How to get rid of 100% disk usage (completely)?

June 27, 2018 |

greater than 30 minutes

You probably found out that your disk usage was at 100% capacity after you launched the Task Manager program. What made you take that action in the first place? There is a good chance that operations on your system became incredibly slow, and you were trying to figure out why. If you were running a limited number of programs at the time, then it is fair to think that your problems go deeper than they appear.

Many users observed events in which disk usage spikes to 100 on Windows 10 regularly. On the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, a message stating that your disk usage is at 100% could appear anytime on your screen. In such scenarios, your PC might stop responding, or your device might begin to respond very slowly to your input.

If you arrived on this page on your own, you should open the Task Manager program and see the state of things right now.

You can launch the required program, using any of the methods below:

  • Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter X key to bring a list of programs and options. Select Task Manager
  • Press (and hold the first 2 keys of) the following combination of buttons: CTRL, ALT, and Delete keys. A new screen should come, and you should see the Task Manager program as one of the items on the list there. Launch it by clicking on it
  • Right-click on an empty spot on your Taskbar and select Task Manager from the list of options you see

After the program window comes up, look under the Processes tab. You should see an overview of essential computer components like the CPU, Memory, Disk, and so on. You can navigate to the performance tab to see detailed information on Disk Usage and related statistical data.

If your Task Manager window is the one with a limited view, click on Show more details (at the bottom) to expand it to the full version to see more information.

It might be normal for the disk usage percentage to reach numbers as high as 100%. However, we know that Windows should display this figure only for a limited time because things would eventually return to normality. If the value remains high and rarely ever falls, then something is wrong. The number should be close to zero most times especially if you are doing nothing intensive or demanding on Windows.

Users may also experience the unique scenario where Windows display a specific figure and never changes it. That is, disk usage stuck at 100, for example. Other users might see the exact process that is causing the high disk usage. In some scenarios, the figure might change at irregular intervals due to variations in the processes involved.

If you are experiencing system-wide slowdowns, then the high disk usage might not be causative as you think. The issue might be a consequence of other problems. Before you start attempting the fixes (for a bug which might not be there), we recommend that you download and run Auslogics BoostSpeed to fix your problem.

The recommended app is an excellent program that will help you carry out the most potent system-optimization operations to tune your PC. Only then can you be sure that the high disk usage issue is what is slowing down your PC or you might get to find out that the problem exists and it is acting alone.

How to fix the high disk usage problem?

Based on known factors or the issues we identified as the causes of the high disk usage problem, we have compiled a good number of useful fixes that you can attempt to resolve the problem. We cannot guarantee that every single fix would be helpful to you because of the extreme variations in the causes of the problem.

Therefore, we advise that you go through all of them to ensure that the chances of your issues getting resolved remain as high as possible.

End Windows search:

Some services use far too many resources, or they tend to malfunction frequently enough to let inconsistencies in their operations result in problems like the ridiculously absurd disk usage rate. Unfortunately, the Windows service, a core component of the operating system, belongs to the class of items we are talking about here.

Its abilities and features are impressive, but then again, maybe they form part of what makes it capable of causing the problem. We have seen a reasonable number of reports from users that indicated they had managed to eliminate the problem by disabling the service.

If you are an advanced user with an excellent knowledge of the processes and programs always running on Windows, then you can quickly disable the service by opening the Task Manager program, navigating to the Services tab, identifying the Windows service in view, right-clicking on it, and selecting Stop from the list of options that come up. Windows should stop running the service at once.

Otherwise, you must follow these instructions to do the same thing differently:

  • First, you must open an elevated Command Prompt window. Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter X to bring up a list of items with the required program included. Select Command Prompt (Admin)
  • After the program window opens, input the following code and press the Enter key to force its execution at once: net.exe stop “Windows search”

The action you just took should end the service immediately. To confirm that this operation worked for you, open the Task Manager program and check if the high figure has been reduced.

If nothing changed, then this operation likely did not affect your problem. Well, it is not even a disruptive procedure, as Windows will automatically restart the service at the next boot up of your PC. Move on to other fixes.

Disable the BITS and Superfetch service:

If your Task Manager shows disk usage at 100% even after you disabled the Windows Search service, then you must work and move on to stop more services whose operations might have something to do with the problem. Here, you are going to ax essential windows components like the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) and the Superfetch service and see if anything changes for better.

The operation involved here is a bit similar to the one you carried out earlier. However, here, you are going to restart Windows with the suspected services disabled, but in the previous fix, you ended the service while Windows was running and did not have to reboot your PC. The newer procedure is more likely to have a powerful effect on your problem due to how it works.

Here are the instructions you need:

  • Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter R key. This action should launch the Run app. After the small program window shows up, type the following code into the text box and press the Enter key to run it as usual: services.msc
  • After the Services window shows up, you should see the list comprising of all services on Windows. From the items there, you must locate the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
  • After you find the required item, double-click on it to see its properties. A new window should come up. Under the General tab, change the value for the Startup type to Disabled. Under Service status,  you must also click on the Stop button to terminate the service
  • Return to the Services window. Locate the Superfetch and the Windows Search service from the items on the list. You must carry out the same action on them. That is, you must terminate and disable them (to stop Windows from starting them automatically at the next boot up event)
  • If you suspect that any other service might be the cause of your problem, then you should consider disabling it too alongside the ones you terminated not long ago. After you finished working on all the services, reboot your system
  • After your PC comes on and Windows settles down, check if your problem is no longer active.

Now you must understand that some features on Windows might stop working or you might be unable to use specific functionalities. After all, you disabled core system components, and there is some price to pay for the success of your operation.

On the other hand, if your problem remains as it was, then there is no point in paying any price for an operation that was not worth the effort. Perform a reverse of the procedure you executed earlier  (Restart and re-enable the services you terminated and disabled more prior). There are others fixes to try.

Check your antivirus:

Viruses or malicious items can do some severe damage to the PCs of their hosts. It is only fair that developers came up with powerful responses designed to stop them in the form of antiviruses, antimalware programs, and other security applications.

Unfortunately, the wide-reaching abilities of such software and operations they are involved in make them prone to causing software conflicts or issues like high disk usage rate. After all, they need (to use up) many system resources to do their work correctly, and they need enhanced powers to remain active in protecting your system from threats.

If you are still struggling with the disk usage problem after you checked your services, then it is time you performed similar actions on your antivirus or the security program you have running. We recommend that you carry out the procedure here in a series of steps.

You can begin by disabling your main antivirus features. For example, the real-time protection option (if there is one). Open the program and do the necessary. If nothing changes even after you rid of a good number of essential features the program provides, then there is not much left for you to do. A total termination of your entire antivirus features or operations is in order.

If the last procedure you attempted on the application failed to change the course of your issue, it is time you did the ultimate thing itself. Uninstall or get rid of the program. If you are running the latest version of Windows, you can follow these instructions to remove the app:

  • Press the Windows button on your keyboard or click on the Windows Start icon on your desktop screen. From the list of items that appear on your screen, select Settings
  • After the program window comes up, click on System or its icon from the Settings menu. On the left pane, you should see Apps and Features, which you must click on
  • Now you should see the list of programs you have on your PC. Locate your antivirus or the security program you want to get rid of now. Select it and click on the Uninstall button that shows up
  • A small dialog box should come up and request confirmation for your action. Click on the Uninstall button there once more to initiate the operation

If you stopped experiencing the high disk usage problem after you disabled the primary features of your antivirus entirely or removed the app itself, then you know that the security program had something to do with the issue. Nevertheless, you must still solve the security problem because your PC must not be left unprotected.

We recommend that you try out another antivirus brand. After all, there are numerous reputable security products on the market. Some of them might work better with your PC, depending on their features or options available for users to customize.

You can always try out a different security program. For example, you could download and run Auslogics Anti-malware. This superb program does an excellent job of protecting your system without downsides like the software conflicts or interferences customarily associated with the use of powerful security products.

Reinstall SATA AHCI driver:

Drivers are integral bridges that make interactions between software and hardware components possible. Some users have confirmed that problems with specific drivers like the SATA controller driver can cause the high disk usage issue to come up.

If our suspicions are right about the driver in view, then you can solve your problem by reinstalling or replacing the driver software. The series of operations required is relatively easy to carry out.

You can follow these instructions to upgrade your driver:

  • Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter X key to see a short menu of apps and options. Select Device Manager to open the needed program
  • After the program window comes up, you should see all the device drivers currently available on your PC. Locate Storage Controller and click on it to expand its menu
  • Locate your current controller from the list of items you see there. Double-click on it to open its Properties window. Navigate to the Driver tab and click on the Update driver button you see there
  • Windows can scan through your system or it can check the internet for the latest available version of the driver software. If you prefer to use the first method, then you must click on Search automatically for an updated driver. Otherwise, you should click on Browse my computer for driver software, and on the next screen, you must select Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer

If Windows finds one, it will inform you about it and guide you through the installation process

If Windows failed to provide you with the driver software you need, or it found the wrong thing, then you might have to take matters into your own hands—you must perform an intensive search for the required drivers and install them yourself. Otherwise, you must use the automatic method of updating drivers, which is the best of the lot.

We recommend that you download and install Auslogics Driver Updater. This excellent program will help you perform all the operations that you would otherwise have been required to execute had you chosen to do everything yourself (that is, the manual way of upgrading drivers).

After you finish installing the required driver, restart your system to let the new changes take effect.

Update your system:

Microsoft designed the latest version of its operating system differently to make the updating process independent of users’ input as much as possible. That is, Windows, in theory (since the release of Windows 10 at least), searches for, downloads and installs updates automatically.

We would like to assume that you have not installed Windows updates in a while because you are a running an old version of the operating system or because you somehow found a way to stop Windows from updating itself automatically. Therefore, there is a good chance that the glitches on your system causing the high disk usage problem would go away after you download and install Windows updates.

It is time you check for Windows updates. Follow these instructions:

  • Open the Settings app. Press the Windows button on your keyboard or click on the Windows start icon, select Settings from the list of items that come up. You can also open the same app by pressing (and holding) the Windows button, then tapping the letter I key
  • After the window loads up, click on Update and Security or the icon representing these values. Click on the Check for updates button
  • Windows should immediately contact Microsoft servers and see if there are any available updates. If it finds anything you lack, it will inform you about it. Windows can download the updates in the background. It will also install the files and complete the process after you restart your PC.

Once you are sure that your computer has all the latest updates from Microsoft, open the Task Manager program and check if the problem involving high disk usage is still present.

Switch to High-performance mode:

Some power plans or battery saving options cause issues like the high disk usage problem because they are always trying to optimize your computer’s output while your PC uses as little power as possible at the same time.

We know that other plans do not place constraints or restrictions on the amount of power or system resources that your PC is free to use. Therefore, you are going to try out one (the High-performance mode, for example) and see if anything changes. Follow these instructions:

  • First, you must open your Power menu to see the available options. You can do this right-clicking on the battery or power icon on the taskbar on your desktop screen, and selecting Power options from the list of items on the short menu that comes up. You can also follow the instructions below to launch the needed app through an entirely different procedure

Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter S key. Input power settings into the text box present to perform a search. From the results that appear on your screen, select Power and sleep settings (System Settings)

  • After the program window loads, click on the Additional power settings link. On the next screen or the new program window, you should see the Choose or customize a power plan
  • Click on the High-performance plan (select its radio button). Close your open windows, exit all programs that are running currently, launch the Task Manager program and see if the disk usage percentage is still ridiculously high.

Reset your virtual memory:

Your RAM often does not provide enough space for the tasks Windows works on from time to time. Windows uses what can be referred to as virtual memory for temporary file storage and holding of critical information. The storage space provided by the virtual memory is usually a combination of your hard drive and some part of your temporary memory (RAM).

Therefore, it is likely that the virtual memory or problems involving it have something to do with the unusually high disk usage issue. A reset of the virtual memory might be enough to enforce a new state where the problems above are non-existent. Follow these instructions:

  • First, you must open the menu for the advanced settings you required to work on now. Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter S key. A text box should appear, and you must enter the following keywords into the available field: advanced

From the list of items that show up as results, select View advanced system settings (Control Panel)

  • After the program window opens, navigate to the Advanced tab. Click on the Settings button under the Performance menu. A new window should come up
  • Navigate to the Advanced tab once more, and click on the Change button under the Virtual memory description
  • Check that the checkbox for Automatically manage paging file size for all drives is unticked. Otherwise, you must alter the value currently there. After this, you are free to choose the Windows drive you want Windows to use. You should select the drive that you installed Windows on (usually C;).  You can also set your desired number and so on

For Initial size, the value required depends on your PC or its specifications. If you are unsure of what number to input, use the figure displayed in the recommended category

For Maximum size, we are against the use of a towering figure. A good value should be roughly the digits you obtain when you multiply your physical RAM by a factor of 1.5. For example, if your system has 2GB (2048MB) of RAM, the maximum size should be (2048 x 1.5 = 3072).

  • Once you are done setting and inputting the required parameters, click on Set. Click on OK
  • Finally, it is time you got rid of the files (Clear all data). Open the Run app by pressing and holding the Windows key on your keyboard, then tapping the letter R key. After the small program window appears, input temp into the text box present and hit the Enter key to run it
  • A File Explorer window should come up. You should see a list of files in the Temp folder. Highlight all the items you can see (press and hold the CTRL button on your keyboard, then tap the letter A key), right-click on them and select Delete to get rid of them.

Change your Pagefile location:

If you have more than one drive on your system (that are independent of each other), then this fix might be all you need. Pagefile is that part on your hard disk that your computer uses to store data when there is limited or no space at all on your RAM.

Therefore, if your disk usage figure is consistently high, it is likely that your RAM is also always insufficient and your system has to make do with your hard drive to support your temporary memory. The apparent solution to small RAM space is to purchase more of the device. However, RAM sticks are incredibly costly. Hard disks, in comparison, are easily affordable, so here we are.

Follow these instructions to move your Pagefile to a location on a different drive (usually a non-system one):

  • Open the File Explorer program by clicking on its icon which is generally on the taskbar on your desktop screen, or you could press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter E key to complete the move
  • After the window shows up, right click on My Computer or This PC (depending on which one of them you see). From the list of options that come up, click on Properties
  • Click on the Advanced system settings link visible on the left pane. A new window should pop up. Navigate to the Advanced tab and click on the Change button you see there
  • Highlight the default drive for your Pagefile now, and select the No paging file option. Click on Set to continue
  • Now it is time you selected the second drive you intend to use for your Pagefile. Click on the System managed set option. Click on Set as usual
  • Exit all open windows. Restart your PC to let the new changes take effect

Try out a different drive:

It is not outlandish to consider the reports of users who claimed that their high disk usage was due to their device and no other reason. Such events occur because of a wide variety of reasons. For example, a hard drive might become incompatible with the controller or its driver software.

You could try out different controllers to see what changes as this is the obvious solution to the problem we hypothesized, but there is no guarantee that you would get the result you need. When that happens, then there we know just the line of action left for you to take. You must try out a different drive.

When you are considering a new drive, we recommend that you take great care with the specifications or capabilities of the device in view. Things like the size of the drive, the number of revolutions it makes per minute, and similar descriptions are some of the most important variables you should look out for before you purchase one. You could even consider a solid-state drive (SSD), which is significantly better than a hard disk drive (HDD) in almost every metric.

On the other hand, if you are experiencing the high disk usage issue on a PC equipped with an SSD, then your problem must have something to do with the firmware for your device. It should not be so difficult for you to figure out why we said this.

Solid State Drives are incredibly fast or ridiculously snappy when compared to Hard Disk Drives. Thus, a high disk usage event is an outlier (or a scenario where a program accesses the disk for a very long period is almost impossible). In other words, if you see the high disk usage message when you are using an SSD, a firmware update should be all you need to get rid of the problem.

Perform a clean boot:

If you are familiar with a clean boot, you should know that it is the mode or way of starting Windows with the fewest amount of startup items (startup programs, drivers, services, or processes) as possible. This way, you will be able to prevent software conflicts from occurring and eliminate all forms of interferences.

When Windows starts up through a clean boot, you will find it incredibly easy to figure out if the problems (like the high disk usage) have something to do with third-party programs or if they are a result of an internal issue in your operating system. Follow these instructions to do a clean boot on your PC:

  • You can launch the needed app by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your keyboard, tapping the letter R key to bring up the Run app and pressing the Enter key after you input the following text: msconfig

You can also go through this method: press the Windows button on your keyboard or click on the Windows start icon on your desktop screen. Perform a search for the following keyword in the text box present: msconfig. From the results that come up, select System Configuration (Desktop app) or msconfig

  • After the program window shows up, navigate to the Services tab. There you should see a long list of items. Tick the checkbox for Hide all Microsoft services to see fewer things on the list
  • Click on the Disable all button to perform the required operation on only the visible services
  • Now you must navigate to the Startup tab of the System Configuration program. Click on the Open Task Manager link there. If you cannot find this link or the Task Manager program failed to come up for unknown reasons, you must open the needed program on your own. We provided instructions on doing this at the beginning of this guide.
  • Once you have the Task Manager app up and running, you must navigate to the Startup tab in its program window. There, you are required to select each startup item you can see on the list and click on the Disable button to do the obvious
  • Finally, you should close the Task Manager app and other open program windows. Restart your system. Your PC should come on in a controlled environment where your problems do not exist. Now you would find it easy to isolate the cause of the problem or identify its source.

Upgrade your memory (RAM):

We earlier established that Windows uses up some space on your hard drive as temporary storage, especially if it runs out of space on your on RAM, or if that computer component is underperforming or malfunctioning.

If you are running Windows 10, then the size of your RAM is an important variable to consider if you are experiencing the high disk usage as the newest operating system versions or iterations require more temporary memory space than older builds.

To be fair, Microsoft designed the OS to function well on even older computers, but we know too well that those devices should have decent memory specifications (4GB RAM at least, to be specific). Regardless of the age of your computer, you should find out the size of your RAM now.

You can view the required information by following these instructions:

  • Open the Task Manager program, using any of the means we provided earlier. Navigate to the Performance tab after the program window comes up
  • Click on Memory to see information about your RAM size, what size or percentage of its space Windows is using currently, and so on

If you notice that Windows is using up the entire space available on the RAM or a ridiculously high part of it, then your current RAM does not suit your needs. You will need to upgrade or expand it. You need extra space.

Windows was probably using your hard disk as a temporary memory device because your storage needs exceeded the capacity of your RAM (the main component your PC uses to store information in the short term).

In such scenarios, Windows sometimes has to write large amounts of data to your hard disk in limited time. Of course, writing or access speeds on an HDD are incomparable to what we can obtain to on RAM for obvious reasons. Therefore, the high data volume involved causes your disk usage percentage to spike, and in real time, your computer slows down to reflect the occurrence of this event.

Disable Windows notifications:

We still do not fully understand the intricacies of this procedure, so we are not exactly sure of how useful it would prove in resolving your problem. Nevertheless, since we have seen some reports confirming positive things happened after its use and the operation involved in itself is harmless enough, we recommend that you give it a go.

As far as we know, you are going to get rid of Windows notifications that are more or less forms of advertisements. Follow these steps:

  • Press the Windows key on your keyboard or click on the Windows Start icon on your desktop screen. Click on Settings to launch its app.
  • After the window shows up, click on System from the program menu list. Click on Notifications and Actions. Now you should see a list of options, which you can turn on or off as you like
  • Toggle the switch for Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows to turn it off. Exit all programs windows. Restart your system and see if anything changes for good.

If this fix worked for you, then you do not even have to worry about what you changed. We expect that your standard notifications will still show up as usual. However, unnecessary (or even useless) alerts (mostly the ones from Microsoft) will stop appearing. For most people, this might be a good thing.

Disable Windows Defender:

Windows Defender is the program Microsoft includes on the more recent versions of its operating system to protect users from threats. It does a decent enough job in its own right although its abilities might not succinctly match those possessed by advanced antivirus and anti-malware solutions.

When you download and install a third-party antivirus program or similar security software, your system is supposed to disable Windows Defender. In theory, at least, Windows should do this, but sometimes things do not go as planned. It is always easy to see why such an operation is necessary though.

Security utilities are often comprehensive programs that need considerable system resources to function well. Therefore, if your Windows Defender is still active and you are running an antivirus or similar security program, then there is a good chance that your high disk usage issue (and a host of other problems) is due to their activities.

Follow these instructions to check if Windows Defender is active or in disabled mode:

  • Open the Settings app. Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter I key to complete this short procedure. Click on Update and Security after the program window shows up
  • Click on Windows Defender from the list of options on your current screen. On the right pane, look at the value under Real-time protection. Toggle the button there to turn it off if necessary. Ensure that Cloud-Based protection is set to Off too

Check Hard drive for errors:

An unusually high disk usage notification might be a consequence of a faulty, damaged or corrupted hard drive. It could also be the result of a disk plagued by numerous bad sectors and similar problems. You cannot begin to solve the problem until you confirm its existence. We advise that you run several tests or series of operations to check for problems on your hard drive.

First, we recommend that you use the built-in Disk Checker tool on Windows. You can do this in 2 ways:

  • Open the File Explorer program. Its icon is usually on the taskbar on your desktop screen. Click on it. You could also press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter E key to open the needed app
  • After the program window loads up, you should see the primary drives or directories available on your PC. Right-click on your Local Drive (:C), and select Properties from the list of options that show up
  • After a new window shows up, navigate to the Tools tab and click on the Check button under the Error Checking menu or description.

Now you should see a message stating that Windows is scanning your drive for errors. This operation might take a while, so we advise that you remain patient. Once Windows has finished checking your disk, you should see a message stating if it found any errors on the hard drive or not.

You can also click on the Show details link on the bottom of the small window. The Event Viewer app should come up and show you the necessary details about the operations the Check Disk utility executed.

The other way of running the scan on the hard drive involves the use of written codes in the Command Prompt program. There are multiple parameters you can employ to perform a more in-depth analysis of your drive for errors, bad sectors, and similar problems. We will give a short description of the basic operation necessary below:

  • Open an elevated Command Prompt window. Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter X key to see a list of programs and options. Select Command Prompt (Admin)

You can also open the needed program this way: Perform a search for cmd in the text box that comes up after you click on the Windows Start icon on your desktop screen. Right-click on the result (Command Prompt) and select Run as administrator from the short list of options that you see

  • After the program window comes up, type in the following code and hit the Enter key once you are done: chkdsk c: /f /r /x
  • Since Windows is running from the drive you attempted to scan, you will get a message stating that Chkdsk failed to run because the volume is in use by another process. Follow the instructions that follow. You will need to press the letter Y button to schedule a scan when next Windows restarts
  • Restart your PC. When your computer comes on, you should see the scan menu instead of the standard boot up sequence. According to the instructions that should be visible on your screen, you must avoid pressing any key to let Windows initiate the disk checking procedure

The scan should commence as expected. Note that this process will require even more time than the first one we described earlier. As it is probably more intensive or comprehensive in the volume of the job it does, there is a higher probability that Windows will detect errors or problems on your hard disk with this scan.

If Windows found nothing after it completes the scan, the utility will stop running, and your PC should boot up as usual. Otherwise, Windows should show you a summary of the issues it detected and if it was successful in fixing them. If this does not happen, log into Windows and open the Event Viewer program after your system settles down. There, you should find what you want to see.

If Windows detected errors or informed you about the existence of other problems, then you might have to carry out more extensive tests to confirm and find out the extent of the issues. Software fixes are not enough to get rid of some faults. You might end up having to replace your drive if it is beyond saving.

Meanwhile, we recommend that you copy any critical data or critical files you have saved on your drive (even if you are yet to confirm the existence of any fault on it). Windows sometimes does well enough to remove the standard errors and bad sectors on your drive, but it cannot guarantee how long your device will remain in a stable working condition.

After all, your drive could suddenly fail. Depending on the severity of the fault, the data you stored on your disk could fall in harm’s way. You surely would want to avoid such risks, and for this reason, we advised that you copied your essential stuff and pasted it somewhere safe (an entirely different drive or disk) to serve as a backup.

Resolve the problem with applications:

We have seen enough reports to state confidently that activities of some commonly used programs are responsible for the high disk usage problem. Skype and Google Chrome are examples of the culprits we are talking about here.

For Skype, the issue manifests when the app takes extreme advantage of the powers it has to run down your system resources. We can quickly stop the program from doing this by taking away some of the unnecessary permissions it possesses. Follow these instructions to fix the problem (for the desktop version of Skype):

  • First, you must ensure the program is not running currently. If it is open, you can close it by right-clicking on its icon on the taskbar of your desktop screen and selecting Quit from the options that come up. You can also end its operations by opening the Task Manager program, locating Skype from the list there and choosing it for termination.
  • Now open a File Explorer window (use the combination of the Windows button on your keyboard and the letter E key). Click on My PC or My Computer, then navigate through the following folders: C:\Program Files (x86)\Skype\Phone\
  • You should see the Skype executable file (Skype.exe). Right-click on it and select Properties from the list of options. A new window should come up. Navigate to the Security tab there
  • Under Group or user names, select the ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES option to highlight it. Click on the Edit button. A small window should come up
  • Here, you must select ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES once more, and tick the checkbox for Write under Permissions for ALL APPLICATION PACKAGES. Click on the OK button to save the changes you just made
  • Click on OK once more to continue. Restart your PC. After it comes on, reopen Skype as usual. Check your disk usage figure. If Skype was to blame for your headache, the value there should have fallen

Adobe Flash is another culprit likely to be responsible for the high disk usage problem. To be fair, there have always been a ridiculously high number of security vulnerabilities or loopholes associated with it. The world is moving on from using it.

We understand that a good number of interfaces or platforms still require Flash to function correctly, but this fact alone should not stop you from disabling it and seeing if something changes for the better with your disk problem.

If you are using Chrome (the most popular desktop browser), you are in luck. We have the instructions you need to disable Flash.

If your Chrome app is older than Chrome 57, go to your address bar and input the following: chrome://plugins

  • You should see a list of plugins that are currently installed on your system. If your computer has Flash on it, you should see it there as Adobe Flash Player
  • Click on the Disable button to get rid of it. Flash should now appear as a grayed-out item. You could wait for some time before trying to observe the changes that the action you just took will bring or you could restart your system and check Task Manager immediately it comes on and settles down

Note that this procedure might fail to work in scenarios where the Chrome app is updating itself (without your knowledge and input from you).

If you are using the more recent versions of Chrome (Chrome 57 and later releases), you must go through these instructions instead:

  • Click on Menu. Select Settings from the list available. After the menu comes on, click on Show advanced settings. Look at the section for Privacy
  • Click on Content Settings. You should see Flash. The program should present you with 3 options. Select Block sites from running flash (usually the third option)
  • Click on Done to complete the procedure. Exit all program windows, reboot your system and see if anything changes

If the work on Flash did not solve your problem, then maybe you got the wrong guy. You could reverse the changes you made (if you want to).

Fix StorAHCI.sys driver:

The fix described here might not be useful for every individual experiencing the high disk usage issue, but we have included it for select users whose problem has something to do with the stated driver.

Experts identified a bug (bundled with the firmware) in the AHCI driver Microsoft provided (the driver is labeled StorAHCI.sys). Serious problems occur when things with this driver go wrong. In many scenarios, the events are due to no fault of the user.

In simpler terms, when the driver is not malfunctioning to bring about severe issues manifested as Blue Screens of Death (BSODs), it is busy causing other problems like the unusually high disk usage. We recommend that you follow the instructions below to disable Message-Signaled interrupt supports or notifications for the driver, and this procedure might be all you need to get rid of the problem.

  • Open the Device Manager program. Right-click on the Windows Start icon always visible on your desktop screen to select it from a list of programs and options
  • After the program window launches, locate IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers from the list of drivers you see. Click on it to expand its menu. You should see Standard SATA AHCI Controller. Right-click on this item and select Properties from the short list of options that come up. A new window should pop up
  • Navigate to the Driver tab. There, you must click on Driver Details. If you see the following directory in the field for Driver files, then there is an excellent chance that the bug we described exists on your system: C:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\storahci.sys
  • Click on OK. On your previous window, navigate to the Details tab. From the drop-down menu, you must select Device instance path. Take note of the value below that showed up. You can copy it and paste it somewhere you can access it quickly (in a text file, for example). You could also leave your current window open as it is so that you can return to it when you need the data
  • Now it is time you did some work on the registry. Open the Registry Editor app: press and hold the Windows button on your keyboard, then tap the letter R key to launch the Run program, input regedit into the text box present and hit the Enter key to run what you typed in at once.
  • After the program window launches, you must navigate through the following items to find what you are looking for: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\
  • Can you remember the value we told you to take note of earlier? You must locate it from the list of items here. Once you have found it, you must expand its key. Be careful and do the right thing
  • With the necessary details, after you have found the buggy driver, you must navigate through the following items: Device Parameters\Interrupt Management\MessageSignaledInterruptProperties
  • Now you should see the MSISupported entry. Double-click on it and change its value to 0. You have just performed the procedure to turn it off. Click on OK to save the new value you inputted
  • Exit the Registry Editor app, close your open windows and restart your computer to let the changes become effective

We have outlined and expanded on a reasonable number of fixes that should be effective enough to help any user get rid of the high disk usage issue in the vast majority of cases regardless of the affected individual needs, PC’s specification, and so on. However, we also mindful of the small possibility in which none of the solutions above have the desired effect on the stated problem.

If you got to this point, but you are still struggling to resolve the issue, you should know that there is a good number of things you could try right now. After all, we could not include all the fixes and go into them in details due to the length of this guide. Here are some of them:

  • Test your RAM extensively and replace it if you confirm that it is faulty or damaged
  • Perform comprehensive scans for viruses and malware
  • Disable diagnostic tracking (if you are running Windows 10)
  • Terminate all Windows update operations and update your PC manually
  • Uninstall updates for Flash player
  • Update all your device drivers
  • Disable the prediction service in Chrome
  • Alter your system graphics settings to get the best performance out of your device
  • Terminate the Speech Runtime process
  • Set the paging file size for all drives to automatic
  • Disable the system and compressed memory process
  • Repair corrupt system files, using the System File Checker and DISM tool
  • Upgrade your firmware

At this point, we expect that the high disk usage problem is already no more.

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