Storage health monitor

How to check drive health on Windows 10

Windows 10 drive health feature can let you know if a hard drive is at risk of failure to protect your data, and here's how to use it.

Windows 10 drive health failure warning

Windows 10 has a storage health monitoring feature that can detect hardware problems on hard drives and notify you ahead of time to give you enough time to backup your data, and in this guide, you’ll learn how to use it.

The feature is available starting with Windows 10 build 20226, and it’s part of the Manage Disks and Volumes settings page for Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) Solid-State Drives (SSDs). If a possible hardware problem is detected on the drive, you’ll get a toast notification letting you know that “a storage device may be at risk of failure and requires your attention,” which you can click to access more details about the problem.

If you missed the notification, and the drive performance is degrading or acting up, and you want to check its health, you’ll have to access the details manually through the Settings app.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to check the drive health without the need of third-party software on Windows 10.

Check drive health with Manage Disk and Volumes on Windows 10

To check the health of an NVMe SSD to determine if it’s a the risk of failure, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Storage.

  4. Under the “Manage storage settings” section, click the Manage Disks and Volumes option.

    Manage Disks and Volumes option
    Manage Disks and Volumes option
  5. Select the drive you want to check for hardware problems.

  6. Click the Properties button.

    Hard drive properties button
    Hard drive properties button
  7. Under the “Drive health” section, confirm if the drive is at risk of failure.

    Windows 10 drive health / source: Microsoft
    Windows 10 drive health / source: Microsoft

Once you complete the steps, if there’s a hardware problem, you’ll see a warning message, such as “reliability is degraded Back up your data in case of drive failure.” Along with the warning, you also get estimated remaining file, available space, and temperature information.

If you get a risk of failure warning for a hard drive, it’s strongly recommended to backup the data immediately, because the chances of failure are very high.

You can also click the “Back up now” option to access the backup settings to take the files off the drive by uploading them to OneDrive or using File History. However, you can use other tools, such as the System Image Backup tool or third-party software to backup the data, such as Macrium Reflect or Clonezilla to clone the data to a new drive on Windows 10.

If you don’t see the drive health information, it’s likely that you don’t have a supported drive (currently only NVMe SSDs are supported), or you’re not running the version of Windows 10 that includes this feature. At the time of this writing, the feature is available with build 20226 and higher releases.