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Based on a lifetime of using web browsers, I expect that when a browser has an active throbber, it's downloading a page. I've never seen multiple throbbers, though, and I just noticed that Chrome has (at least) two.

Out of five open tabs, three were static and just sitting open in the background, so they displayed favicons as expected. The other two were loading, but one had a slow counter-clockwise throbber while the other had a fast clockwise throbber. What's the difference between the two (and any others that may exist)?

Firefox 4 has been released, and it has the same behavior (or at least a similar-looking behavior). I still haven't found documentation.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've always assumed that the slow anti-clockwise throbber was indicating that an http request had been sent, and once data started to be received back it changed to the faster clockwise version.

Multiple tabs, multiple requests, hence separate throbbers.

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This seems reasonable, do you know of any documentation for it? – Pops Oct 1 '10 at 12:53
I also assumed that and have noticed that when it is spinning counter-clockwise it takes longer to load a page, and as you suggested, when the data starts to come back it loads clockwise and faster. Also, sandboxing would explain the separate throbbers. – paradd0x Apr 14 '11 at 18:33

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