Windows 10 100% disk usage in Task Manager [SOLVED]

If your Windows 10 Task Manager shows 100% disk usage, something is causing your hard drive to over-work. Your computer is now so slow it’s almost impossible to use, and you’re probably wondering what you did wrong. The answer is, nothing! This problem can occur all by itself. But the good news is, it’s usually not a hard problem to fix.

7 ways to fix 100% disk usage on Windows 10

Here are a few fixes that have helped other users resolve their Windows 10 100% disk usage problem. You may not need to try them all; just work your way down the list until you find the one that works for you.

  1. Disable Windows Search
  2. Disable SuperFetch service 
  3. Perform a diskcheck
  4. Reset Virtual Memory
  5. Disable Antivirus Software temporarily
  6. Change your Google Chrome & Skype settings
  7. Fix your StorAHCI.sys driver

Fix 1: Disable Windows Search

To determine if Windows Search is causing your 100% disk usage problem, the first thing you should do is temporarily disable Windows Search, and see if your computer speeds up. If it does, you can permanently disable Windows Search. 

Temporarily disable Windows Search

Windows Search is what makes searching files on your PC much faster. If you don’t use it at all, or you have another search app, you can disable it completely. Disabling this service will stop the indexing of all files. But you will still have access to search, which will take longer time.

Here’s how to temporarily disable Windows Search and find out if it’s the cause of your 100% disk utilization problem. (Note that Windows Search will start again when you restart your computer.)

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key  and X at the same time, then selectCommand Prompt (Admin)

Command Prompt Open as Administrator

2) Click Yes at the User Account Control window prompt. 

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3) A mostly black window will then display. This is the command prompt window. In this window, type in the following command: 

net.exe stop "Windows search"

4) Hit Enter on your keyboard. 

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Check to see if your disk usage and the performance of your computer improve. If they do, you should permanently disable Windows Search as described below. If not, move on to Method 2. 

Permanently disable Windows Search

If you discovered that Windows Search is causing your 100% disk usage error in Windows 10, you can permanently disable Windows Search:

1) Press Windows logo key + R at the same time, and type in services.msc

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2) Locate Windows Search option, double click it to enter its Properties window. 

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3) Change the Startup type to Disabled. Then click Apply and OK to save your change. 

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4) Check your computer’s disk usage: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve fixed the problem!

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.



Fix 2: Disable SuperFetch

SuperFetch helps to decrease boot time and make must-load programs more efficiently. However, it has been identified as a potential cause of disk performance issues in Windows 8 and later versions of Windows, including Windows 10. Here’s how to stop this service:

1) On your keyboard, press Windows key and X at the same time, then chooseCommand Prompt (Admin).

Command Prompt Open as Administrator

2) Click Yes at the User Account Control prompt. 

img 594b3e71d944f

3) The command prompt will once again display. Type in the following command: 

net.exe stop superfetch

4) Hit Enter on your keyboard. 

disable superfetch service

5) Wait for a few minutes to see if your computer starts performing better. Or check your computer’s disk usage: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve fixed the problem!

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.


Fix 3: Perform a disk check

1) On your keyboard, press Windows key and X at the same time, then chooseCommand Prompt (Admin)

Command Prompt Open as Administrator

2) Click Yes at the User Account Control prompt. 

img 594b3e71d944f

3) The command prompt will once again display. Type in the following command:

chkdsk.exe /f /r

4) Hit Enter on your keyboard, then type Y to confirm that you’d like to perform the disk check the next time you restart your computer. Please make sure you have closed all of your applications first.

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IMPORTANT: Disk check will start the next time you boot your PC and it might take some time to complete (could be a day for some). If, when you restart, you don’t have time to wait for the disk check to complete, you can skip it. You’ll need to reschedule it again, as described above, though. 

5) Once you’ve completed the disk check, check your computer’s disk usage again: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve fixed the problem!

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.


Fix 4: Reset Virtual Memory

Virtual memory can be considered an extension of your computer’s physical memory. It’s a combination of RAM and a portion of your hard drive. When the RAM isn’t enough to perform a task, Windows will temporarily store files in virtual memory, then swap them back to RAM when required. 

To reset virtual memory:
1) On your keyboard, press Windows key and Pause/ Break key at the same time. Then choose Advanced System Settings on the left panel.

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2) Go to the Advanced tab, then click Settings

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3) Go to the Advanced tab again, and choose Change… in the Virtual memory section. 

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4) Ensure the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives checkbox isNOT ticked.

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5) Select your windows drive (the hard drive or partition that has Windows installed on it – usually C:), and enter an Initial size and Maximum size for your virtual memory:

  • Initial size – This value varies, depending on your computer. If you’re not sure what value to use, just enter whatever the number is in the Recommended category. 
  • Maximum size – Don’t set this value too high. It should be about 1.5 times the size of your physical RAM. e.g. A PC with 4 GB (4096 MB) of RAM should have no more than about 6,144 MB virtual memory (4096 MB x 1.5).

Once you’ve entered your virtual memory values, click Set, then click OK to continue.

img 594c7a99b0545

6) Clear all your computer’s ‘temp’ files. On your keyboard, press Windows keyand R at the same time, then in the Run form, type temp and hit Enter. This will invoke Windows Explorer with your Temp folder open, showing you all the temp files on your computer. 

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7) Select all the files in the Temp folder and delete them. 

img 5940a52e5c1ac

8) Check your computer’s disk usage: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve fixed the problem!

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.


Fix 5: Disable Antivirus Software temporarily

If you’ve installed antivirus or anti-malware programs such as Norton, Kaspersky, AVG, Avast Behavior Shield or Malwarebytes, you should temporarily turn them off or disable them to see if they’re causing your disk usage problem. 

Please see your antivirus software’s documentation to learn how to disable it. You might also find these links useful: 

Note that Microsoft has its own default anti-malware, Windows Defender. It’s automatically enabled even if you also have other antivirus applications installed. Even if you disable your other antivirus programs, Windows Defender is always there for you during that certain time range. So, no need to worry too much about temporarily turning antivirus off. 

Once you’ve disabled your antivirus, check your computer’s disk usage again: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve found the problem, and you should contact the vendor of your antivirus software to see if they can provide some help.

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.


Fix 6: Change your Google Chrome & Skype settings

For some Windows 10 users, a particular combination of Skype and Google Chrome browser settings causes the 100% disk usage problem in Windows 10. Here’s how to fix those settings (note that the wording on different versions of Chrome could be slightly different): 

1) In Google Chrome, click the three-dot icon at the top right corner and choose Settings

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2) Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Advanced

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3) In the Privacy and Security category, make sure  Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly is turned off. 

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4) Make sure that your Skype is not running. 

5) In Windows Explorer, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\

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6) Right-click Skype.exe and select Properties

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7) Go to the Security tab and select Edit

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8) Click ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES and tick the Allow checkbox for Write. Then click Apply, then OK to save your change. 

img 594b44cb62d7a

9) Check your computer’s disk usage: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve fixed the problem!

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.


Fix 7: Fix your StorAHCI.sys driver

Note: A million thanks to our warm-hearted reader Javier for the following solution.

The Windows 10 100% disk usage problem might also be caused by some Advanced Host Controller Interface PCI-Express (AHCI PCIe) models running with the inbox StorAHCI.sys driver due to a firmware bug. 

Here’s how to determine if this is your problem and fix it:

1) Open Device Manager by pressing Windows logo key and X at the same time to choose Device Manager

img 594b453d7e242

2) Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers category, and double-click the AHCI controller

img 594b45719881f

3) Go to the Driver tab and click Driver Details. If you can see storahci.sysstored in a path of system32 folder, then you are running the inbox AHCI driver. 

img 594b4611132d9

4) Close the Driver Details window and go to Details tab. From the drop-down menu, select Device Instance Path. Make note of the path, starting from VEN_

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5) Type regedit in the search box of Start panel, then hit Enter on your keyboard to run Registry Editor. Then go to: 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\ <AHCIController>\<Random Number>\Device Parameters\InterruptManagement\MessageSignaledInterruptProperties

The <AHCI Controller> here refers to the name you see from step 2). 

The <Random Number> differs on different machines. 

img 594b48600f0e1

6) Double click the MSISupported key and change the value to 0

img 594b48d861882

7) Restart your computer after the change, then check your computer’s disk usage: Type “task manager” in the Windows search bar and select Task Manager, then in the Processes tab, look at the % at the top of the Disk column. If it’s no longer 100%, you’ve fixed the problem!

100 disk usage resolved

If the 100% disk usage problem persists, try the next method, below.

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