5 Ways to Stop ‘100% Disk Usage’ Problems on Windows


100% Disk Usage. If these words mean anything to you then they’ll send an unpleasant shudder of recognition up your spine, reminding you of the untold hours you spent staring at your Windows Task Manager, wondering what exactly is causing this problem that’s grinding your PC to a halt even though you’re not running any programs and you’ve only just switched it on.

It’s a problem that’s affected users across Windows 7, 8, and 10, and usually stems from one of a number of background processes, all of which we’ve tried to cover here.

Run CheckDisk

The first port of call is to look for corruptions and errors on your hard drive and fix them. The best way to do this is by trying the trusty “chkdsk” tool built into Windows.

1. Click Start, then type cmd, right-click Command Prompt when it appears in the search results, click “Run as administrator” and hit Enter.

2. In the Command Prompt, type chkdsk /f' /r C: to check for and automatically fix errors on your hard drive. (Replace the “C” with whatever letter you’ve assigned your main Windows hard drive.)

3. You may get a message saying the hard drive is in use and asking if you want to run CheckDisk when the system restarts. Press “Y” and reboot your PC.

4. CheckDisk will run when you reboot your PC. This process may take a while, so be patient. Afterwards, your hard drive should be back in good working order, and your disk usage should be back to normal (around 1-10%).


Disable Windows Services

If that fails, you may need to disable some of those mysterious, cumbersome background services in Windows.

1. Click Start, type services, then hit Enter.

2. In the Services window find the service called “Superfetch,” right-click it, click Stop, then open Task Manager to see if your disk usage has dropped. If not, right-click Superfetch and click Start to get it working again.

3. Try the same thing with the services called “Background Intelligent Transfer Service” and “Windows Search,” right-clicking them in the Services window, clicking Stop, then seeing whether the disk usage drops.

4. If your disk usage drops after stopping either service, you’ll have found your culprit and will want to disable the service permanently. Right-click the service that caused disk usage to drop when it was stopped, click Properties, then in the “Startup type” drop-down click Disabled.


Disable Tips About Windows

Still suffering from the dreaded 100% disk usage? Some people have found that turning off Tips for Windows has helped. Go to “Start -> Settings -> System -> Notification & actions”. Turn off “Show me tips about Windows.”

win10-100-disk-usage-disable tips

Change Pagefile Location

The pagefile is a file on your hard drive that eases the strain put on your RAM when doing memory-intensive activities on your computer. If your disk usage is constantly high, it could be because your pagefile is constantly being used to process information on your PC.

One solution would be to buy more RAM. Alternatively, if you have more than one hard drive in your PC, you can easily move the pagefile to a second non-system hard drive. Your main hard drive is always working to keep Windows running, so this will help spread the load:

1. Right-click My Computer or This PC, then click Properties.

2. Go to “Advanced system settings -> Settings (under Performance) -> Advanced -> Change.”

3. With your default pagefile hard drive highlighted, select “No paging file,” then click Set.

4. Next, select your second hard drive where you want the pagefile to be located, then click “System managed size” -> Set.

5. Click OK and reboot your PC.


Nuclear Option: Buy an SSD


One of the above solutions should work, but if you find that as you’re using your PC you’re constantly hitting that 100% disk usage mark, then it may be worth investing in an SSD. Without a doubt one of the best bits of PC hardware in recent years, SSDs all but remove load times on your PC and can handle a huge amount of simultaneous tasks and processes with no slowdon. Also, running Windows on and SSD will let you use your old SATA hard drive for other tasks without putting too much strain on it.

Robert Zak
Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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