How-To

How to Fix 100 Percent Disk Usage in Windows 10

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If your Windows 10 PC is running slow and you find that the hard drive is working at or near 100 percent, here are some steps you can take to fix the issue.

Sometimes your Windows 10 system will slow to a crawl even though you have a powerful CPU, plenty of RAM, and a just couple of apps running. While many factors can cause this, one is that the hard drive is working at or near 100 percent. It doesn’t have the spare cycles to perform routine OS tasks. This results in everything slowing down. A simple reboot, which often solves many OS issues, won’t fix an over-worked drive. Here are some of the things you can do to fix the disk usage problem in Windows 10.

Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 10

When you’re trying to figure out what’s causing the slow down you might have noticed that the Disk usage is at 100% in task manager.

Windows 10 Task Manager 100 Percent Disk

One of the easiest ways to find the culprit is to click the Disk column in Task Manager so the items that are taking up more resources display in descending order. Like in this example shown below, you can see SuperFetch is likely the culprit.

Disable Windows Search

The Windows Search feature is always indexing all files on your drive and is meant to make finding files on your PC faster. However, it can cause an issue where the disk is being overworked.

Hit the Windows Key and type: cmd and right-click Command Prompt from the result at the top and click Run as Administrator.

CMD Admin

Then in the Command Prompt type: net.exe stop “Windows search” and hit Enter. After that check Task Manager to see where the disk usage is at. If there is no change you can restart it from the command line, type: net.exe start “Windows search” and hit Enter.

Command Stop Windows Search Service

The good is turning off Windows Search is just temporary, and you can see if performance improves. If this fixes the issue, you can turn it off permanently. Hit the keyboard shortcut Windows key + R and type: services.msc and click OK or hit Enter.

1 services msc

Scroll down the list of services and double-click Windows Search and under the General tab set the “Startup type” to Disabled and click OK and close out of services.

2 Disable Windows Search Service Windows 10

Run a Disk Check

Windows has a built-in tool that will scan your drive for errors and attempt to correct them. Open the Command Prompt as Admin and type: chkdsk.exe /f /r and hit Enter. Then on the next prompt type: Y and hit Enter.

run chkdisk command prompt

For more detailed information on the many ways to run and use this utility, check out our article on how to prevent issues and fix errors with Disk Check in Windows 10.

Disable the SuperFetch Feature

SuperFetch is a feature that helps decrease boot time by making apps load more efficiently. However, it can cause problems with your drive. To disable it, launch the Command Prompt as Admin and type: net.exe stop superfetch and hit Enter. Give it a few minutes and see if that improve the disk usage percentage in task manager.

Super Fetch Command Line Stop

If this fixes it, you can permanently disable it, just like you can with Window Search (shown above) by heading to services.msc and disable the Windows SuperFetch feature.

Fix Chrome or Skype

A couple other programs that have often been reported as causing the 100 percent disk issue are Skype and Chrome. If you find that Skype is causing a problem, close out of it completely. Then head to C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone and right-click on Skype.exe and select Properties.

Skype 1 Properties

Head to the Security tab and click the Edit button. Make sure All Application Packages is highlighted and check Allow for Write Permissions and click OK.

Skype Write Permissions

For Chrome, the most common issue is it’s using too many resources with its prediction service to load pages faster. To disable it, head to Advanced Settings and under the Privacy and Security section turn off “Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly” and restart the browser.

Turn off Chrome Prediction

Wrapping Up

Usually one of the options above will work to fix an over-worked hard drive, but not always. If you’re running an antivirus suite like Norton or Kaspersky. Make sure your computer is offline, and then temporarily disable the antivirus software to see if things improve. If so, contact the company’s customer service. Also, make sure all device drivers all up-to-date and another place to look is at Virtual Memory. If you have made changes to it in the past, go back and reset it to default settings.

Have you experienced this problem on your Windows PC? Let us know the steps you took to fix it. And for more tips, tricks, and troubleshooting advice, check out our Windows 10 Forums.


7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ji  

    Also worth starting up Resource monitor (Bottom left of the Taskmanager Performance tab) and seeing what is doing disk usage – swapfile conflict (OK actually RAM acquisition) and MFT processing – as in getting file details – and space allocation – expanding and contracting swapfile allocation)

  2. Ziggy  

    For readers who want an alternative to Microsoft Search try the free program “Everything” – comes as a portable app or installer. Just google it and make sure that you download it from a reputable site and then scan it online with VirusTotal.

    As per article, I’ve tried turning off Superfetch but I find that it makes very little difference, and you are better leaving it on.

  3. Mark  

    Thanks Ziggy, i was going to search for an alternative right after I posted this comment:
    Does this article apply to SSD’s?

    • Ziggy  

      @Mark. if you have an SSD drive leave well alone. You really shouldn’t have to muck around with these type of drives. And the advice is not to use a defrag tool to defragment an SSD drive as one would do with a normal hard drive.

      • Mark  

        Thanks for the reply. I had a feeling i was OK, not really having the issues talked about here. I’m just always interested in improving performance. I come from the Mac world, windoze is so much more complicated to me! BTW, I love “Everything”

    • @Mark I have only seen this issue on standard Hard Drives and never an SSD, but if someone has seen it I’d love to hear about it.

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