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

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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100% disk usage in Windows 10
  • In this article, we are guiding you to fix a common Windows issue: Disk Usage
  • Windows is the most popular Operating System but it also has a lot of issues
  • Most of the time, those issues can be fixed just by tweaking the system settings a bit

Users are complaining that their disk usage stays at 100% after they installed Windows 10. This problem could occur in Windows 10, but it could also show up in older Windows operating systems. And there are a few workarounds you can try to reduce the disk usage.

What to do when disk usage stays at 100% 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

superfetch wind8apps

Solution 1 – Disable Superfetch service

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 you’ll maybe want to disable them in order to solve this problem.

First, we’re going to show you how to disable Superfetch service, and if that isn’t enough, you can also try with disabling Prefetch services as well. Here’s how to disable Superfetch:

  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.

Solution 2 – Disable Prefetch

If disabling Superfetch wasn’t enough for solving the high disk usage problem, you can try with disabling Prefetch from your registry editor, as well. Here’s what to do to disable Prefetch:

  1. Go to Search, type regedit and open Registry Editor
  2. Navigate to the following path:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory ManagementPrefetchParametersprefetch 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.

Solution 3 – Turn off Windows Search

Many users confirmed that disabling Windows Search fixes this problem. If you haven’t done this before, follow the instructions listed below to disable Windows Search temporarily:

  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%.

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

Solution 4 – Run Disk Check

If there is something wrong with your disk, obviously you may experience high disk usage problems. Fortunately, you can quickly fix this issue by checking your disk using Command Prompt.

  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.

Solution 5 – Run Disk Cleanup

Another quick way to fix your disk is by running Disk Cleanup. This tool 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.

Here’s how to 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 updisk cleanup
  3. Hit the ‘Clean up system files’ option to launch the process.

clean up system files windows 10 100% disk usage Windows 10

Solution 6 – Update your computer

The golden rule for using Windows 10 is to always install the latest system updates. Microsoft regularly pushes new updates to the general public in order to improve the OS, add new features and fix the bugs reported by users. Know knows, maybe the newest system update features a fix aimed at solving high disk usage problems.

In order to install the latest Windows updates, you need to go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates.

check for updates

Solution 7 – Disable problematic software

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 and click on the Disk tab to see which programs put a strain on your disk. You can then right-click the problematic programs and select ‘End Task’ to stop them.

Solution 8 – Reset virtual memory

Resetting your virtual memory may help you fix this issue. So, if nothing worked, go ahead and follow these instructions:

  1. Open Control Panel > type ‘advanced system’ in the search bar > click on Advanced System Settings
  2. Now, navigate to the Advanced tab > Performance > go to Settings.performance settings 100% disk usage Windows 10
  3. Go to Advanced > Virtual memory > Changechange 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 > 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.

Solution 9 – Clean boot your 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.

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

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.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy in February 2020.