How to Fix vssvc.exe high disk usage and what is vssvc.exe

Vssvc.exe is a process that keeps appearing on the Task Manager at regular intervals while consuming a substantial amount of CPU. As you place the cursor on the process, you will see “Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service“. The process is mostly disabled and starts with predefined events, so that, it can make a copy of your hard drive based on the number of disks in your system.


What is VSS?


Microsoft states it as a collection of COM interfaces that adds a structure to let the volume backups to take place while the the computer applications keep on writing on the hard disk. In short, the process continues to backup your data even when the hard drive is in use.


Hard Disk Backup Vs Hard Disk Image?


Just like you create a backup of your photos, videos, files, documents, etc., using different tools, hard disk also backs up your files and data on your system using different tools and with the aim to create and save the latest copies of the important files and data.

But, creating an image of your system drive or a different hard disk means, it can be used when the operating system gets damaged or goes corrupt. This will help you save your time and effort, in case, your PC crashes and you have to set up and install all the applications which were being previously used on your computer all over again, enter License keys, download software, etc. Having a hard disk image can save all that hassle by simply allowing you to boot from the image and restore the hard drive to the previous state when it was functioning properly.


What is the Purpose of the VSS Service


Just like the Previous Versions tab in a folder Properties window that helps restore folder settings or the contents, or the System Restore option that helps restore your PC to a previous working state, VSS service also creates an image of the system drive and any other drives in your system. It takes a single snapshot of the NTFS-based drives, and different snapshots for other types and models of drives. These images are then saved in a safe location in your system featuring a time stamp and an exclusive ID on the header file.


What’s the Method by Which VSS Creates an Image


VSS uses three different methods to generate an image and the entire process completes in just a minute:


Freeze – The Hard Drive which is being backed up, slips into a read-only state for some time to ensure that nothing can be written on the drive till the backup process is on.

Snap – It then pictures the drive with guidelines that are required to rebuild the image in the future.

Unfreeze – The Hard Drive is free of read-only state and data can be written on it now. However since, as per the VSS, you can keep using the hard drive while the back up is generated, the data can be saved till the time the drive is prepared for the data to be written once again.


What Are the Features of VSS


VSS or the Volume Shadow Copy comes with two features:


  1. It works alongside other applications and doesn’t mess with them while the backup image is being created.
  2. It offers an API specially for 3rd party software/applications to help create an image and rebuild a volume, when required, from the images stored recently.


Should You Turn Off the VSS


No, you should not. According to Microsoft and real-time observation, VSS does not really use up a lot of your CPU and system memory, and is rather useful for the user. It creates a back up for your system drive and thus, works as a big rescue for your PC when something goes wrong. If you disable the VSS service, it may stop some applications from restoring data from a previous version or restore point if need arises.


How to Fix Vssvc.exe High Disk Usage Issue


When the VSS service is stopped, the Volume Shadow copies that are used for backup go missing and the backup process may collapse. If the service is turned off, any of the services that’s based on VSS will stop working as well. So, basically, stopping the service may interrupt the backup process thus, forcing some applications to stop working. While the service does not use up much system resources, you may sometimes experience vssvc.exe high disk usage issue. Let’s see how to fix it.


Solution 1: Disable and Re-enable System Restore


Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Run to open the Run command.


Start Right Click Run


Step 2: In the Run command window, type systempropertiesprotection in the search box and hit Enter.


Run Command Systempropertiesprotection Enter


Step 3: It opens the System Properties window.

Under the System Protection tab, click on the Configure button.


System Properties System Protection Configure


Step 4: Next, under Restore Settings, select the radio button next to Disable system protection.

Press Apply and then OK to save changes and exit.


System Prortection For New Volume Restore Settings Disable System Protection Apply Ok


Step 5: Now, restart your system and then repeat the process from Step 1 to Step 3.

Now, under Restore Settings, select the radio button next to Turn on system protection.

Press Apply and then OK to save the changes and exit.


System Prortection For New Volume Restore Settings Turn On System Protection Apply Ok

Now, the system restore is enabled back again. Once you are done enabling the System Restore,

make sure that you immediately reateGo back to Task Manager and you should see that the vssvc.exe is not consuming high CPU anymore.


Solution 2: Stop Service and Start it Again


Step 1: Press the Win + R keys together on your keyboard to open the Run command window.

Step 2: Write services.msc in the Run command search box and hit Enter to open the Service manager.


Run Command Services.msc Enter


Step 3: In the Services window, go to the right side of the pane and under the Names column, find Volume Shadow Copy.

Double-click on it to open its Properties dialogue box.


Services Name Volume Shadow Copy


Step 4: In the Properties window, under the General tab, go to the Service status section and click on Stop.

Now, click on Start again. Press OK to save changes and exit.


Volume Shadow Copy Properties Service Status Stop


*Note – Alternatively you can also right-click on the service and select Restart to start the service again.


Services Name Volume Shadow Copy Right Click Restart


This should restart the VSS service and it should not consume much CPU and memory anymore.


Solution 3: End Task from Task Manager


Step 1: Right-click on Start and click on Run.


Start Right Click Run


Step 2: It opens the Run command window. Type Taskmgr in the search field and press OK to open the Task Manager.


Run Command Taskmgr Enter


Step 3: In the Task Manager window, under the Processes tab, find the Volume Shadow Copy process.

Right-click on it and select End task.


Task Manager Processes Vss Right Click End Task



Solution 4: Perform a System File Checker Scan


Step 1: Press the Win + X keys together on your keyboard and select Run.


Win + X Run


Step 2: In the Run command window that opens, write cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt in admin mode.


Run Command Cmd Ctrl + Shift + Enter


Step 3: In the Command Prompt (admin) window, run the below command and hit Enter:


sfc / scannow


Command Prompt (admin) Run Command Sfc Scannow Enter


It takes a while to scan and repair the errors, so wait patiently, till it completes the scan.

Once done, restart your PC and check in the Task Manager. The issue should bbe resolved now.


Solution 5: Run Performance Troubleshooter in Command Prompt


Step 1: Press the Win + R hotkey on your keyboard to open the Run command.

Step 2: In the Run command window, type cmd. Then hold the Ctrl _ Shift + Enter keys on your keyboard. This will open the Command Prompt window in elevated mode.


Run Command Cmd Ctrl + Shift + Enter


Step 3: Execute the below command in the Command Prompt (admin) window and press Enter:


msdt.exe /id PerformanceDiagnostic


Command Prompt (admin) Run Command For Performance Diagnostics Enter


This will help you to change settings to boost the operating system speed and performance.


However, if none of the above method works, you may try refreshing the Windows tool to reset the Windows 10 OS.

How to Refresh Windows 11

Step 1: Press the Win + I keys together on your keyboard to open the Settings window.

Step 2: In the Settings window, click on Windows Update from the left menu.

Step 3 – Click on Recovery

System Recovery Min


Step 3 – Now, Click on Reset PC.

Reset Pc Min


How to Refresh Windows 10


Step 1: Press the Win + I keys together on your keyboard to open the Settings window.

Step 2: In the Settings window, click on Update & Security.


Settings Update & Security


Step 2: Next, on the left side of the pane, click on Recovery.

Now, go to the right side of the pane, scroll down and under the More recovery options section, click on the Learn how to start afresh with a clean installation of Windows link.


Recovery More Recovery Options Learn How To Start Afresh With A Clean Installation Of Windows


It will guide on how to refresh the Windows 10 Tool which is a lot similar to creating a Windows Media Creation Tool.

If your system runs the most current Insider version and the Windows 10 Anniversary update, you can download the Refresh Windows Tool from the official Microsoft link here.

1 thought on “How to Fix vssvc.exe high disk usage and what is vssvc.exe”

  1. Hi Madhuparna:
    Nice article. My snap volume shadow crashed due to low hard drive space and released more than 80GB of free space…Is this possible? I thought that by default only 5% of my hard drive could be used for copies…(I did not change the default btw)
    Thank you for any info you would have!

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