Disk usage problems are frustratingly common in Windows. Does your computer randomly slow down? It may be a disk usage problem. The next time this problem occurs, check your Task Manager and look at the disk usage tab. Does it say 99% disk? That means you have a disk usage problem.
Fortunately, this is almost always a fixable error. You don’t need to buy a new PC or take it to a repair shop. Instead, you can solve it by using one of the methods listed below.
CheckDisk is a free tool you already have installed on your Windows PC. Microsoft includes it on all versions of Windows. You can run it by opening the Start menu and typing in chkdsk. This will run a command.
Then, from the command prompt, you’ll want to select your main Windows drive, which will then scan that drive for errors. Using the following code will also tell Windows to automatically fix those errors as it encounters them:
chkdsk /f’ /r C:
Type that into a command prompt. By default, C: should be your main drive. However, you can replace that letter with your main Windows hard drive.
After you press enter on the above command, you’ll get a message saying your hard drive is in use. Then, you’ll be asked if you want to run CheckDisk when the system restarts. Press “Y” and reboot your PC to complete the disk check process – it will take a few minutes and occur while your PC starts up.
CheckDisk can often spot and repair 100% disk usage errors.
Disable Unnecessary Processes on Startup
Sometimes, you have a disk usage problem because a rogue app is out of control, sucking up all your PC resources.
If that’s the case, then you need to stop it. Open the Start menu and type in msconfig, then navigate to the Startup tab (in Windows 10, you’ll be prompted to open the Task Manager to configure startup items).
In any case, look through this list to find any tasks that you don’t want to start up with your PC. Leave all Microsoft apps and other necessary processes alone, but consider disabling any programs you don’t recognize.
Then, restart your PC to see if that works.
Disable Certain Windows Processes
This tip comes from our friends at MakeTechEasier.com, who noticed that you often get the 100% disk usage error when running certain Windows services.
To find out if Windows services are causing the problems, troubleshoot using the step-by-step guide listed below:
Step 1) Click Start, then type services and click Enter
Step 2) In the Services window, look for the service called Superfetch. Right-click on that item and click Stop. Don’t exit out of this window.
Step 3) Open Task Manager to see if your usage dropped. If not, right-click on Superfetch again and click Start to re-enable it.
Step 4) Next, see if another service is causing the problem. Repeat the steps above with two more services, including Background Intelligent Transfer Service and Windows Search, checking to see if disk usage drops after each attempt.
Step 5) If any of these steps stopped your disk usage problem, then you’ll want to right-click the service that caused disk usage to drop, then click Properties > Startup type > Disabled. This prevents the service from starting up and should cure your disk usage problem permanently.
Other Troubleshooting Tips
Some users report that turning off the Tips for Windows feature (ironically) helps solve the disk usage problem.
Turn Off Tips for Windows
This tips feature causes Windows 10 to display various tips while you’re working on your PC. To disable it, go to Start > Settings > System > Notification & Action, then turn off the item Show me tips about Windows.
Change your Pagefile Location
Your pagefile is your PC’s backup memory supply. It’s found on the hard drive and is used when your PC runs out of RAM. Sometimes, switching the location of the pagefile fixes the disk usage problem. To move the pagefile around, you’ll need a temporary second hard drive (even an external storage unit). Then, go to My Computer or This PC, then click Properties > Advanced system settings > Settings (under Performance) > Advanced > Change. Then, once your default pagefile hard drive is selected, click No paging file and click Set. Now, choose your second hard drive where you want that pagefile to be located and click System managed size > Set. Click OK and reboot your PC to see if that helped.
Ultimately, if none of the above options work, then you may have a problem with your PC. Even if you don’t have a physical problem with your PC, 100% disk usage could lead to a serious problem with your PC – so you may want to take it to the professionals.