Slow Performance? Check Your Disk Usage This performance issue is most obvious when attempting to use Search (Windows key + Q) to find a file or program, and anything else that requires the drive to do some work (perhaps copying and pasting a group of files).
To establish whether it is a problem that is affecting you, when your computer next slows down press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select Task Manager. (Alternatively, right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager.) Note that this may take some time to open with the drive being slow.
On the first tab, Processes, look for the Disk column. If you’re having problems with drive performance, this should be at 100%, and colored red to indicate whether you have a problem or not.
Once you’ve found there is a problem, you have several options available.
Check Your Anti-Virus Software As with any such performance issue, the first thing to do is confirm that your computer hasn’t been infected with malware. Your security software should be able to deal with this, whether it’s a free app or a paid suite. At the very least, tools such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware should be able to scan your system drive and detect any problems, although with a heavy load on your drive already this may take a while.
If threats are found, use the software’s recommendations to discard them, and reboot, before checking your drive performance further. Hopefully you’ve resolved the issue; if not, then malware wasn’t to blame, so read on.
Disable Windows Search for Improved Disk Performance The next thing to check is whether the problem is to do with Windows Search. A bug in Windows 8 and 10 results in a sort of “search loop” that results in an increased load on the system drive.
To stop this, and prevent it from happening during your current session (until Windows is rebooted) open the Command Prompt (the quickest way is by right-clicking the Start button and selecting Command Prompt (Admin)) and enter the following:
net.exe stop “Windows search”
To permanently disable Windows Search or Indexing, press Windows + R, enter services.exe, and hit Enter. In the Services window that opens find the Windows Search entry and double-click it to open the Windows Search Properties window. Under Startup type, select Disabled. Here you can click Stop to abort the service. Click OK to save your changes.
You can also control which folders Windows Search indexes, which we’ve demonstrated previously.
A few moments after disabling Windows Search, your Windows 8.x or Windows 10 performance should improve considerably. If not, move on…
Disable Superfetch ServiceFor some reason, the superfetch service has been identified as a potential cause of these disk performance issues in Windows 8.x and Windows 10. To deal with this, open another Command Prompt (or if you’ve still got the earlier box open, use that) and enter:
net.exe stop superfetch
Again, wait a few moments to check whether this has had any effect on your computer’s performance. You should also run Check Disk in a Command Prompt:
chkdsk.exe /f /r
You’ll be informed that your PC must be rebooted for Check Disk to complete, so make sure you have closed all of your applications first.
If this doesn’t work, it is likely that you’re experiencing an iteration of this issue that is frustrating to realize, but simple to resolve.