Facing the 100% Disk Usage problem? Here is how you can resolve it

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It is quite possible that your desktop/laptop is facing a much common “100% disk usage” issue. Found commonly on most Windows machines, it can be a hassle to resolve the issue. Luckily, there are a couple of fixes you can try to resolve the problem. Hopefully, you will find these helpful:

Restarting the Computer

Before you try anything else, restarting your computer should always be the first thing you should do for troubleshooting purposes. It doesn’t just apply to computers but any electronic. This is quite an effective method for resolving issues even though how simple it seems. It might be that there is an unknown bug hogging your disk usage and a simple restart seems to do wonders.

It should be noted that since Windows 8, and currently Windows 10, re-starting your PC is different from turning it off via shutdown and then turning it on again. This is because these operating systems use Fast-Boot to boot up faster next time, by saving the state of the PC on the hard drive. This essentially means that issue won’t be resolved since that too would be copied along with the saved state.

Therefore, you should properly Restart your PC by right-clicking on the Start Button and then choose Shutdown or sign out, and then Restart.

In case the issue isn’t still resolved then wait for an hour so after the PC boots up since there is a possibility of scheduled virus scans on Startup by default.

Finding the root cause through Task Manager

If the problem still persists, then you should open up your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. After that click on the More details arrow, in case that Task Manager hasn’t been set up to show full interface. Click on the column named Disk, this will sort out open tasks according to highest Disk Usage. Thus, you may be able to find the culprit, which you can kill. It also might lead you to find an unknown process, and on further Googling, you can know if it’s a legit process (Windows own) or some malware is there on your PC.

In that case, you should immediately install any trusted anti-malware software like Malware-Bytes to eradicate Malware.

Storage Driver

Even if this doesn’t resolve your issue, then perhaps, you or your computer has installed an incorrect version of its storage driver. This is the most common cause and Microsoft knows about it too. The reason as to why this happens is because of a bug in the firmware of some SSDs, which hogs the disk usage by resetting the device in a loop, because of Windows being unable to interpret task completion.

If you are running the inbox AHCI driver, then a simple way to resolve the issue is by disabling the “MSI” mode. Else, you can follow the step-by-step instructions from Microsoft to resolve the issue.

Windows Update

Windows Update provides necessary updates to devices patching bugs, and necessary new software which helps to make Windows more stable. Thus, Windows Update might help in resolving the issue, if you haven’t updated your Windows recently. To do this open the Settings application, and then choose Update & Security. From there you can check for the latest updates, or Install the new ones if they have been downloaded already.

Windows Update will restart your PC to install the update, and hopefully, the issue would have gone away by now.

Disable Windows Features

It just might be that a Windows feature is enabled which is causing this issue. Apparently, the Windows Search is notorious for causing high disk usage, and thus disabling it, might fix the issue. Else, you can also try disabling Superfetch, BITS, the Print Spooler or even sound effects.

Though it should be noted that some of these features are important for users, and disabling them forever isn’t really a solution. Furthermore, none of these issues really cause 100 percent disk usage. Though for your own satisfaction, you can disable some of these features by first pressing “Windows + R” key. After that type services.msc and press enter. In the box that opens, find your relevant Windows Feature, which can you stop or disable altogether.

Reinstalling Windows

This should clearly be your last step since this would reinstall your Windows, and thus you would have to install all your applications and programs again. If you have made up your mind, under Windows settings, you would find an option stating Reset this PC. You have the option to keep your documents and files or wipe your hard drive installing Windows from scratch.

Though, if you are an expert, we would recommend installing Windows from a Bootable USB.


If all else fails, then probably its time that you upgrade to an SSD, if you have an old hard drive.

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