Is your computer taking ages to load programs, websites, and files in Windows 10? If your PC’s disk seems unusually busy, and Task Manager shows high disk usage, you need to fix it. Read on to learn what pushes Windows 10 to 100% disk usage and how to fix it yourself or with a dedicated cleaning tool.

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How to identify the cause of 100% disk usage in Windows 10

The best way to identify why Windows 10 disk usage is at 100% is to consult the Windows Task Manager. The Windows Task Manager utility will show you exactly what’s causing your system to use 100% of your disk capacity — and then you’ll know which issue you need to fix.

Here’s how to identify the cause of 100% disk usage with Windows Task Manager:

Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.


On the main dashboard, click on the Disk column to see all running processes sorted by disk usage.


Make sure the arrow in the Disk column is pointing down. That way, you’ll see the processes with the highest disk usage first.

Look for items that appear orange and consume more than a few megabytes per second. Any process that takes more than 1 to 2 MB is a concern. Depending on the type of disk you’re using, even a small amount of excess disk usage can harm performance.

If your Task Manager reveals something obvious, find the cure below. If you see any of the following items causing high disk usage in Task Manager, click on the link to jump down directly to the solution:

If Task Manager doesn"t provide a clear answer, try these other solutions to reduce your disk usage:

If your PC feels slow and if disk usage isn’t an issue, you might instead be suffering from high CPU usage or insufficient RAM.

The 12 best ways to fix 100% disk usage in Windows 10

With Task Manager identifying the processes causing high disk usage, the solution may be straightforward. Here, we’ve compiled the top 12 ways to fix Windows 10 100% disk usage — no matter what’s driving up your disk usage, you’ll be able to resolve the issue.

1. Update Windows 10

Microsoft frequently releases Windows 10 updates that fix bugs and plug security holes. These updates should be installed automatically, but if you’ve missed the latest release, updating Windows 10 can fix a variety of issues.

To update Windows 10, open the Start menu and click Settings. From there, select Updates and Security and initiate the update. Once your PC finishes and restarts, the problem should be fixed.

In some cases, you might see 100% disk usage because Windows is in the middle of updating. Windows replaces tens of thousands of files when updating, so everything else will slow down during the update process. In some cases, Windows may even become unresponsive.

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Windows updates usually download in the background and install automatically. If your disk usage spikes all of a sudden, Windows may have begun the update process. In such cases, when you navigate to Start > Settings > Updates and Security, you’ll see that the Windows update is in process:

Wait until Windows finishes the installation, and your disk usage should come back down. If you instead see “You’re up to date,” then you need to figure out what else could be causing Windows 10 to reach 100% disk usage.

If Windows 10 is up-to-date, look for another culprit of 100% disk usage

2. Disable Superfetch

Superfetch, or Service Host Superfetch, is a Windows feature introduced in Vista that analyzes your usage patterns, such as when you launch certain applications and how often. Superfetch then preloads data from those programs into your memory. In most cases, this works quite well, especially on older hard disks. But it’s not perfect.

Some users complain that Superfetch causes constant hard disk usage. Gamers especially seem to hate Superfetch because it tends to preload the files of a game it thinks you want to play, while you’re actually playing a different game. Luckily, you don’t need Superfetch — and there are other ways to speed up your PC.

If your hard disk is full, and if the following item shows up high on the list in Task Manager, you’re dealing with a Superfetch problem.

Disable Superfetch to see if disk usage drops without any decrease in performance — it’s trial and error with this one. To disable Superfetch, press the Windows and R keys at the same time. Type in services.msc.

Hit OK. You’ll see a long list of services that Windows is running. Scroll down until you see SysMain.

Under Startup type, click Disabled and hit OK. Reboot your system and see if performance improves. If not, turn Superfetch back on by completing the same steps — at the end, just select Automatic instead.

3. Remove viruses and malware

Is Task Manager showing you an unknown program with super-high disk usage? It might be a virus, spyware, or other malware. In addition to messing with your PC’s performance, malware can also steal your personal information, corrupt files or apps, and wreak other havoc. Follow our guide to get rid of viruses and malware immediately.

To prevent malware infections, learn about the most dangerous current online threats and read our list of the best security and privacy tips.

But there’s no substitute for having strong antivirus software. Since malware can play a huge role in pushing Windows 10 to 100% disk usage, stop whatever you’re doing now and install a free antivirus tool. AntiVirus FREE not only provides real-time security updates, it also scans your machine to detect malware and performance issues.

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