Disk Usage

What is Disk Usage?

Disk usage, or used space, refers to the percentage of the space currently being used or the overall used space of a drive.

Understanding Disk Usage

What is Disk Usage

Disk usage typically refers to the space usage of the Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) in a computer.

However, it is also used for external storage devices such as Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drives and Compact Discs (CDs), or even Solid State Drives (SSDs).

It is a decisive metric for any computing system because it provides crucial information for a lot of different and vital aspects of the computer operation and its performance, such as:

A constant high disk usage means that your hard drive has to overwork, and often continuously. This can cause a lot of issues and consequences, such as:

Therefore, it is important that you know about your disk usage and keep a check on it.

Normally, disk usage is measured in different units, such as:

You can detect it easily and quickly by following these steps:

It will show your disk usage. If you find it is high, it may be due to overloading it with several programs.

There are also quite a few significant symptoms that indicate high disk usage such as:

There are lots of ways to ensure your hard drive does not reach the 100% usage mark, as you will come to know in the later sections of this article.

How to Clear Disk Usage on Your PC?

The best ways to clear disk usage are to clean it, delete unnecessary files, move files to another drive, uninstall apps that are not used, and more.

However, following a proper process for all will help a lot to clear disk usage on your computer. Here they are all summarized for you.

Check the existing space by:

Use Disk Cleanup by:

Read Also:  What is Drive? (Explained)

Uninstall unnecessary apps by:

Uninstall unnecessary Windows Store apps from the user account by:

Delete or archive less-used files to removable media, such as an USB drive, external drive, DVD, or cloud storage by:

Reduce the WinSxS folder (C:\Windows\WinSxS) in the Windows folder by:

Make OneDrive files online-only using the OneDrive app by:

You can also use File Explorer for the same by:

Move OneDrive files to a particular folder on a removable drive by:

Also, using different removable storage options such as Secure Digital (SD) cards, CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, or cloud storage will also free up the hard drive space and improve disk usage.

How to Increase Disk Usage?

You can improve disk usage by keeping things in check and ensuring that it does not amass too much clutter.

Therefore, you should scan your hard drive and keep it clean, partition and defrag it, convert to NTFS from Fat 32, upgrade your operating systems, disable and enable a few features.

The performance of a hard drive falls due to several reasons such as:

To reduce these and improve disk usage, you can try the following:

Delete temporary files

These files that take up a lot of hard drive space can be cleaned in the following ways:

Scan the hard drive

You can find the bad sectors in your hard drive by scanning by following these steps:


These following steps are to be followed to defrag your hard drive to remove the file fragments and enhance disk usage:

Read Also:  What is High-Level Formatting? (Explained)

Enable write caching

To make the cache perform faster, enable write caching by following these steps:

Partition the hard drive

More partitions on a hard drive will make it more organized and improve disk usage. These steps will help with partitioning your hard drive:


Upgrading an older hard drive with a new one can boost disk usage but you will also have to maintain it on a regular basis. A few simple ways to do so are:

Does Disk Usage Affect Computer Speed?

Yes, disk usage affects the overall performance and speed of the system. If the disk usage value is very high and constant, it will slow down your computer.

You may even get error messages like “System not responding.” So, **y****ou should keep a check on the disk usage and fix it as soon as possible to improve the performance of the system and prevent it from crashing at a severe stage.**

Typically, whether it is Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or a Solid State Drive (SSD), high disk usage will influence the performance of the computer system overall.

Yes, the drive may not have a direct effect on the download speed, but the way your drive is being used while downloading surely can.

It can slow things down, especially if you are multitasking, such as using other programs or transferring files during the download.

This is because the hard drive has to do too many things at the same time.

Does More RAM Improve Disk Usage?

Yes, increasing the amount of RAM in your computer will improve disk usage, though it may not really decrease it.

However, it is good to have anything between 4 GB and 8 GB of RAM in a computer, especially in laptops, for improved disk usage.

What actually happens in a computer is that the programs take the necessary data from the hard drive for processing and, after processing, stores them in the RAM.

Now, to process more data, it needs to take new data from the drive but cannot store them in the RAM because it is already full with earlier processed data.

Therefore, it has to delete some of them from the amount of RAM you have in your computer system to free up some space, and then collect it from the hard drive. This additional work reduces the performance speed and output.

Moreover, most computer systems come with a 5400 RPM hard drive.

This means that it will be used excessively every time you run a heavy program on your system or copy-paste some operations for large files, along with a few other applications running in the background.

Adding more RAM to your system will reduce disk usage and even make your computer faster. Buying a 7200 RPM external HDD or SSD will be more beneficial in that regard.

Read Also:  SSD and HDD Storage: 6 Differences

Is 100% Disk Usage Normal While Gaming?

Yes, when you play games on your computer, it is quite normal for the hard drive to be used at 100%, especially at the time of loading a large game that requires a lot of resources initially as well as while changing the level.

It is designed to happen that way, and therefore there is nothing to worry about.

However, once again, things should not happen that way for a long time, say for hours.

If that is the case, then there are surely some problems in the hard drive. It may get corrupted or even die due to heat-related issues and other factors.

If the hard disk is used to its maximum capacity for a long time, there will be no room left for storing additional data.

This will result in slower performance of the computer system, and may also cause the game to freeze, stutter, or crash.

When you see high usage of the Hard Disk Drive while playing games on your computer, you may try a few different things to keep things to normal. These are:

If the problem still persists, consider consulting a qualified technician to get things rectified and back to normal.

Why is Your Disc Usage 100%?

Disk usage can reach 100% when you run a lot of applications and programs on your computer at the same time.

It also increases when you save more information and data on the drive.

Also, fragmented files, older hard drives, existence of bugs and malware in your system, older operating systems may also cause high disk usage.

What Disk Usage is Normal?

Normally, 10% disk usage is preferable in any given situation.

However, at times it may go up to 100% or close to it, depending on the application or program, but that should be for a few seconds or a couple of minutes.

Usually, settling down to 10% is reasonable. If it does not, then rest assured that something else is going on in your hard drive, which is certainly not right.


As you can see, disk usage is a very important aspect to look into if you want your hard drive to function properly and last long.

High usage of the hard drive will not only damage the drive but will also affect the overall performance of the computer.

Thanks to this article, now you know how to keep things in check.