How do I run Microsoft ScanDisk?

Hard driveTo run ScanDisk and check your hard drive for errors follow the steps below for your version of Windows. Before running scan disk on the computer, keep in mind that it can take several hours to complete depending on the size of your hard drives, and any errors that may exist with the drive.

Tip: Before running ScanDisk we suggest all open programs be closed to help prevent any data loss and prevent any problems during a scan. Windows 95, 98, and ME users may even want to boot the computer into Safe Mode before running ScanDisk.

Microsoft Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 users
Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista, and 7 users
Microsoft Windows 95 and 98 users
Microsoft Windows NT users
Microsoft Windows 3.x and MS-DOS users

Microsoft Windows 8, 8.1, and 10 users

To run Scandisk, we recommend following the steps below.

  1. Press Windows key + E on your keyboard to open File Explorer.
  2. In the File Explorer window, click on This PC in the left navigation pane.
  3. A list of drives is displayed on the right side of the window. Right-click on the drive you want to run Scandisk on and select Properties.
  4. In the Properties window, click on the Tools tab.
  5. Click the Check button in the Error Checking section.
  6. The computer needs to restart to run Scandisk without any interruptions.

Microsoft Windows XP, 2000, Vista, and 7 users

Keep in mind that these versions can be a networking operating system, and it's possible that the privileges to run Scandisk may have been revoked by the system administrator. To run Scandisk, we recommend you follow the recommend steps.

  1. Double-click My Computer.
  2. Highlight a local hard drive by clicking on it once.
  3. Right-click the highlighted local drive and select Properties.
  4. Click on the Tools tab and click Check Now to check the drive for errors.
  5. The computer needs to restart to run ScanDisk without getting interrupted.

Although not required we suggest having ScanDisk automatically find and fix any errors found.

Microsoft Windows 95 and 98 users

To run Scandisk from Windows 95 and 98, follow the steps below.

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click the Run option, type ScanDisk in the Run box, then press Enter.
  3. Within the Scandisk window, select the drive that you want to be checked.
  4. Choose the Standard or Thorough option. It is recommended you run a Standard scan first. If you encounter issues with ScanDisk using the Standard scan, run the Thorough scan instead.
  5. Finally, click start to begin Scandisk.

Note: Windows 95 OSR2 and Windows 98 run Scandisk automatically if the computer is shutdown improperly. They do this to check if the hard drive encountered issues when the computer was improperly shutdown.

Microsoft Windows NT users

Windows NT is not shipped with Scandisk. However, various third-party companies offer utilities that can scan and check your hard drive for issues like Scandisk does. Symantec is a well-respected computer company and offers such a program.

Microsoft Windows 3.x and MS-DOS users

Scandisk was first available in MS-DOS 6.2 and has been available ever since. If you are running MS-DOS 6.2 or 6.22 and would like to run Scandisk, follow the steps below.

  1. If you are in Windows 3.x, click File and then Exit to get to the MS-DOS prompt.
  2. From MS-DOS, type CD\DOS and press Enter.
  3. From the C:\DOS> prompt, type Scandisk and press Enter. Scandisk should begin running on the computer.

Finally, some computer manufacturers have changed the installation directory of where Scandisk is located. If you are unable to run Scandisk from the DOS directory, go to the Windows directory by typing CD\Windows.

Additional information and other options available for running Scandisk from the command prompt can be found on our Scandisk command page.

Additional information