How to Fix Persistent 100% Drive Usage on Windows 10

Updated on February 2, 2019
MMA Life profile image

I am a former system administrator and currently a freelance tech author and developer.

Common fixes for 100% Disk Use on Windows 10

There are many things that can cause Windows 10 to sit at 100% disk usage, causing the computer to be slow to respond and apps to perform poorly. Driver problems and problems with Windows Services such as SuperFetch are the most common issues.

Here we will look at a few of the most common fixes for this frustrating problem.

Disk Use - Lower is Better

Disk Use should be zero when the computer is idle, with short spikes when the drive is being read or written to.
Disk Use should be zero when the computer is idle, with short spikes when the drive is being read or written to.

Slow Performance and High Disk Usage

Some drive use is normal when working with large files, downloading, watching media or loading a game. Constant drive use is usually a sign that something is wrong.

Windows 10 Task Manager Showing 100% Drive Use

If you have an older machine then you may have noticed that sometimes you can hear the hard drive crunching and your computer becomes slow to respond for a short time. If this is happening when you are installing or updating a program, or occasionally happens when you are playing a modern game or a demanding application then it's nothing to worry about. All the drive crunching means is that your computer is reading from or writing to your drive. If it persists, then it's a problem.

Short Term Drive Activity

Short bursts of drive activity could mean that your computer is saving download, installing something, or reading something. It could also mean that you are out of RAM (memory), and that Windows is trying to keep working by using the hard drive as a 'swap file', moving things that it isn't using out of RAM so that it can free up space for the things that you want to do right now. This can be quite effective for making it feel, in the short term, like your computer has more RAM than it really does.

For those short-term peaks in drive usage, there isn't much you can do. In the long term, you might want to buy more memory. If the drive use is constant and your computer is very slow to respond then that could be a sign of some hard drive or driver issues, or it could be an errant windows service.

Disabling Problematic Windows Services

There are two windows services which may cause issues for Windows 10 and for Windows 8 also. If you are experiencing 100% drive usage on Windows 8 or Windows 10, try the following:

  • Press <Windows Key> + <R>
  • Type "services.msc"
  • Press Enter
  • In the window that appears scroll down to find Superfetch and double click on it.

Disable problematic services in the Services.msc application
Disable problematic services in the Services.msc application

Disable Superfetch, BITS and Windows Search

  • After double-clicking on the service name, select 'Disabled' from the 'Startup Type' dropdown
  • Click Apply

Repeat the above steps for the Windows Search service and for the BITS service.

Restart your computer. Hopefully, this will solve your 100% drive usage problem.

Change the service to 'disabled' and click 'Apply'
Change the service to 'disabled' and click 'Apply'

Look for Problematic Programs

If disabling the above Windows Services does not help you, take a look at Resource Monitor to see if there are any programs that are consuming a lot of drive resources.

  • Press <Windows Key>
  • Search for Resource Monitor
  • Click on it to run it
  • Click on the Disk tab
  • Look for a process that is using a lot of Disk I/O time
  • End that process

If that solves the issue, update or uninstall the program that was consuming excess resources.

Find programs that are consuming too much Disk I/O with Resource Monitor
Find programs that are consuming too much Disk I/O with Resource Monitor

Run a Virus Scan and Update Your Drivers

If you are still having issues, then you should check for viruses and malware, and also update your drivers.

Use PortableApps and ClamAV to scan your computer. This software is free and does not need to be installed. You can set it up on a memory stick using a friend's computer, and then scan your machine with it.

If you are very familiar with the hardware in your machine, download the latest driver updates manually. If you are not familiar with your machine's specification,s use Driver Booster to check for updates. There is a free version of this software which will get the job done, although the pro version has some useful extra features. Often, updating your chipset/motherboard drivers will improve performance and solve a lot of issues. If you have an SSD, be sure to update the firmware as well.

Last-Ditch Solutions for 100% Drive Usage under Windows

If none of the above fixes solve the problem, then a last-ditch solution is to reinstall Windows. Be sure to back up your files before you do this!

Be aware, however, that persistent, difficult to diagnose issues with drive usage could be a sign that your hard drive is faulty. Consider replacing the hard drive as soon as possible, to avoid unwanted data loss.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Leslie Ann


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)