Spinning white circle

Has there been a definitive answer to what the spinning white circle represents from Asobo/Microsoft? Is it downloading scenery? Is it saving states?
I get it all the time accompanied by a micro stutter and its quite frustrating. It’s especially active on taxi, takeoff, approach, landing. Basically when you change views, start takeoff roll, wheels leave the ground, touchdown, etc. Randomly in the air it will spin with a quick stutter.

Doesn’t matter if the rolling cache is on or off.

Do we know what this is exactly? Anyway to disable it?

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Agree. Whatever it’s doing we don’t need to see it!


I don’t think there’s been an official answer on what this does. If you watch internet activity (like through wireshark), it does spin when accessing internet (either upload or download).

There is a wishlist topic to have this removed - or better yet it should be an option to display it or not (as having it on, does give some indication that MSFS is “doing something”):

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I have done some testing on this spinning circle at my end a few months ago. When flying in offline mode, with internet disconnected, the spinning circle still appeared. It does, therefore, amongst other things also indicate hard disk activity.


I don’t mind it so much as an indicator of whether the sim is frozen or not - of course, just seeing the scenery stop moving is a pretty good indicator too - lol
But it might be nice if we could select how opaque it is. I’d like to be able to just barely see it or only be able to see it when I look for it - rather than as it is now.

Doesn’t matter where I fly, the spinning white circle is constantly going with accompanied micro stutters. If I go into dev mode and check the console, I have 1000’s of messages. If I clear those messages, while in an active flight, the sim will perform much smoother, and the spinning white circle will stop, however I won’t get logbook credit for the flight. If I quit back to the menu, I’d have to clear the console again for a smooth experience.
Do we KNOW what exactly the spinning white circle represents? What does clearing the console do, and why does it stop the circle??? This is a frustrating part of the sim and I can’t seem to get a clear answer.

On a side note, I’ve also noticed that if I clear the console, the circle and accompanied microstutters disappear, but I get longer 5 second pauses every once in a while. Is the whole thing a mystery?


As far as I know it indicates that cloud based activity is in progress. Some examples:

It appears when you land at an airport you have never visited before, and decelerate below <15kts, maybe 40kts. It’s whichever speed will trigger the tower to tell you to exit the runway.

It also used to appear every time I enabled/disabled the autopilot. The last time I revisited that it didn’t do it, but it certainly did. The sim records all your time both on, and off AP. The indicator was showing when it was switching between one type of time being recorded, and the other.

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Cheers. So I wonder why going into dev mode and clearing the console completely eliminates the spinning? Is the spinning circle only a ‘state saving’ indicator? And if so, hopefully they can improve it so it isn’t accompanied by a stutter every time. I have noticed it is active when turning, entering runways, wheels up, turns, AP like you mentioned, wheels down, etc.

Still have no idea why all the messages are in the console to begin with and why they aren’t permanently cleared when you clear them.

Possibly. I know that even enabling the dev. mode, then disabling it will still cause nothing to be logged to your logbook, at least as far as hours are concerned. Perhaps it disables them all. My guess here is that this is a side effect of the devs. looking for ways of avoiding cheating the landing challenges.

I have seen a number of things that would improve the sim being blocked because of the landing challenges. I’d be happy to see the back of them, personally, or rather I would not miss them.

I’m fairly sure it indicates events which get logged (Landing etc) so it’s probably both drive activity and cloud activity as this data does get saved into the cloud regardless of whether you have the rest of the online options deselected.

I would like to know more about this -
For me - MSFS is fine until I use ATC to contact an arrival airport on approach. That’s when I begin to see macro-stutters and choppiness. It persists almost until touchdown from that initial contact.
I thought it might be related to the animated ground activity - the vehicles and aircraft attendants etc…so I turned that stuff off to test it, but the problem was only slightly mitigated.
Now I wonder if it could be ‘logbook’ related, as in MSFS is opening and making entries into the pilot logbook at this point, and continuing through the landing. This would explain why the stutters go away at that point - after touchdown.
Likely it’s a combination of factors but now I want to have an option to operate without the logbook feature - not just in dev mode because I think that just hides the information but doesn’t stop the data exchanges happening.
It would also be great to be able to full shut down an airplane without that stupid logbook interfering and ending the session early.

As you are exploring this avenue already try this…

During flights open the “Objectives” window.
You will note that there are key moments during your flight when the objectives update.
Are you seeing stutters at the moments that these objectives update?


I will explore this - thanks

lol - tracking software has become so intrinsic it has filtered its way even into our virtual lives…
Ray Bradbury would be horrified if he were still alive

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I noticed I get the circle even when loading the game, so it seems to me it’s a system related debug tool, not related to flying per se. I imagine it’s basically the XBox implementation of the spinning blue circle on PC.

I think the thing that makes it noteworthy is that it tells us nothing.
It seems to be there almost constantly and as you say (I agree) it probably equates to its windows counterpart in blue. It tells us only that data is being either uploaded or downloaded or exchanged between host and client.
It would be better if it had a color code and associated bar graph just below it that indicated the volume of the traffic and maybe also the direction - upload or download - some kind of indication or visual que. If for instance you are flying along over the ocean and the circle is white and infrequent until you approach NYC - then it changes to yellow, then orange, then red - then you can check your CPU/GPU loads at that point and know whether the performance issues are client side (your PC) or server side…
How else can we effectively provide feedback to ASOBO without knowing that critical factor?

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Personally, I just want it gone. It wrecks lots of great screenshots, and serves no purpose as far as users are concerned.


that’s the caveat - it afflicts the user, but tells us nothing

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I’ll check out the objectives window - great suggestion.

The loading white circle ‘stutter’ is very jarring because it is at that exact moment of a critical event. I got so used to the stutter, for example, right at the moment of takeoff or landing, that when I cleared the console, and thus cleared the stutters, it was amazing to have a smooth landing/takeoff without any stutter…just smoothly transition from ground to land and vice versa. Glorious!


This issue started for me after World Update 3 and I have come looking for answers again. Using the debug mode and clearing errors helps but you lose the log of your flight. It can also randomly start up again at any time.

I thought it was due to my internet connection so I had my entire line re-wired and upgraded. Problem still exists. So I tried another test and powered my modem off while flying. Even if offline mode with no internet it continued to do it even when not changing states in the plane.

So this has become my biggest issue with the sim aside from GSYNC and input lag which also started right after World Update 3. Hope it gets fixed. Time for another reinstall maybe.

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What is your issue with GSYNC? I have GSYNC and I’m undecided if it helps or what settings to use…including in game VSYNC on or off…Right now i Have vysnc 60 on and it seems okay.