phone, text and camera computer. Nothing more. Disappointing that there are no tools to more specifically identify which app is causing the problem

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  6. Hi I’ve tried everything suggested and the spinning wheel continues. I have iPhone 7 Plus and noticed it’s also heating up after a minute or two

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    • Not mine! Tried everything. Reset, volume up volume down turn off, no background refresh, nothing works. As soon as I use dictation it starts up again

      Reply
  7. None of this is working for me. Still have the spinning wheel and it drives me nuts. Stops during a restart but comes back

    Reply
    • Yeah my iPhone 8 same exact thing I do all them it stopped for a minute are use my phone for a few minutes and there it is again continuously what do we do

      Reply
  8. Hi all. I agree with what’s been said about the Force restart, but I’m observant enough to have identified the culprit. I just don’t know what it means. The culprit is this, at least for me: sending (text) MESSAGES. I can do all kinds of activities post-restart without invoking the wheel of madness. But sending a message kicks it off.

    Any thoughts?

    Reply
  9. I’ve had this issue with multiple phones now over the last 8 months and have been through 3 loaners. Couldn’t make calls, couldn’t send iMessages, couldn’t search online, but it happened randomly. The spinning thing was always there. Would go away briefly if I restarted my phone but it always came back. All of them had the issue. 2 of my siblings have this same issue now so we are looking into a potential issue with an app that we all have that’s the same. First thought was the House Party app. I downloaded it on my current loaner, used the app yesterday, no issues so far. So maybe that’s not it. I’m currently using the X as a loaner but my new phone I bought in May was the SE 2020. So frustrating!!!

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  10. To all,

    I have tried all the above steps everyone outline and still no luck, I have an iPhone se 2020 model, the same issue still persists with two different replacements of the same model Apple has provided.

    Reply
  11. This is happening on my phone too. Starting Hey Siri always stopped it. I experimented with many things and finally got it to stop by turning off dictation for awhile but I got annoyed at not being able to do talk to text and as soon as I turned it back on it started doing it again. And now Hey Siri doesn’t work, I have to do a soft restart to stop it. So annoying! It’s been like this with 2 different phones and multiple iPhone updates.

    Reply
  12. I’ve had this problem for over a year! Across 3 different devices as well. It all started right after iOS 12. Drives me crazy. There is no fix. I’ve tried EVERYTHING above. It only fixes it temporarily.

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  13. Held the side button for at least 10 seconds and then turned the phone off. Waited 1 min, turned the phone back on, Apple logo appeared for a minute and the phone came back on & the spinning wheel stopped! I have the iPhone 8 Plus. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Thank you!! I have an iPhone 7 and had to do #8, force restart (of course after trying 1-7), & it’s finally STOPPED SPINNING! I was going crazy trying to find out why for over a week! Thanks again.

    Reply
  15. I have an Iphone 7. I worked for me the solution described above. Volume (down) and block button.

    THank you sooo much!!

    Reply
  16. simply turning on Siri fixed it for me. I then disabled it. we’ll see if that prevents a reoccurence.

    Reply
  17. Same issue with my friends phone. The “Siri, Stop wheel spinning” works but it is most definitely an issue with “talk to text”.
    I tested the following:
    Attempted talk to text= spinning wheel… Siri “stop wheel spinning” worked.
    Attempted talk to text= spinning wheel… disabled and re-enabled siri- still spinning.
    Attempted talk to text= spinning wheel… reset network settings/re-enabled wifi (worked)
    Attempted talk to text= spinning wheel… just turned off/on wifi- did not work.
    Attempted talk to text= spinning wheel… reboot phone (worked)
    Attempted talk to text= spinning wheel… switched off wifi calling- did not resolve.

    It appears to be a major bug in the software that I hope Apple is addressing and will release a patch or update soon.

    Reply
  18. I’ve had the same problem for weeks on my IPhone 8 through T mobile. What finally worked for me was switching the setting for making calls over WiFi to off. Doing so allowed me to slide the show my caller ID toggle on. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  19. I have the same issue. I’ve spent hours on the phone with Apple and they are clueless. They act like no one else has this issue. All the hacks above don’t work permanently for me. Some solve the issue for a bit. This is so frustrating!

    Reply
  20. Restart seems to have worked so far. I additionally switched off wifi calling after restarting but I can not say if that had an impact.

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  21. Same thing has been happening to me. When I shut down the phone then power back on it will work for awhile. But the wheel, at some point, starts spinning again.

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  22. Did a hard reset and it worked. Started talk to text and it happened again. That’s got to be the issue. Simply ridiculous.

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  23. Still happening for me. Wheel stops anytime I open any app or browser or mail but as soon as it is closed the wheel starts. Tried every fix above and none worked. 😫

    Reply
  24. I tried all the above suggestions and the wheel just keeps spinning. I may stop at one point but is soon as I open anything it starts spinning again and it will not stop

    Reply
  25. I seem to get a spinning wheel every time I open iOS mail and it stays spinning for ages. Checking for mail now also seems to take 30 seconds or more!!

    What is going on…??

    Tried everything I can think of but issue seems to be after update to iOS 13

    Reply
  26. Hi, followed all the steps, no result. Went back and switched Siri back on and asked it to stop all programs running in the background. Problem solved.

    Reply
  27. Honestly has a spinning wheel battery is dying quickly because of it. I don’t understand why it’s doing this supposed to be an Apple iPhone and work well what’s going on guys. Thousand dollars for phones they should work worked fine until I got to download. The latest one

    Reply
  28. Hi. This started happening to me after going to 13.2.3. All of thy e abi e actions have been performed and the data wheel
    Keep right on spinning. Battery life is now dreadful. Any ideas or alternate solutions gratefully received.

    Reply

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