100% disk usage in Windows 10/11: Fix it with these steps

by Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
Passionate about all elements related to Windows and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan has delved deep into understanding this operating system, with a specialization in drivers and... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If your PC has 100% disk usage over long periods of time, it will affect its functionality.
  • The guide below shows you what to do in such situations.
  • This is not an uncommon issue, as you will see from our dedicated CPU Usage Fix Hub.
  • Even more troubleshooting guides can be found on our website's Windows 10 Errors page.
100% disk usage in Windows 10

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Users are complaining that their disk usage stays at 100% after they installed Windows 10.  This problem can occur in Windows 10, but it can also show up in older Windows operating systems.

And there are a few workarounds you can try to reduce the disk usage; we’re showing you how in this article.

How to fix 100% disk usage in Windows 10?

  1. Disable Superfetch service
  2. Disable Prefetch
  3. Turn off Windows Search
  4. Run Disk Check
  5. Run Disk Cleanup
  6. Update your computer
  7. Disable problematic software
  8. Reset virtual memory
  9. Clean boot your computer

1. Disable Superfetch service

  1. Go to Search, type services.msc and open Services
  2. Find Superfetch service, right-click on it and go to Propertiessuperfetch properties
  3. Click on Disable, and then OK

Now reboot your computer and see if the disk usage is reduced.

Superfetch and Prefetch are services that could significantly improve the system performance by predicting which applications the user is going to open and preemptively loading program data into memory.

But these services could also cause a high disk usage sometimes, and this is why you’ll maybe want to disable them in order to solve this problem.

2. Disable Prefetch

  1. Go to Search, type regedit and open Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the following path:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Session Manager/Memory Managemen/PrefetchParametersprefetch parameters
  3. Double click on EnablePrefetch. You can configure EnablePrefetch by entering some of the following values into Value Data box:
    • 0 – Disables Prefetcher
    • 1 – Enables Prefetch for Applications only
    • 2 – Enables Prefetch for Boot files only
    • 3 – Enables Prefetch for Boot and Application files
  4. As the default value is 3, set it to 0
  5. Restart the computer

These two services are the most common reasons for high disk usage in Windows but don’t disable them if you don’t face this issue, because they can be good for your system sometimes.

3. Turn off Windows Search

  1. Open Command Prompt as ad administrator
  2. Enter the following command: net.exe stop Windows search
  3. Wait until the process is finished.
  4. Launch Task Manager and check if your disk usage is still at 100%.

Many users confirmed that disabling Windows Search fixes this problem. So if this quick solution fixes the problems, this means that you identified the culprit.

Now, you need to disable Windows Search permanently. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Go to Search,  type services.msc, then  open Services
  2. Find the Windows Search service and right-click on it. Go to Propertieswindows search properties
  3. Under the General tab, go to Startup type, set it to Disabled and hit Apply.

4. Run Disk Check

  1. Launch Command Prompt as an administrator
  2. Enter the CHKDSK /R commandCHKDSK windows 10
  3. Wait for your computer to process the command
  4. Go to Task Manager and check if the problem persists.

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This should solve any problem with your disk and fix the high disk usage problem as well.

5. Run Disk Cleanup

  1. Go to Search, type Disk Cleanup,  double click on the first result to launch the tool
  2. Select the disk that you want to clean. Your PC will display more information on much space you can free up
  3. Hit the Clean up system files option to launch the process.
clean up system files windows 10 100% disk usage Windows 10

This helps you to remove temporary files that only clog your computer. Yes, too many temporary files could be another explanation as to why you’re getting 100 disk usage in Windows 10.

6. Update your computer

The golden rule for using Windows 10 is to always install the latest system updates.

Microsoft regularly pushes new updates in order to improve the OS, add new features, and fix the bugs reported by users. Who knows, maybe the newest system update features a fix aimed at solving high disk usage problems.

check for updates

In order to install the latest Windows updates, you need to go to Settings, then to Update & Security  and Windows Update. Here, hit the Check for updates button.

7. Disable problematic software

end task to reduce disk usage

Another obvious solution is to quickly fix this issue is to identify the apps, programs, or software that use too much disk space.
To do that, open Task Manager. In the Disk column, you can see which programs put a strain on your disk. You can then right-click the problematic programs and select End Task to stop them.

8. Reset virtual memory

  1. Open Control Panel, type advanced system in the search bar and click on Advanced System Settings.
  2. Now, navigate to the Advanced tab, then to Performance  and go to Settings.performance settings 100% disk usage Windows 10
  3. Go to Advanced > Virtual memory > Change.change virtual memory settings
  4. Uncheck the option Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.Automatically manage paging file size all drives 100% disk usage Windows 10
  5. Select the drive where you installed Windows, enter an Initial size and Maximum size for virtual memory settings then click on Set the new values.

As far as the Initial size is concerned, you can simply enter the number available in the Recommended category.  For the Maximum size, use a value that is 1.5 times the size of your physical RAM.

9. Clean boot your computer

  1. Go to Start, type msconfig and hit Enter.
  2. Navigate to System Configuration, click on the Services tab,  check the Hide all Microsoft services check box and click Disable all.hide all microsoft services 100% disk usage Windows 10
  3. Go to the Startup tab and open Task Manager.
  4. Select each startup item, click Disable.disable startup programs 100% disk usage Windows 10
  5. Close the Task Manager and restart the computer.

You can easily reduce the number of programs running on your computer by clean booting your device. In this manner, your Windows 10 PC will boot using only the very minimum set of drivers and programs that it needs to properly run.

We hope these solutions helped you to reduce 100% disk usage in Windows 10. If you have any comments or questions, write them down in the comments section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Problematic sectors on your HDD, faulty program installations or even too many background processes running at once can cause your PC to use 100% of its Disk Space.

  • Your disk working at or near 100 percent causes your computer to slow down and become laggy and unresponsive. This means that your PC cannot do its job properly, and can even lead to crashes or BSoDs.

  • Equipping your PC with an SSD won’t help with high disk usage at all because it does not address the cause of the high disk usage. The SSD will simply read and write faster, but it will still read and write as often as required.

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