How to Fix: Constant Spinning Cursor (Circle) in Windows

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Bill W. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I recently upgraded to Windows 10; prior to that I was running Windows 7. In both Windows 7 and 10 I have this extremely annoying issue where the mouse exhibits a constant spinning circle (cursor) - as if the system is busy doing something. The spinning circle goes on all day long; it pops up for a few seconds, then disappears, and then maybe 30 seconds to a minute later it will pop up again. The spinning blue circle / mouse pointer happens even if the system is idle. I would like to get this fixed and am willing to pay to have you remote into my system, as it is driving me to the brink of insanity! Please help! "

My response:

I connected with Bill using my remote desktop support service and observed the system. Sure enough, the mouse pointer would switch to the "busy" spinning circle every 30 seconds or so, then stop, then start up again. And yes, I would be annoyed too if this was happening to me!

How to Fix: Constant Spinning Cursor (Circle) in Windows

Below I'll explain how I went about resolving the issue.

  1. The first thing I did was right click on the task bar and selected "Task Manager". Once Task Manager was loaded, I clicked the "more details" button near the bottom left; this made the Task manager window bigger.
     
  2. Following that, I went to the "Details" tab, then clicked the "CPU" heading so that it showed "System Idle Process" near the very top. This essentially sorts all the processes on the system to show which ones are eating the most CPU. The theory here is that if a program is launching repeatedly, it should show up at the top of the list because it is causing the mouse pointer to spin. Also note that sometimes there is an option near the bottom of the Task Manager window to select "Show all processes" - this option must always be enabled.
     
  3. Once the tasks were sorted by CPU, I sat and patiently watched the processes run, until the next time the spinning cursor appeared. It was then that I noticed "HPNetworkCommunicator.exe" appeared at the top of the Task Manager list every time the mouse pointer changed into a spinning circle. Once I saw this correlation appear a few times, I knew that HPNetworkCommunicator.exe was most likely the culprit.
     
  4. To test this theory all I had to do was find the location of HPNetworkCommunicator.exe and rename it as this would prevent it from executing repeatedly. To do so, I did a search by clicking on the Start menu, then typed in the process name: "HPNetworkCommunicator" (without quotes). Once I HPNetworkCommunicator appeared in the list, I right clicked it and selected "Properties", as this would reveal where the file was located. On Bill's system the HPNetworkCommunicator.exe file was located in "C:\Program Files\HP\HP Deskjet 3050A J611 series\Bin". I copied this path with the mouse, then opened up a File Explorer (Windows Explorer) window, then paste the path into the path field and pressed Enter on the keyboard.
     
  5. I was now at the location of the HPNetworkCommunicator.exe program. I right clicked HPNetworkCommunicator.exe and selected "rename", then renamed the program to HPNetworkCommunicator-bogus to stop the program from repeatedly executing. The reason it executes is because it is part of another program or scheduled to run in Task Scheduler - but it's easiest to simply rename the file, as this will prevent it from running repeatedly. Also if for some reason Bill needed this program to execute repeatedly in the future (I can't see why that would happen) - renaming the file back to its original name (HPNetworkCommunicator.exe) is all that is needed.

Problem solved! Bill was very happy with my service and to have the spinning mouse cursor finally tamed.

I hope that helps anyone else having the same issue, as I found it extremely annoying!

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If you have a spinning cursor (circle) / busy mouse that is constantly popping up, HPNetworkCommunicator.exe may be the culprit - or it may be another program that is causing the issue. Researching "HPNetworkCommunicator.exe spinning cursor" in Google verified that this was a very common issue. If you need help resolving a constant spinning cursor or even a sluggish computer - I can help, using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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