How to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows?

The smoothness of a brand-new PC certainly excites the owner. But your computer can not stay young forever.

Even if you prioritize the well-maintenance of your PC, you might overlook issues that could slow it down. One of the top factors indicating that your computer is not working to its full potential is 100% disk usage.

Unnecessary background programs, software malfunctions, or viruses tend to contribute to 100% disk usage. You could face functioning problems if you do not deal with this issue.

These problems might include a slow computer, unresponsiveness, or lagging software. 

Understanding 100% Disk Usage

Hard disks have a maximum threshold in terms of their reading and writing capacity. These are measured in Mbps, and their capacity depends on the computer you use.

If total reading and writing speed exceeds the threshold, certain tasks get compromised. This is due to disk usage reaching 100%.

100% Disk Usage

As a result of this, it can take time to open your preferred programs. Even when it opens, it cannot operate at its full capacity. This results in lagging and unresponsiveness. You need to regularly check for this problem and fix it immediately.

How do you check for disk usage in Windows 11?

There are multiple ways of viewing disk usage in Windows 11. However, two of the easiest methods are:

Method 1: Press “Control+Alt+Delete” on your keyboard. Then, select Task Manager.

Method 2: Press “Control+Alt+Esc” to open the Task Manager.

In the third column in the “Processes” section of the Task Manager, you can see disk usage in percentage. 

Fixing 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11

100% disk usage is an overload issue. We can free up its read/write capacity by fixing system errors and disabling unnecessary services.

No single solution can take the disk usage from 100% to 1%. But, applying all or most of the solutions mentioned below will fix this problem. Depending on the read/write capacity that a certain program takes up, its solution gradually decreases disk usage. 

Checking for Errors

Hard disks can not read data with errors. It takes multiple tries for the disk to solve or bypass these errors. As the attempts increase, disk use increases as well that leads to 100% disk usage.

Checking your computer for problems helps you find system errors. By fixing these errors, you can help free disk space. You can solve the problem through these methods:

Through system Tools

For this, you need to follow the following steps.

  1. Open This PC
  2. Locate the drive where you have your windows installed (generally C:)
  3. Right-click and click Properties
  4. Click the Tools section
  5. Click on the Check option 
  6. Then, click the Scan Drive option and start scanning your drive.

If you find errors, you can troubleshoot them. As suggested by your PC, you need to restart your PC. This repairs the faults in the system.

Also, if you’re an HDD user, you need to defragment your drive regularly. It helps to improve the performance of your hard disk.

You can do this by clicking the Optimise option below the Error Checking section. (Note: do not defragment if you’re an SSD user)

Via Command Prompt

We can use the command prompt to scan the system. This helps locate errors and fix them internally. This process takes fewer steps, but more time than the previous one. You can follow the following steps to apply this method.

  1. Click on the start icon and search for “cmd”
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt icon.
  3. Choose Run as administrator and press Yes.
  4. Once it opens, type in “SFC/scannow” and press enter.
  5. Scanning and verification start. Close the window once the verification is complete.

This command helps your system find errors and fix problems on your disk. 

Disable Unnecessary services

In order for your PC to work properly. Unnecessary background programs take up a lot of read/write capacity. Disabling them helps clean up disk usage. For this, follow these steps:

  1. Choose and click the start icon.
  2. Search for and open Services. Then, we need to disable two unnecessary services.

For the first unnecessary service:

  1. Scroll and click SysMain.
  2. Right-click and choose Properties.
  3. From the startup type option, choose disable.
  4. Click Apply and Stop.

Again, for the second unnecessary service:

  1. Scroll and click Windows Search.
  2. Right-click and choose Properties.
  3. From the startup type option, choose disable.
  4. Click Apply and Stop.

These two programs are unnecessary but take up a lot of disk usage. After applying these steps, your read/write speed will increase. 

You can disable other foreground programs as well. For this, go to the Task Manager. Then, click on the unnecessary application (suppose Google Chrome or Netflix). Then, click End Task. Afterward, your system will be smoother than before. 

Uninstall or disable Anti-virus

Windows 11 has an advanced and secure operating system. Antivirus can be helpful, but it’s not mandatory for Windows 11. And, if you have it, it can consume your hard disk usage and RAM. This results in lagginess in your system and could cause 100% disk usage.

Depending on the type of your antivirus, uninstall it. You can do this by clicking through Start>Search>Uninstall a Program>Your Antivirus>Uninstall. 

However, antiviruses aren’t totally unnecessary. You might want to keep it on your computer nonetheless. If you do, simply disable it for the time being.

Transferring Workload to Virtual Memory

This (100 disk usage) strains your disk over time. Managing your disk usage and paging files helps reduce the disk load. The following steps will help you adjust your system settings to manage disk usage.

  1. Choose and right-click This PC icon from your home screen
  2. Select Properties. (System settings open)
  3. Locate and select Advanced system settings 
  4. Click settings from the performance section
  5. From the next window: Choose Adjust for best performance and hit Apply.
  6. Again, select the Advanced option on top of the same window.
  7. Click the Change option in the Virtual Memory section.
  8. Tick the checkbox with Automatically manage paging file size for all devices.
  9. Click OK.
  10.  Afterward, a pop-up window suggesting you restart your PC appears. 
  11. Restart your PC.

A Pagefile is a virtual memory that can be used to directly access data from RAM through one source. This eliminates the need for the disk to access multiple files for a single task. So, managing and adjusting paging files frees up disk usage. 

Group Policy Update

The hard disk cannot read data with outdated group policy. So, you need to command a policy update via the task manager. This makes the hard disk able to easily read/write system configurations.

This can be a lengthy process, so get yourself a cup of coffee and stay with me. Follow these steps to apply this solution. 

  1. Open the Task Manager using the steps mentioned earlier.
  2. Select File and click Run new task
  3. From the Run new task window, click Browse (You need to open system32 files. So, so Go through Local Disk(C:)> Windows> System32)
  4. Search for a cmd file and click and open it. (Then, the location of the cmd file would appear in the Run new task window)
  5. Tick the checkbox with Create this task with administrative privileges.
  6. Click OK.
  7. A command window will appear. Type in “gpupdate” and press enter.
  8. Wait until the computer policy is updated.
  9. Finally, type “exit” and press enter.

Managing MSI Mode

Another important method to fix disk usage is by disabling MSI Mode. The hard disk gets unresponsive with the use of unsuited firmware with MSI enabled. This causes the disk to repeatedly try to command a reboot. This takes up more disk usage.

For this, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Click on the start icon 
  2. Search and open Device Manager
  3. Go to IDE ATA/ATAPI controller> Standard SATA AHCI Controller 
  4. Right-click on the Standard SATA AHCI Controller and choose properties
  5. Go to the Details tab and search for Device instance path on the property section
  6. Copy the text in the Value box
  7. Again, from the start icon, search for and open the Registry Editor.
  8. Follow this path : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > ControlSet001 > Enum> PCI 
  9. Now, in the URL of the window, paste the text from step 6 after Enum\PCI\ and press enter
  10. Go to Device Parameters> Interrupt Management> MessageSignaledInterruptProperties
  11. On the right half of the window, right-click MSISupported and press Modify(a small pop-up window opens)
  12. Input 0 in the value data box
  13. Click OK
  14. Close all the open windows. Then, restart your computer.


Is 100% disk usage a virus?

Multiple system errors and overload stack up to cause 100% disk usage problems. However, it is not a virus but a result of functional overload. But malware and viruses can also contribute to this problem. 

Can I apply multiple solutions?

Even the application of just a few solutions mentioned above could work for you. But that doesn’t mean you should leave it be. These fixes cause no harm, as they tend to free up disk usage. So, try them as per your requirements. In the end, remember to restart your computer after these fixes and enjoy smoother browsing.

Liam Johnson
Liam Johnson

Liam is a tech enthusiast with a knack for helping others use the internet and computer software. He focuses on "HOW TOs" and "FIXES" at SpllittzTech to make your experience with technology better each day.

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