How to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11 and 10

100% disk usage on Windows 11 or Windows 10 is a clear indication of your PC being unable to handle simple tasks. It also clearly means that your PC is either stuttering or lagging with day-to-day tasks. This issue can be quite frustrating because you are running Windows 11 on a brand-new PC that you have only bought for a few days. Even if your PC is old and you recently upgraded to Windows 11 from Windows 10, the issue can be present and cause problems.

The latest versions of Windows have a problem with overworked drives, which causes the operating system to slow down. Hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs) are both affected by this problem (SSDs). In this guide, we will go through a number of ways to fix 100% disk usage in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

How to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11 and 10

How to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11 and 10?

Here, we will go through many ways that are sure to fix 100% disk usage in Windows. Remember, the fixes are synonymous for both Windows 11 and Windows 10. It doesn’t matter which version of the operating system you are running, just keep following the fixes in the order they are given, and your issue should be resolved by the end.

1. Run Disk Check

When trying to use Windows Search to find a file or program or doing anything else that requires the drive to work, this 100% Disk Usage is most noticeable (perhaps copying and pasting a group of files).

When your PC slows down, use Task Manager to check your disk usage. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.

Keep in mind that this may take a while to open with the drive being under strain. Switch to the Processes tab and look for the Disk tab. Further, if you are having problems with the drive performance, you will see 100% Disk usage with a red shade that indicatesthe problem.

As a result, problematic sectors on your hard disk can easily cause 100% disk usage in Windows 11 as well as Windows 10. Problematic sectors on your HDD can cause a 100% disk usage issue in Windows 10. However, using Windows’ built-in disk check can fix this:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Click on This PC.
  3. Next, right-click on C Drive and select Properties, followed by ToolsHow to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11 and 10
  4.  Under Error Checking, click on Check > Scan Drive

Wait while the system scans the drive; a full disk repair may necessitate a reboot. This should take care of the problem.

2. Scan Your PC Using Your Anti-Virus

The first step, as with any performance issue, is to make sure your computer isn’t infected with viruses. Regardless of whether it’s a free app or paid software, your security software should be able to handle this. We have also discussed that Microsoft Defender is capable enough to protect you against malware and viruses.

If threats are discovered, follow the software’s instructions to remove them and reboot. After that, double-check the performance of your hard drive. Hopefully, you’ve fixed the 100% disk usage in Windows 11. If not, the malware wasn’t to blame, so continue reading.

3. Disable Windows Search for Improved Disk Performance

The next step is to see if the error of 100% disk usage is related to Windows Search. A bug in Windows 10 causes a “search loop,” which causes the system drive to be overloaded. To stop this from happening during your current session (until Windows is rebooted), do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Windows button.
  2. Click on Windows Terminal (Admin).
  3. Type net.exe stop “Windows search”.

That should take care of the majority of the problems. If nothing changes after rebooting, you can turn off Windows Search and Indexing permanently. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R buttons together.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter.
  3. In the services window, find Windows Search and double-click on it to open.
  4. Next, in the Windows Search Properties, find Startup type and choose Disabled.
  5. Either way, you can click on Stop to abort the Services.
  6. Finally, click OK to save the changes.

Your Windows 11 performance should noticeably improve after disabling Windows Search for a few moments. If not, consider moving on to the next fix.

4. Disable SysMain to Fix 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11

The superfetch service has also been identified as a possible cause of the 100% disk usage issue in Windows 11 and Windows 10.

This has been renamed to “SysMain” since Windows 10 1809 (the 2018 Windows 10 October Update).

To stop this service from causing the disk usage problem, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows button.
  2. Click on Windows Terminal (Admin)
  3. Type: net.exe stop sysmain and press Enter.

Wait a few moments to see if this has had any effect on the performance of your computer. You can also run Check Disk in PowerShell using this command:

chkdsk.exe /f /r

You will be told that your PC needs to be rebooted for Check Disk to finish, so make sure you have closed all of your programs first. If this doesn’t work, follow up with the next fix.

5. Run the System File Checker

As the name suggests, the system file checker identifies any underlying issue in your operating system and fixes that. Problems that are usually invisible in the layman’s eyes are quite frustrating, but the system file checker can make sure that you don’t face 100% Disk usage again. Follow the steps to run the system file checker:

  1. Click on the Windows button.
  2. Search for the CMD.
  3. Right on the Command Prompt and click on Run as Administrator.
  4. Now copy and paste this code:
    sfc /scannow
  5. Wait for the SFC to complete its check. Interestingly, it automatically fixes issues it comes across. That means you don’t need to perform any other checks other than this.
  6. Once the check is complete, restart your PC.

Now, your 100% disk usage issue will be fixed. Although quite rare, if your issue is still not resolved, head over to the next fix.

6. Resolve PCI-Express Firmware Bug

Since Windows 11 is still in its infant stage, some drivers don’t work as well as they should. The StorAHCI.sys driver, which has a firmware bug, has been discovered to be causing the 100% disk usage issue.

StorAHCI.sys is a storage driver for Advanced Host Controller Interface PCI-Express storage devices connected to a PC or laptop motherboard. To find and fix this problem, follow these easy steps outlined below:

  1. Open the Start menu and search for Device Manager.
  2. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers.
  3. Now, double-click the Standard AHCI Controller driver.
  4. Switch to the Details tab.
  5. From the drop-down menu below, click on Device Instance.
  6. If the driver is labeled as C:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\storahci.sys, this is a problem.
  7. Now, right-click on this and click on Copy.
  8. Open Notepad and paste this address.
  9. Next, press the Windows + R button, type regedit in the Run dialog box, and press Enter.
  10. When the alert prompt appears, click on Yes.
  11. In the registry editor, copy and paste this address:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI
  12. Right-click on an empty space and select New > DWORD (32-bit).
  13. Double-click on that and give it any random number.
  14. Open Notepad copy the string you saved earlier, and paste it in the Value Data.

Now, restart your PC and check whether you face 100% disk usage again. If yes, the next fix will surely resolve your issue.

7. Disable Diagnostic Tracking in Windows 11

Finally, the impact of diagnostic tracking in Windows 11 should be considered. It has been blamed for 100% disk usage use on many PCs, a feature you might have otherwise disabled for privacy reasons.

When it comes to saving space on your hard drive, it’s easier to simply turn off the DiagTrack service. If this is causing 100% Disk usage on your Windows 11 PC, you should immediately disable this service. Follow these steps to do it:

  1. Press Windows + R button to open the Run dialog box.
  2. In the run dialog box, type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as an Administrator.
  3. Now in the command prompt window, type: sc config “DiagTrack” start=disabled and press Enter.
  4. Again, in the next line, type: sc stop “DiagTrack” and press Enter.

Now, diagnostic tracking is turned off and you should not face 100% Disk usage in Windows 11 again.

8. Windows Update Can Cause 100% Disk Usage in Windows 11 and 10

Windows Update can also be the cause for 100% disk usage in Windows. This usually occurs only when there is a problem with Windows Update (which is typically due to a file refusing to download). Here, you have two choices:

  • Close All Programs and Wait: Close all of your open programs and wait. The files will eventually download, but depending on how Windows Update is configured on your computer, you may need to reboot.
  • Shut Down your PC: After shutting down your PC, restart your computer and wait for Windows Update to fix the problem.

9. Reset Virtual Memory in Windows 11

Virtual memory treats your disk as if it is RAM and uses it to swap out temporary files when it runs out of actual RAM.

This being a crucial aspect, errors in pagefile.sys can cause 100% disk usage on your Windows 11 PC. Therefore, you can fix this issue by resetting your virtual memory. Follow these simple steps to perform the same.

  1. Click on the Windows button and search: Advanced System Settings.
  2. Now click on Settings under the Performance section.
  3. Again, under the Advanced tab, click on the Change button.
  4. Now make sure the box titled Automatically manage paging file size is ticked.
  5. Further, choose No Paging file and click OK.

After following these steps, you will see that the 100% disk usage issue in the task manager on Windows 11 and Windows 10 is fixed.

The Bottom Line

Well, that’s all we have here about how you can fix 100% Disk usage in Windows 11 and 10. We hope this guide helped you. If you liked this, don’t forget to check out our other gaming, troubleshooting, and computing guides. Here’s a guide to help you fix the missing WiFi option on Windows 11.

Posted by
Anubhav Roy

Anubhav Roy is the founder and chief editor at Make Tech Quick. Whatever he says or writes is to deemed to be accurate, courtesy of his five years of experience, research, and analytical skills.

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