Disk checking is a built-in Windows 11 functionality that automatically runs at system startup when Windows detects problems such as corrupted system files, file system errors, and more. It tries to fix the errors before booting so that you have a stable and performant system. While useful, if Windows is running the disk-checking utility at every startup, it can be a problem. After all, disk checking is a time-consuming process. Thankfully, you can disable disk check on Windows 11 if you don’t want it running automatically at startup. I will show three ways to do it. Follow the one you like. Let’s get started.
1. Run ‘chkntfs /x C:’ command to stop disk checking
Most don’t know this but, to run disk checking at startup, Windows schedules it beforehand while you are using your computer. So, to disable disk checking, all you have to do is cancel the scheduled disk check. You can do this using a single command. Here’s how.
First of all, open Terminal or Command Prompt from the Start menu with admin rights. You can search for either of them in the Start menu, right-click on the result, and choose Run as Administrator. In most cases, I recommend using Windows Terminal. If you opened Windows Terminal, select the Command Prompt option from the title bar’s dropdown menu. This will open a new Command Prompt tab inside the Terminal window.
chkntfs /x C: command in the Terminal window and press the Enter button. Here, “C:” is the drive letter. That means this command will disable disk check on your C drive. If the disk checking is happening on some other drive, “D:” for example, change the command to
chkntfs /x D:.
If you want to cancel disk checking on multiple drives at once, you can run the
chkntfs /x c: d: e: f: command. As you can see, all you have to do is enter all drive letters one after another with space separation.
Finally, close the Command Prompt or Terminal window. Disk check is disabled on Windows 11 and the system will not do it on the next reboot.
2. Check if the drive/partition is dirty
If you keep seeing disk checks every time Windows 11 starts up then that drive or partition might be dirty. i.e., there are corrupted system files or problems with the file system. When a drive is flagged as dirty, Windows tries to fix it by running a disk check at every startup until it is not dirty. To stop these checks, you can manually run a check from the Windows Recovery Environment. Here’s how.
Once you’re in Windows 11, open the Settings app (press Windows key + I), then go to “Windows Update” > “Advanced Options” > “Recovery,” and click “Restart Now.” Your computer will reboot and display Advanced Boot Options.
Click on the “Troubleshoot”> “Advanced Options” > “Command Prompt” option in the Advanced Options screen.
chkdsk C: /f /r command in the Command Prompt window. This command forces (/f) the system to perform a check and recovery (/r) of system files and the file system of the C drive. If you want to run it on another drive, change “C:” in the command with the drive letter of your choice, “D:” for example. The entire scan and recovery process will take time depending on the drive size and number of corrupted files. So, sit back and wait until it is complete.
Generally, when there are a lot of files to recover or extensive hard drive corruption, running the command a single time might not be enough. So, I recommend you run the above command a couple more times just to be sure.
After that, run the
fsutil dirty query c: command. It should say “Volume – C: is NOT Dirty” as the response. To run the command on another drive, change “C:” in the command to the drive letter of your choice, “D:” for example. If the command says the drive is dirty then you have to re-run the first command I give you.
chkntfs /x C: in the command window and press Enter to cancel any scheduled disk checking operation on Windows 11.
Finally, close the Command Prompt window and click on the Continue to Windows 11 option to reboot your computer normally.
3. Using Registry Editor
As an alternative, you can also stop Windows 11 disk checking from the Registry Editor. It is not as easy as the Command Prompt or terminal methods shown in the first section but it gets the job done if you don’t want or are hesitant to use command-line tools. Back up the registry and follow the steps:
First of all, open the Windows 11 Registry Editor by typing ‘regedit’ in the Run dialog (press Windows key + R) or searching for it in the Start menu.
Go to the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” > “SYSTEM” > “CurrentControlSet” > “Control” > “Session Manager” folder in the Registry Editor.
Here, double-click on the “BootExecute” multi-string value on the right panel of the registry window. Next, replace whatever is in it with
autocheck autochk * and click on the “OK” button. Finally, close the registry window by clicking on the X icon on the title bar.
As you can see, while the constant disk checking in Windows 11 can be a problem, it is pretty easy to disable it. You can either follow the Command Prompt or registry methods. Whatever method you choose, the disk check is disabled.
Do keep in mind that if Windows finds corrupted system files or hard drive sectors, it will run a disk check again. In that case, I recommend you follow the second method and make sure that the target drive is not dirty. If the drive is dirty even after multiple checks then there might be a physical problem with the hard disk (HDD or SSD). I recommend you use software such as Speccy or CrystalDiskInfo to check the hard disk health. If there is a problem with the HDD or SSD, you have to replace it with a new one as soon as possible to avoid data loss.
I hope this tutorial helped you in dealing with and stopping Windows 11 disk checks.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email or comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.