How to Fix Windows 11 High Disk Usage


100% disk usage (High disk usage) is a common issue faced by Windows 11 users. If Windows Task Manager shows 100% disk utilization, managing applications becomes difficult as when there is high disk usage, the PC slows down, and applications take time to open up. So, is there a way to deal with 100 percent disk usage on Windows 11?

This guide provides solutions for high disk usage issues. Once you apply the fixes, you should be able to reduce disk usage and maximize your available resources.

How to Fix Windows 11 100% High Disk Usage?

Ideally, the average user’s disk usage in daily tasks is never more than 70%. Running heavy applications or games or using multiple applications simultaneously can go up to 90%. Sometimes, it is OK if the disk usage touches 100% when rendering heavy files or playing a game at high frame rates.

However, if your PC uses 100% disk on Windows 11, even while performing basic tasks like browsing the internet, opening Files Explorer, or running a video file, there’s something wrong. Multiple factors might be causing the issue.

Reasons Why You Face System High Disk Usage

Some of the common factors that cause your PC to slow down and use 100% of your disk are –

  • Error in Pagefile.sys
  • Too many startup applications
  • A higher number of temporary files
  • Unoptimized PC
  • Malware Attack

The factors can be endless when it comes to justifying the lack of performance in a Windows PC. But the same has been the case for years now, and thanks to the vast community that Windows users have, we always have a solution to the issues that arise.

Check out how you can fix 100% disk usage of Windows 11 in the next section.

Best Ways to Fix Windows 11 High Disk Usage

Solution 1. Remove all the temporary files instantly

Temporary files are hidden user logs that are loaded on the disk. These are files that applications create on your system to store your user data for a particular session that you are using the app. Some applications are smart enough to collapse these files once shut; however, most Windows applications create and leave temporary files behind.

Removing these temporary files can reduce your disk load, instantly freeing up your disk usage capacity. You can remove temporary files from your PC by following the given instructions –

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run search box.
  • Type %temp% in the run and press enter

run command

  • It will take you to the folder that holds all the temporary files
  • Use Ctrl+A to select all the files and Shift + Delete to remove them.

delete multipal item

Once you have removed the files, make sure you restart your PC. Restarting the PC is unnecessary; however, it is always better to do it when you have made a substantial change. You may find lower disk usage after the PC reboots.

Solution 2. Shutdown SysMain Superfetch Service

Superfetch, a service introduced in Windows Vista, now known as Sysmain in Windows 11 and 10, helps maintain and improve system performance. This Windows service runs in the background and automatically pre-loads the applications into your PC memory to load them faster when required.

Ideally, it helps load heavy applications faster. However, many users have reported service host sysmain high disk. If you are also experiencing a similar issue, disable the SysMain service and see if it helps reduce 100% disk usage.

All you have to do is –

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run Box
  • Type services.msc and hit enter.
    type services msc command
  • This will take you to the list of services available on your PC.

system services

  • Find SysMain from the list and open its properties by double-clicking it.
  • In the properties window, disable the startup and immediately use the stop button to stop the service.

sysmain properties

  • Save your changes, exit the window, and restart your PC.

Once your PC has rebooted, open the task manager to check whether the disk usage has been reduced. You will see a difference of at least 10-15%.

Solution 3. Use a Dedicated PC & Disk Optimization Tool

Sometimes, using your PC without optimizing also keeps the disk occupied. Optimization means removing junk, keeping your PC clutter-free, managing disk fragmentation, etc. Performing these tasks boosts system performance and yields better results.

However, one cannot take care of all these things manually as it takes a lot of time and requires comprehensive technical knowledge. In such scenarios, using a dedicated optimizer tool like Advanced System Optimizer is the best way to optimize your PC.

It is a tool designed to optimize your PC on all fronts, like memory usage, disk management, processing speeds, etc. Here’s how the tool works –

  • Download the application from the button given below.
  • Run the application to discover the tools it offers.

smart pc care

  • If you know what is causing your PC to slow down or raise disk usage, you can resolve it by choosing the given option. If not, run Smart PC Care.

Quick Scan will scan 5 areas, including running a scan for outdated drivers quickly.

Deep Scan scans all 7 areas, including checking the disk for errors, scanning the PC for malware, and optimizing the registry. If you want a thorough scan, click Deep Scan before clicking the Start Smart PC Care button.

Custom Scan – As the name explains, you can scan a selected area. For instance, if you think the disk usage is due to outdated drivers, scan the PC only for outdated drivers and update them.

  • Now, to run the scan, click on Start Smart PC Care and find issues that might be causing 100% disk usage problems in the PC.

smart pc care

  • The Smart Scan instantly searches for errors.
  • Once the Scan is over, click Optimize, enhancing your PC performance.

smart pc optimization

  • Once you click on Optimize, it creates a dedicated restore point of the current state of your PC. The process will delete and remove multiple files and poor sectors from your hard drive, which may cause an error. If the error occurs, you can use the restore point to reset the PC.

Let the optimization process finish. Restart the PC after you have successfully optimized your system.

Additionally, open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delet and check the hard drive usage to see how well the optimizer worked.

If you believe the issue lies in your PC’s hard drive or is caused by outdated drivers or malware infection, you can use the Advanced System Optimizer to perform all these operations.

Solution 4. Use Task Manager to Reduce Startup Applications

Startup applications are those that start automatically when your PC turns on. These applications are designed to give you a flawless experience as you neither have to turn them On or OFF. However, these applications slow your PC as the processes begin before the PC is entirely ready to handle.

These applications pre-occupy the disk usage capacity; hence, when you want to run applications, you find disk usage 100 on Windows 11. The best way to handle this situation is by reducing the number of startup applications; here’s how you can do it –

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to Open Task Manager
  • Click on the Three-Lined Button at the Top of the Menu
  • Find Startup Applications in the Side Panel

task manager

  • Select the applications individually and change their status to disable to minimize their impact on your startup.

task manager end task

Once these applications are off, restart your PC and check the disk usage during the boot. It will give your PC a better startup speed and available disk usage capacity.

Solution 5 – Reset Virtual Memory

When the physical memory is running low virtual memory or page file is used as RAM by Windows to save temporary files. Some Windows users have said that resetting virtual memory helps fix the disk utilization 100% issue. To reset virtual memory, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  • Type SystemPropertiesAdvanced and press the Enter key. This will open the System Properties window.
  • Click the Advanced tab > Settings button under Performance.
    Performance Settings
  • Again, click Advanced tab > Change button under Virtual memory.
    performance options
  • Uncheck the box next to Automatically manage paging file size for all drivers. Select the drive letter on which Windows is installed. Select Custom Size and enter initial and maximum size.

NoteIf you are unsure about the value, enter the Recommended number.

The maximum size should be about 1.5 times the size of your physical RAM. For example, a PC with 8 GB of RAM should have no more than about 12,288 MB virtual memory (8192 MB x 1.5).

  • Click Set > Ok

Once this is done, follow solution number 1 to delete temporary files.

Solution 6 – Perform a disk check

If you do not want to use Advanced System Optimizer to check the disk for errors, you can do it manually by following the steps below:

  • Open the elevated Command Prompt.Command Prompt Run as administrator
  • In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk.exe /f /r and press the Enter key.
  • Type Y to confirm the action and restart the PC.
  • Upon restart, the disk will be checked for errors. The process might take time to finish; therefore, please be patient.
  • Once the disk check is completed, go to Task Manager and check the disk usage. It should have been reduced. If not, do not worry. Move to the next fix.

Solution 7 – Change Power Options

For some users, changing power options to High Performance works. Hence, if nothing has worked so far, we suggest doing it.

  • Press Windows + S and type Power & sleep settings.
  • Select the best search result.
  • Click Additional power settings under Related settings.additionla power setting
  • Click Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings.
    choose power plan
    Change advanced power settings option
  • Select High performance by clicking the down arrow and click Restore plan defaults.High PerformanceThis should help.

Solution 8 – Temporarily Disable Antivirus

Sometimes, the antivirus to offer real-time protection takes up a lot of disk usage. To ensure your antivirus is not behaving like this, temporarily disable it and see if this helps.

Solution 9 – Disable Windows Notifications

Some users said disabling Windows Notifications helped them fix high disk usage. Here’s what you need to do to disable notifications:

  • Press Windows + I > select System > Notifications & actions.
  • Uncheck the box next to Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.Disable Windows Notifications

Solution 10 -Disable StorAHCI.sys Driver

Sometimes AHCI PCIe (Advanced Host Controller Interface PCI-Express) can also cause the Windows 100 disk usage problem. To fix it, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + X > select Device Manager.
  • Double-click IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers > select Standard SATA AHCI Controller > right-click select  Properties.
  • Click the Driver tab > click Driver Details. Here, see if you can find storahci.sys file.
  • If you see the file, close the Driver Details window and click the Details tab >  select Device Instance Path by clicking the down arrow under Property. Copy the file that starts with VEN.
  • Close the window.
  • Press Windows + R, and in the Run window, type regedit and press the Enter key.
  • Go to : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI\Device Parameters\Interrupt Management\MessageSignaledInterruptProperties

It is the name you copied. It may differ on different machines.

  • Double-click the MSISupported key and change the value to 0.

Solution 11 -Disable SysMain & Telemetry Services

For some users disabling SysMain and Telemetry services worked to fix 100% disk usage issue. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  • Type services.msc and press OK.
  • Look for SysMain service on the list of services, right-click, and select Stop.
  • Once the service is stopped, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager and see if there are any changes in the disk usage. If yes, go back to the Service window > double click SysMain and set Startup to Disabled. If there is no change, return to the Services window and look for Connected User Experiences and Telemetry service.
  • Right-click it and click Stop.
  • Go back to Task Manager and see if this helps. If it does, then disable this service, as explained for Sysmain.

Solution 12 – Rebuild Search Index

Windows search index makes finding files and email messages quick. However, when it malfunctions, it can cause 100% disk usage. To fix it, rebuild the search index.

  • Press Windows + S and type indexing.
  • Select the best search result.
  • Click the Advanced button under the Indexing Options window.
  • Click the Rebuild button > OK to confirm the action. This will initiate the rebuilding process. Wait for it to complete and see if it helps.

Solution 13 – Disable Hibernation

Turning off hibernation also helps fix 100% disk usage.

  • Run elevated Command Prompt.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and press Enter:
     powercfg hibernate off 
  • Let the command run. Open Task Manager to see if this helps.

Solution 134 – Clean Boot Windows 11

Sometimes, when problematic applications or services run in the background, you can face 100% disk usage issues. To fix it, perform Clean Boot and find the problematic application.

Note- This is a time-consuming fix; hence, perform it when the system is idle and you have time.

  • Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  • Type msconfig and press the Enter key.msconfig command
  • Click Services tab > and check the box next to Hide all Microsoft services> and click Disable all.hide all service
  • Click the Startup tab > click Open Task Manager.Click Startup tab
  • Click the Startup tab and review the programs and services running.  Select the application that you believe might be causing high disk usage and click Disable.
    startup tab- task manager
  • Do this for each application you think might be causing problems.
  • Now go back to the System Configuration window and click OK.
  • Restart the PC and go to Task Manager. The 100% disk usage issue must now be fixed. If the disk usage remains at normal level, then the application and service you disabled were causing the issue. Uninstall them to avoid facing the problem in the future.

High Disk Usage? We have got you covered.

It is imperative to know what is causing your hard drive to run at 100% capacity to apply any of the above techniques except one. So, if you do not know the root cause of the error, it is better to go with an expert utility tool such as Advanced System Optimizer, as it is a complete optimization suite that can keep your computer healthy.

Hope this blog gives you a solid way to fix Windows 11 high disk usage. Feel free to share your experience and recommendations on their best technique in the comments section. That’s all for this one; catch you in the next one. Good Luck!


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About The Author

Dishank Sharma
Dishank Sharma

A creative tech-writer who loves to explore latest tech-trends & convey them to his readers in the simplest way possible. He loves to blend the crispness of technology with a pinch of creativity while curating best practices for the readers. In his free time, he likes to scribble poetry, listen to rap & travel.

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