20 Ways to Overcome 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

20 Ways to Overcome 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

20 Ways to Overcome 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

 Getting 100% disk usage on Windows 10, this will make the computer hanging and freezing. Found your system drive running at 100%. Surely this is impossible, right? In fact recent versions of Windows have problems with overworked drives, which slow down the operating system.

This issue affects hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSD). But don't worry, there are some fixes available to fix 100% disk usage. But first, you need to find out the cause of the problem.

How to Fix 100% Disk Usage

1. Check Using Task Manager

This performance issue is most obvious when trying to use Windows Search to find files or programs, and anything else that requires the drive to do some work (perhaps copying and pasting a group of files).

To check if this is the problem affecting you, when your computer slows down press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager (Alternatively, right click on the Taskbar and select Task Manager).

Check 100% Disk Usage Using Task Manager

On the first tab, Processes, look for the Disk column. If you are having problems with drive performance, it should be 100%, and shaded red to indicate whether or not you have a problem.

Problematic sectors on your HDD can cause 100% disk usage problem in Windows 10. However, using Windows built-in disk check can fix it.

Open Windows Explorer and select This PC , then identify your hard drive. Right click on C: and select Properties. Here, look for the Tools tab, and under Error checking click on Check.

In the resulting window, click Scan drive. Wait while the system scans the drive. Reboot may be required for full disk repair. It should deal with errors.

2. Scan Using an Anti Virus Application

As with other performance issues, the first thing to do is confirm that your computer has not been infected with malware. Your security software should be able to handle this, whether it's a free or paid app.

At the very least, tools like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware should be able to scan your system drive and detect any issues, though with a heavy load on your drive this may take some time.

If threats are found, use the recommended software to remove them and reboot. Next, check your drive performance further. Hope you guys have fixed this issue, if not then malware is not the cause so read on.

3. Do a Clean Boot on Windows 10

Clean Boot State is used to diagnose and troubleshoot advanced Windows problems. “Clean Boot” starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs so you can determine if background programs are interfering with your system's performance. If you've never done a clean booth, now is the time to learn.

Use Win + R to open the run box, then type msconfig and press "Enter" to open "System Configuration."

Click the "General" tab, then click "Selective Startup". Clear the "Load Startup Items" checkbox, and make sure "Load System Services" and "Use original boot configuration" are checked.


Click the "Services" tab. Select the “Hide all Microsoft services” checkbox. Select an item and then select “Disable all“.

Clean Boot

Click “Apply/OK” and restart the computer. This will put Windows into a Clean Boot State.

If you find that everything loads fine on a clean boot, then slowly enable each startup program one at a time until you determine which program is causing the slowdown. You can then delete or disable it. For starters, always start by disabling third-party anti-virus/anti-malware programs as they can have a tendency to access the disk at any time.

4. Uninstall Anti Virus Applications If You Use Windows Defender

By default Windows 10 has a security application for its operating system, namely Windows Defender. But often users install third-party anti-virus applications, this is good for keeping your privacy safe. But this will be a problem if the computer/laptop used has outdated components.

This can cause excessive disk usage and many other problems. As a result, this can also be the cause of 100% disk usage in your Windows Task Manager. Consider removing an antivirus or anti-malware program such as Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, Avast Behavior Shield or Malwarebytes, etc.

5. Disable Windows Search For Improved Disk Performance

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

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

To stop this and prevent it from happening open Windows PowerShell (Admin). You will find this by right-clicking on the Windows 10 Start menu.

Enter command:

HKEY_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 it to open the Windows Search Properties window.

Disable Windows Search

Under Startup type , select Disable. Here you can click Stop to cancel the service. Click OK to save your changes.

A few moments after disabling Windows Search, your Windows 10 performance will improve greatly. Otherwise, continue...

6. Disable SysMain To Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

Another Windows 10 feature identified as a potential cause of the 100% disk usage issue is the superfetch service. Since Windows 10 1809 (Windows 10 October 2018 Update) it has been renamed to “SysMain.”

To prevent this service from causing disk usage problems, open another Windows PowerShell (Admin) and enter:

net.exe stop sysmain

Disable SysMain

Again, wait for a while to check if this has an impact on your computer's performance. You should also run Check Disk:

chkdsk.exe /f /r

You will be notified that your PC needs to be rebooted for Check Disk to complete, so make sure you have closed all your applications first.

Or you can use third-party software AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which simplifies things in a few clicks. With this tool, you can check a single partition, or check the entire disk.

This software allows you to check based on the partition and disk type according to your situation. No bundled devices and 100% clean. If this doesn't work, continue to the next step.

7. Check if Flash Causes 100% Disk Usage Bug?

Flash remains one of the most vulnerable aspects of modern computing and should be disabled. Adobe plans to kill the multimedia plugin in 2020, so there's little reason to stick with it.

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

Go to Menu > Settings > Privacy and security and click on the section marked Site Settings. Here, search for Flash and set the switch to Block sites from running Flash, then click Back.

Check If Flash Causing 100% Disk Usage

Restart the browser and check your HDD performance.

8. Use Control Panel To Remove All Web Browsers

Maybe it's not Flash that's affecting your browser's performance. Another cause could be the browser itself.

You can use the Control Panel to delete all browsers, except Edge and IE (Internet Explorer). Uninstalling browsers is an effective way to isolate problems with plugins.

If not, you need to remove the plugins one by one from each browser and test. Adobe Flash and Shockwave Player are common causes of 100% disk usage in Windows 10.

Fortunately, the browser can be reinstalled in seconds. After uninstalling the browser, please remove files including 'Temp', '%Temp%' and 'Prefetch'. After that, restart the system and check if the problem got solved. If it does, wait 10 – 15 minutes to verify that it doesn't reoccur, and you can reinstall the browser.

9. Fix 100% Disk Usage Due to Skype

Another heavily used application can also be causing 100% usage of your HDD: Skype.

To find out and disable its OTT resource requirement, start by checking if the software is not running. You can do this by looking in the Task Manager, or checking the System Tray. If Skype is running here, right-click the icon and select Quit.

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

C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone

Click OK to find the Skype.exe file and right click on it and select Properties. On the Security tab, click Edit, then select ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES.

Check If Skype Is Eating Up Disk Resources

Put a tick next to Write in the Allow column and finish by clicking Apply, then OK. Return to Task Manager to see the changes. No difference? keep reading...

10. Repair StorAHCI.sys Driver

Some drivers don't run well enough on Windows 10. One that has been found to be causing 100% HDD usage is the StorAHCI.sys driver, which has a firmware bug. StorAHCI.sys is intended for storage devices connected to a PC or laptop motherboard via the Advanced Host Controller Interface PCI-Express. If you have gone this far without success, this could be the cause of 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 the AHCI Controller entry is listed, double-click it, then open the Driver tab and select Driver Details.


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

Driver File Details

Close the driver details box and switch to the Details tab, select Device instance path from the drop down menu. Where Value is listed, right click, and select Copy. Run your text editor (like Notepad) and Paste in the content.

Standard SATA AHCI Controllers

Next, 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 pasted string above to open the correct AHCI Controller, followed by a random number.

PCI Registry Editor

After finding the correct AHCI Controller, then navigate to Device Parameters\Interrupt Management\MessageSignaledInterruptProperties.


There you will see the supported MSIS listed in the right pane. Double-click this, then change Value data: to 0 . Click OK to confirm and follow the instructions to restart Windows.

Disable MSI

11. Clear Steam Cache?

Enjoy gaming and already have Steam installed? There is a high probability that this digital delivery system is causing 100% disk usage.

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

First, make sure you have logged out of Steam. Where Steam is the probable cause of the 100% disk usage error, it may hang when you try to logout. In this case, use Windows 10 Task Manager to close the software. Next, open the run box by pressing WIN + R keys and enter


Steam Clear Download Cache

You will see a dialogue box, informing you that the content will be deleted.

Click OK to continue. Note that games and saves are preserved, so there's no risk of them being deleted.

12. Disable Diagnostic Tracking in Windows 10

Finally, it is worth considering the impact of diagnostic tracking on Windows 10. A feature you may have disabled for privacy reasons, as it causes 100% HDD usage on many PCs.

In terms of reducing hard disk drive usage, it is quicker 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 launching.

However, to do this, you have to access the Command Prompt in administrator mode.

Do this by clicking on Start and typing cmd in the search box. Wait for the result and right click Command Prompt , choose Run as administrator .

Enter these commands to disable and stop DiagTrack:

sc config "DiagTrack" start= disabled

sc stop "DiagTrack"

Disable Diagnostic Tracking In Windows 10

Apart from that, you might as well go to Settings > System > Notification & actions and disable Get tips, tricks and suggestions as you use Windows. Doing so has been shown to improve things.

13. Windows Update Can Cause 100% Disk Usage

Install Windows Update

Apart from affecting the changes you made to your PC while fixing the 100% disk usage problem, Windows Update could also be to blame. This usually only happens when Windows Update has a problem (which is usually caused by a file refusing to download). You have two options here:

1. Let the computer Auto-Update — close all your open applications and wait. Eventually, the files will download, but depending on how Windows Update is scheduled on your computer, it may require a reboot.

2. Turn off your Computer— once you have done that, restart it and wait for Windows Update to solve the problem.

After the update has finished downloading, we recommend running it as soon as possible. Remember to check the previous fix for 100% disk usage before proceeding, as mentioned above.

14. Reset Virtual Memory

Virtual Memory is a combination of RAM and hard disk space and can be responsible for overusing your HDD. If there is not enough RAM to perform a task, HDD is used to increase RAM. Data that is moved to the HDD is then returned to RAM when needed.

If you've come this far and you haven't solved the 100% disk usage issue, it might be a good idea to reset your Virtual Memory.

Go to the System screen with Windows + Break/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 checkbox for Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.

Reset Virtual Memory

Staying at this screen, select your Windows drive (usually C :) and then Custom size. Here, add Initial size and Maximum size. Note both are measured in MB rather than GB.

These numbers can be confusing, so with a first value, rely on the suggested options. For maximum values, aim for no more than 1.5 times your system RAM.

For example, a computer with 4GB of RAM should have no more than 6.5GB (6144MB). With value input, click Set, then OK to continue. You now need to delete temporary files that have been used in the virtual memory allocation before.

Do this by opening the Run box ( Win + R ) then entering “temp”. When the temp directory opens, select all files (Ctrl + A) and tap Delete on your keyboard.

15. Turn on High Performance Mode

One last thing to try is changing your Windows power settings. Standard power mode is more prone to the 100% disk usage bug but switching to high performance often fixes the problem.

The downside, of course, is that your computer will use up a lot more power. Thanks to modern processor designs this shouldn't be a big deal. However, desktop replacement notebooks and laptops can impact battery life.

To change to high performance mode , open the Power & sleep screen with WIN + X > Power Options. Here, click Additional power settings , select High performance, then OK .

Turn on High Performance Mode

If this is not an option shown, you will have to create your own custom power plan. Click Create a power plan, then select High performance. Name the plan, set the personal settings you need and then select it as the power plan to use. In a few moments, the 100% disk usage problem will drop to less than 10%.

16. Install the Latest SATA Drivers

Your Windows 10 computer will almost certainly use SATA connections for hard drives, SSDs, and optical drives. If the drivers are not up to date, disk usage errors may occur. Avoid this by upgrading to 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 your SATA device. If you guys can't do this, don't worry about updating both.

To update, right click on each controller and select Update driver.

Install Latest SATA Drivers

Select the Browse my computer for driver software option, then Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer. Here, select Standard AHCI Controller and see how it affects performance.

You may need to reboot Windows for this to take effect. Note that if it doesn't work, you can still try this by checking the manufacturer's website for new drivers. It can be installed using the instructions that come with it or you can use a third-party application such as Driver Booster.

17. Upgrading Firmware For SSD

Firmware Upgrade For SSD

If you have an SSD installed on your machine and are experiencing the 100% disk usage issue, it is most likely an issue with the firmware. SSDs are very fast and unless you have several programs accessing the disk all the time, it shouldn't be at 100% for more than a few seconds. Here are some links to SSD firmware updates for some of the major brands: Crucial, Samsung, Kingston, Intel, OWC.

18. Replace/Upgrade Hard Disk

Replace Hard Disk Upgrade

A hard disk that develops too many bad sectors on it will mostly send your computer into a loop with high disk usage. Or, your computer's hard disk may be too old to function properly, even though there is a lot of unused space.

However, your computer works like a turtle and consistently reports 100% disk usage. If your motherboard supports the use of an SSD, the admin recommends that you use an SSD, you will see a very drastic difference between the two, so you don't want to go back to using a hard disk anymore.

19. Upgrading RAM

Another thing you should check is to see how much RAM you have installed on your computer. Because Windows 10 can run on older devices. This is fine, but you need to make sure your computer has a decent amount of RAM, which means no less than 4 GB.

You can also open Task Manager and click Performance and then click Memory.

Memory UsageTaskManager

As you can see admin has 4gb of memory and around 3.5gb is in use. This means if you have 2 GB of RAM on your computer, all memory will be used up. Everything that can't fit into memory is mapped to the hard disk. So basically Windows will use your hard disk as a temporary memory device.

If you have a lot of data to write to disk, it will cause your disk usage to spike and your computer to slow down. If you notice that the line in this graph is near the top, then it means that you may need to upgrade the RAM on your computer.

20. Replace the PC Power Supply (PSU).

Replace Power Supply

There is a possibility that your computer's hardware is causing the 100% disk usage problem in Windows, especially the PSU. If the disk usage problem can be related to excessive disk activity then there might be a power related cause. 100% disk usage has been seen on a Windows 10 laptop running on battery. Once plugged into the power adapter the issue was resolved. Likewise, the problem has been shown to subside once a new PSU is installed in a desktop PC.


Simply put, there's little reason to load your disk to anywhere near 100%, certainly not under normal use. A slow computer is a problematic computer, and if you can't fix it by disabling browser plug-ins, stopping services, or you have confirmed that there are no viruses on your computer, then the problem is probably hardware related.

Maybe your drive is getting old, it might be damaged, or the cable might need to be replaced. Or, it is possible that the problem is connected to the Windows defrag tool. But we still hope that one of the solutions above will work for you.

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That's all for the article 20 Ways to Overcome 100% Disk Usage on Windows 10. Wait for other interesting articles and don't forget to share this article with your friends. Thank you…

Also, read the article about 20 Cool And Free Windows 10 Themes. And see you in another article. Bye
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