Best 14 Tips to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

Your computer is suspended. Same old Windows, right? Except you are using a brand new Windows 10 device; you only had a few days. So what’s going on?

By investigating, you find that your system disk is working 100%. Surely this can’t be, right? Unfortunately it is. The latest versions of Windows have a problem with drive overload, which slows down the operating system. This issue affects both hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs

There are several fixes for this, but first you need to track down the problem.

When the error was discovered, only a few culprits were found. But over time, despite the 100% disk usage error being reported to Microsoft, not only the causes of this error are discovered.

Click on the link above for each possible cause of the bug to see how to fix it.

Once you have determined that there is a problem, you have several options. Check the following steps one at a time, checking disk usage in the Task Manager after each.

Note that even if a solution is found, a Windows update may revert the changes made. Adding bookmarks to this page will help you find it in the future to make corrections again.

1. Slowdown? Run the disk check

This performance issue is most obvious when trying to use Windows Search to find a file or program and anything else that requires the drive to work (perhaps copying and pasting a bunch of files).

To determine if this is an issue for you, when your computer slows down, press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager .

(Alternatively, click with the right mouse button on the toolbar of the application , and select Task Manager .) Note that you may need some time to open up the unit under strain.

On the first tab, Processes, look for the Disk column . If you are having problems with the performance of the drive , it should be 100% and shaded red to indicate if there is a problem.

Problem sectors on the HDD can cause the problem of 100% disk usage in Windows 10. However, using the Windows built-in disk check can solve the problem.

Open Windows Explorer and select this PC , then identify your hard drive. Click with the right key of C: and select Properties. Here, find the Tools tab and under Error Checking click Check .

In the resulting window, click Scan drive . Wait while the system scans the drive; a reboot may be required for a full disk repair. This should handle the error.

2. Check your antivirus software

As with any performance issue, the first thing to do is to confirm that your computer is not infected with malware. Your security software should be able to handle this, whether it’s a free app or a paid suite.

At the very least, tools like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware should be able to scan the system drive and detect any problems, even if with a heavy load on the drive, this could take some time.

If threats are found, use the software’s recommendations to discard them and restart. So, check the performance of the drive further. I hope you have solved the problem; if not, the malware wasn’t to blame, so read on.

3. Disable Windows Search to improve disk performance

The next thing to check is if the 100% disk usage error has to do with Windows Search.

A bug in Windows 10 generates a “search cycle” which causes an increased load on the system drive.

To stop this and prevent it from occurring during the current session (until you restart Windows), open the Command Prompt (the quickest way is to click on the button Start and type cmd, then do click the button, right-click and select Run as administrator ) and enter:

net.exe stop "Windows search"

To permanently disable Windows search or indexing, press WIN + R , enter services.msc and press Enter . In the Services window that opens, find the Windows Search entry and double-click to open the Windows Search Properties window .

Under Startup Type , select Disabled . Here you can click Stop to stop the service. Please click on OK to save the changes.

A few moments after turning off Windows Search, Windows 10 performance should improve considerably. If not, go ahead …

4. Disable the Superfetch service

Another Widows 10 feature that has been identified as a potential cause of the 100% disk usage issue is <a href = “//”> the superfetch service .

To fix this, open another command prompt (or if you still have the previous box open, use that) and enter:

net.exe stop superfetch  Again, wait a few moments to check if this has had any effect on your computer's performance. You should also run Check Disk in a command prompt:
chkdsk.exe /f /r

You will be advised that you need to restart your PC for Check Disk to complete, so make sure you close all applications first.

If that doesn’t work, chances are you’re experiencing an iteration of this problem that’s frustrating to accomplish, but simple to fix.

5. Is Flash causing the 100% disk usage error?

Flash remains one of the most vulnerable aspects of modern computing and should be disabled. Adobe plans to drop its media plug-in in 2020, so there aren’t many reasons to keep using it.

Flash also seems to be one of the most common culprits for 100% hard drive usage in Windows 10 if you are using the Google Chrome browser.

Open Menu> Settings> Show advanced settings and find the section marked as Privacy. Here, click on Content Settings and find Flash. You will see a toggle, so set it to Block sites from running Flash , then click Back ..

Restart the browser and check the HDD performance.

6. Use a different web browser

It may not be Flash which is impacting your browser performance.

Another cause could be the browser itself, particularly if you’re using Google Chrome.

The obvious option is to choose a different browser. Windows 10 already has two built-in browsers. You probably don’t want to use Internet Explorer, but Microsoft Edge is a suitable replacement for Chrome.

There are several browsers available, some better than others. Check out our guide to the best web browsers for Windows to find an alternative.

7. Does Skype consume disk resources?

Another widely used application could also cause 100% hard drive usage: Skype.

To find out and disable its OTT resource requirement, start by verifying that the software is not running. You can do this by looking in the Task Manager, or by checking the System Tray, the area on the desktop around the clock. If Skype is running here, click with the right mouse button on the icon and select Quit .

Then, press WIN + R and paste this address into the box:

C:Program Files (x86)SkypePhone

Please click on OK to locate the file Skype.exe and click with the right mouse button on it and select Properties . On the Security tab , click Edit , then select ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES .

Put a check mark next to Write in the Allow column and finish by clicking Apply , then OK . Go back to the Task Manager to see the change. You might also consider finding a Skype alternative .

No difference? Keep reading…

8. Fix the PCI-Express firmware bug

Some drivers do not work as they should in Windows 10. One that has been discovered to cause 100% HDD usage is the StorAHCI.sys driver, which has a firmware bug. StorAHCI.sys intended for storage devices connected to the PC or laptop motherboard via the PCI-Express interface of the Advanced Host Controller.

If you’ve made it this far with no success, this could be the problem.

Open Device Manager (use Windows 10 search or right-click this PC in Windows Explorer, then Properties> Device Manager ) and expand IDE ATA / ATAPI controllers. If an AHCI controller entry is listed, double-click, then open the Driver tab and select Driver Details .

Is the driver listed as C: Windows system32 DRIVERS storahci.sys ? If so, you may be affected by this bug.

Close the driver details window and switch to the Details tab , selecting Device Instance Path from the drop-down menu. Where the value is listed, right click and select Copy . Launch your text editor (such as Notepad) and paste the contents into.

Then, press WIN + R and type regedit , followed by the OK button . Navigate to this address: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE System CurrentControlSet Enum PCI and use the string pasted on top to open the correct AHCI controller, followed by the random number.

Here, expand Device Parameters Interrupt Management MessageSignaledInterruptProperties and you should see supported MSIS listed in the right pane. Double click on this, then change the value data: to 0 . Please click on OK to confirm and follow the instructions to restart Windows.

9. Is Steam running out of hard drive?

Enjoy playing games and have Steam installed? There’s a good chance this digital delivery system is causing 100% disk usage.

Usually this is due to the delivery update, causing the background downloader to get caught in a loop. Clear the Steam cache to fix this problem.

First, make sure you’ve closed Steam. Where Steam is a probable cause of the 100% disk usage error, it may crash when trying to exit. In this case, use the Windows 10 Task Manager to close the software.

Then, open the Run WIN + R box and enter


A dialog will appear informing you that the content will be deleted. </ p>

Please click on OK to proceed.

Please note that games and saves will be kept, so there is no risk of them being deleted.

10. Disable diagnostic monitoring in Windows 10

Finally, the impact of diagnostic detection in Windows 10 is worth considering . A feature that might otherwise be disabled for privacy reasons has been accused of using 100% HDD on many PCs.

When it comes to reducing hard drive usage, it’s easier to disable the DiagTrack service. If this is the source of the 100% disk usage error in Windows 10, you can stop the service from starting.

However, to do this you need to access the command prompt in administrator mode.

Click Start and type cmd in the search box. Wait for the results and right-click Command Prompt , selecting Run as administrator .

Click the button right-click on the button Start and select Command Prompt (Admin) , then enter these commands to disable and stop DiagTrack:

sc config "DiagTrack" start= disabled sc stop "DiagTrack"

11. Windows Update can cause high disk usage

In addition to affecting the changes made to your PC when fixing the 100% disk usage issue, Windows Update can also be a cause.

This usually only happens when Windows Update has a problem (which is typically due to a file it refuses to download). You have two options here:

  1. Leave your computer alone -shout all open applications and wait. Eventually, the files will download, but depending on how Windows Update is scheduled on your computer, a reboot may be required.
  2. Turn off your computer: Once finished, restart and wait for Windows Update to fix the problem.

Once the update has finished downloading, it is recommended that you run it as soon as possible. Remember to check any previous fixes for 100% disk usage before proceeding; as noted above, Windows Update can reverse these fixes .

12. Restore your virtual memory

Virtual memory is a combination of RAM and hard disk space and can be responsible for overuse of the HDD. If there is not enough RAM to perform a task, the HDD is used to supplement the RAM. Data transferred to the HDD is then returned to RAM when required.

If you’ve come this far and still need to fix the 100% disk usage problem, it might be worth resetting your virtual memory.

Open the System screen with Windows + Pause / Pause , then Advanced System Settings on the left. In the resulting box, select the Advanced tab , then under Performance click Settings .

Here you will find another Advanced tab , which has a section labeled Virtual Memory . Click Change and clear the check box to automatically manage the paging file size for all drives .

Staying on this screen, select the Windows drive (usually C 🙂and then the custom size . Here, add an initial size and a maximum size ; note that both are measured in MB instead of GB.

These numbers can be confusing, so with the first value, rely on the recommended option. For the maximum value, aim for a figure no more than 1.5 times the system RAM .

For example, a computer with 4GB of RAM should have no more than 6.5GB (6144MB).

With the values ​​entered, click Set , then OK to continue. Now you need to delete the temporary files that were used in the previous virtual memory allocation.

To do this, open the Run box ( WIN + R ) then enter “temp”. When the temporary directory opens, select all files ( Ctrl + A ) and tap Delete on the keyboard.

13. Activate high performance mode

One last thing to try is to change the Windows power settings. Standard power modes are more prone to 100% disk usage errors, but switching to high performance often solves the problem.

The downside, of course, is that your computer will use more power. Thanks to the modern processor design this shouldn’t be a big deal. However, desktop replacement notebooks and laptops may impact battery life.

To switch to high performance , open the Power On and Sleep screen with WIN + X> Power Options.

Here, click on More Power Settings , select High Performance , then OK .

If this is not an option displayed, you need to create your own custom power plan. Click Create a Power Plan , then select High Performance . Name the plan, change any personal settings as needed and select it as the power plan to use.

In a moment or two, the 100% disk usage issue should drop to less than 10%.

14. Install the latest SATA drivers

Can a storage device driver result in a 100% disk usage error?

Your Windows 10 computer almost certainly uses SATA connections for hard drives, SSDs, and optical drives.
If the drivers are not up to date, the disk usage error can occur.

Avoid this by updating the latest SATA drivers.

Open the Power User menu with WIN + X and select Device Manager . From here, expand Storage Controllers , then identify the correct controller for SATA devices. If you can’t do this, don’t worry, just update both.

To upgrade, click the right mouse button on each controller, and select Update Driver .

Select the Browse my computer driver software option , then let me pick from a list of drivers available on my r calculation . Here, choose the standard AHCI controller and find out how this affects performance.

You may need to restart Windows for this to take effect. Note that if that doesn’t work, you can still try this by checking the manufacturer’s website for a new driver. This can be installed using the instructions that accompany it.

Disk usage should rarely be 100%

Put simply, there are few reasons why your disk load is anything close to 100%, certainly not under normal conditions. A slow computer is one with a problem, and if you can’t fix it by disabling a browser plug-in, stopping services, or running antivirus software, the problem may be hardware-related.

Maybe your guide is getting old; it may be faulty or the cables may need to be replaced. Alternatively, the problem may be related to the Windows Defrag Tool.

If your computer is trying to defrag the drive, but your HDD is actually an SSD, serious problems can occur . Deal with it by opening the Scheduler ( WIN + Q , enter “task scheduler”) and disable all scheduled disk defragmentation tasks.

Try these fixes the next time your Windows computer slows down. Add these fixes to your skill set to fix annoying Windows problems .

Read the full article: Best 14 Tips to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

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