Full Fix: Disk usage lockups in Windows 10, 8.1, 7

By: Costea Lestoc
6 minute read

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Sometimes, your PC can run slowly even if you only have a few programs running. And when you check the Task Manager to find out what’s wrong, it might show you disk usage at 100%. Fortunately, this is not the hardest issue to fix. Check out some solutions below.

Disk usage lockups, how to fix them on Windows 10?

High disk usage can be problematic and cause your system to freeze and experience other issues. Speaking of disk issues, here are some related issues that users reported:

  • Disk usage spikes to 100 Windows 10 – Many users reported that their disk usage goes to 100 on Windows 10. This can be caused by your antivirus, so be sure to disable it or try switching to a different antivirus software.
  • HP laptop 100 disk usage Windows 10 – This issue can appear on laptops as well, and if you encounter this problem on your laptop, be sure to try all solutions from this article.
  • Windows 10 100 disk usage freeze – According to users, sometimes your PC might freeze once your disk usage reaches 100. This can be a big problem, and in order to fix it, it’s advised to disable certain services and check if that helps.
  • Disk usage stuck at 100 – If you’re having this problem, you might have to reinstall or update your SATA driver and check if that solves the issue for you.

Solution 1 – Stop Windows Search

According to users, disk usage lockups can occur on Windows 10 due to certain services such as Windows Search. This is a core Windows 10 service, but many users reported that it can cause high disk usage. To fix the problem, you need to disable this service by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Now select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
    Disk usage stuck at 100
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter net.exe stop “Windows search” and press Enter.

After doing that, the service should be stopped and the issue with high disk usage should be resolved. Keep in mind that this is just a temporary solution, so you’ll have to repeat it every time you start your PC.


Solution 2 – Disable BITS, Superfetch and Windows Search services

As we already mentioned, certain services can cause disk usage lockups to appear in Windows 10. It seems that BITS, Superfetch and Windows Search services are causing this issue, so in order to fix this issue, you need to disable these services completely. This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Now click OK or press Enter.
    HP laptop 100 disk usage Windows 10
  2. When Services window opens, locate Background Intelligent Transfer Service and double-click it to open its properties.
    Windows 10 100 disk usage freeze
  3. Set Startup type to Disabled and click the Stop button to stop the service.
    Disk usage stuck at 100
  4. Now do the same for Superfetch and Windows Search services.

After disabling these services, restart your PC and check if the problem is still there. Keep in mind that certain features might not work anymore after disabling these services, so if you encounter any new issues, you might want to go back end enable these services.


Solution 3 – Check your antivirus

Windows 10 100 disk usage freeze

According to users, disk usage lockups can occur due to your antivirus software. Your antivirus can be demanding on your resources and that can cause issues to appear. To fix this problem, try disabling certain antivirus features and check if that helps. Alternatively, you can also completely disable your antivirus and check if that helps. If the issue is still there, you might have to remove your antivirus and switch to a different antivirus solution.

If you want an antivirus that will protect you from almost all threats, we strongly suggest that you try out Bitdefender. This tool is simple to use, it provides great protection, and it should be able to remove all malware from your PC.


Solution 4 – Reinstall SATA AHCI driver

According to users, sometimes your drivers can cause this issue to appear, especially your SATA Controller driver. To fix this problem, users are suggesting to reinstall or to replace this driver. This is relatively simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open Win + X menu and choose Device Manager from the list.
    Disk usage spikes to 100 Windows 10
  2. In the Storage controllers section locate your current controller, right-click it and choose Update driver.
    Disk usage spikes to 100 Windows 10
  3. Select Browse my computer for driver software.
    HP laptop 100 disk usage Windows 10

  4. For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

    This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

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    2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
    3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

  5. Now choose Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.
    Windows 10 100 disk usage freeze
  6. Select Standard AHCI Controller from the list and install it.

Once you install the driver, check if the issue is still there.

Many users reported that the standard driver caused the issue for them, so if you want to permanently solve the problem, it’s advised to download the latest driver from your motherboard manufacturer.

Downloading drivers manually can be a tedious task, but if you want to update all your drivers with just a single click, we recommend to try out TweakBit Driver Updater software.


Solution 5 – Make sure that your system is up to date

If you’re having issues with disk usage lockups, you need to check if your system is up to date. This issue can occur due to certain glitches, and the best way to fix that is to download the latest updates. Windows downloads most updates automatically, but sometimes issues can occur and you can miss an update or two.

However, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Now navigate to Update & Security section.
  3. Click Check for updates button.

Windows will now check for available updates. If any updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background and installed as soon as you restart your PC. Once your PC is up to date, check if the problem with disk usage still appears.


Solution 6 – Switch to High Performance mode

According to users, sometimes disk usage issues can occur due to your selected power plan. However, you can fix the problem simply by switching to the High Performance plan. This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter power settings. Select Power & sleep settings from the menu.
    HP laptop 100 disk usage Windows 10
  2. Now select Additional power settings.
    Windows 10 100 disk usage freeze
  3. Select High performance power plan.
    Disk usage spikes to 100 Windows 10

After doing that, your issue should be completely resolved. Keep in mind that using the High performance power plan will increase your power consumption and affect your battery life.


Solution 7 – Resetting virtual memory

Virtual memory is an extension of your PC’s physical memory through a combination of RAM and a portion of the hard drive. When RAM is not enough, Windows will use virtual memory for temporary file storage and will swap back when needed.

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter advanced. Select View advanced system settings from the list of results.
    Disk usage stuck at 100
  2. Click the Settings button in the Advanced section.
    Disk usage spikes to 100 Windows 10
  3. Go to the Advanced tab > choose Change in the Virtual Memory category.
    HP laptop 100 disk usage Windows 10
  4. Make sure the box before “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” is off.
  5. Select the windows drive, set the number as you wish, then press Set and OK.
  6. Clear all files.

Solution 8 – Try a different drive

Sometimes disk usage lockups can occur due to your hard drive. Your hard drive might not be compatible with the controller driver and that can lead to this issue. If trying out different controller drivers doesn’t work, you might want to consider getting a different drive.

Several users reported that getting an SSD or different hard drive fixed the issue for them, so you might want to try that.

Disk usage lockups can be a big problem, but we hope that you managed to solve this issue using one of our solutions.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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