How do I check my hard drive usage time?

Checking your hard drive usage time is an important part of maintaining your computer’s performance. Knowing how much time your hard drive has been used for can help identify potential issues before they become bigger problems. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk through the various methods you can use to check your hard drive usage time in Windows 10.

Use Task Manager to View Hard Drive Active Time

The easiest way to see your hard drive’s active time is through the Task Manager in Windows 10. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard.
  2. Go to the Performance tab.
  3. Under the CPU section, expand the Storage graph.
  4. You will now see each of your hard drives listed with the active time displayed.

This will show you how long your hard drive has been in active use since you booted up your PC. The active time will continue accumulating until you shut down your computer. While quick and convenient, this method only shows you the active time for your current session.

Check Total Usage Time in the System Information

To see your hard drive’s total usage time since it was first installed, you’ll need to view the system information:

  1. Type “System Information” into the Windows search bar and open the System Information app.
  2. Expand the Storage category in the left pane.
  3. Select one of your hard drives listed on the right side.
  4. In the hard drive properties, look for the “Power On Hours” or “Power On Time” value.

This measurement displays the total number of hours your hard drive has been powered on and in use. Now you can see how heavily your hard drive has been utilized since you first installed it.

Use Third-Party Tools for More Detailed Usage Stats

While the built-in Windows tools provide basic usage time values, third-party utilities can give you much more detailed statistics. Here are some top options:


CrystalDiskInfo is a free hard drive monitoring program that shows not only power on hours, but also start/stop count, lifespan percentage based on manufacturer specs, and more. It provides comprehensive usage and health stats for your drive.

Hard Disk Sentinel

Hard Disk Sentinel is an advanced drive monitoring tool available in free and paid versions. The hard disk usage statistics include power on time, operating time, average data transfer rate, total host reads/writes, and total sectors read/written. This gives you extensive insight into your drive’s usage.


As the name suggests, SSDlife is tailored for solid state drives. It shows total lifetime writes, remaining endurance, power on hours, wear level count, and estimated remaining lifetime based on your SSD’s usage pattern. The Pro version includes drive health monitoring and alerts.

By using these kinds of advanced tools, you can closely track various usage metrics to see how heavily your hard drive has been utilized and predict when a replacement may be needed.

Check Usage Trends with Monitoring Software

In addition to viewing cumulative usage time, monitoring software lets you see ongoing trends. Two good options are:

Resource Monitor

Windows’ built-in Resource Monitor tool allows you to track real-time disk activity. You can see current disk queue length, read and write speeds, and more. By observing these metrics over time, you can identify abnormal usage patterns.

MSI Afterburner

Designed mainly for graphics card monitoring, MSI Afterburner also tracks hard disk usage. You can see live read and write speeds graphed over time. Long term logging allows you to save the data to file and analyze usage trends.

By regularly checking usage times and activity with these tools, you can spot potential problems before they turn into outright disk failures. Know your drive health and keep performance smooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I check my hard drive usage time?

Monitoring your hard drive usage time helps you identify potential issues early on and gives insight into the overall health of your drive. High usage times, combined with other signs like slow performance, could indicate a failing drive that needs to be replaced.

How often should I check my hard drive usage?

It’s a good idea to periodically check usage metrics like power on hours every few weeks or months. For more frequent monitoring, use system utilities that show live usage activity and can log long-term trends. Usage spikes or abrupt changes in trends may signify developing problems.

What usage time is considered high for a hard drive?

There is no definitive threshold, as it depends on the specific drive model and your usage patterns. Most consumer hard drives are rated for around 3-5 years of service life. For a heavily used drive, power on hours exceeding 30,000-40,000 could indicate wear and the potential for failure.

Can hard drive usage time be reset or altered?

The total accumulated usage metrics like power on hours are hardware-based values that cannot be manually reset or changed through software. The only way to reset them is to replace the hard drive. Metrics may not always be perfectly accurate, but still provide a good general indication of usage.

What other performance metrics should I monitor along with usage time?

In addition to usage time, keep an eye on vital signs like current disk queue length, read/write speeds, bad sector counts, reallocated sector counts, and overall drive health self-assessments many tools provide. Usage time combined with these metrics gives a complete drive health picture.


Checking your hard drive usage time is easy using built-in Windows tools like Task Manager and System Information. For more detailed and ongoing stats, utilize advanced third-party utilities like CrystalDiskInfo, SSDlife and Hard Disk Sentinel. Monitor usage trends over time to spot abnormal activity and prevent failures before it’s too late. Keeping tabs on your drive usage and health helps ensure many more years of reliable service.