Photoshop is known to be one of the most powerful software programs that let you discover creativity to a different level. The application offers extensive features to users. Because of the vast range of features, it has to offer, the application is a heavy one. That being said, Photoshop deals with a lot of issues, mainly errors. 

One of the most common and most reported errors is “photoshop scratch disk full”. The error occurs when some users try to launch the application. But for the rest of the majority, the error code occurs when a user is attempting to finish a certain action in Photoshop application. 

Regardless of the timing, if you’re here then it means you’ve been facing the same issue. So, let’s get started with scratch disks are full!

Scratch Disk: What Causes The Error To Come Up!

Before you start to resolve the issue of photoshop scratch disk full mac, it is crucially important to get a brief idea of what the error scratch disks are full photoshop signifies.  Heres’ what photoshop scratch disk full windows mean and how can’t open photoshop scratch disk full mac triggers:

Adobe software programs are heavy. That means the software size is much bigger than any other common application. In order for it to run properly, sufficient space is needed in RAM. So, to store temporary data, Photoshop uses the hard drive as virtual memory. 

This hard drive is also known as the scratch disk. This disk is used to store many uncountable temp files. So, over the course of time, it gets accumulated. As a result, space decreases. So, if there is no space in RAM and the hard disk then it will prevent new files from being created. 

Now that you have an idea of what is happening, go through the fixes below!

What To Do When Scratch Disk Is Full In Photoshop? Here’s What To Do!

Go through the rest of the contents below on how to resolve the photoshop error of scratch disk being full:

Solution 1: Make Space In Disk

The major cause behind the error is less space in the disk. So, what happens, is that if there is no space in the disk, then it uses the scratch disk as the location to store the temp files. For that, you’d have to make free space in the partition. 

So to make changes, do the following steps: 

Launch the Photoshop software program from the Home screen. Then, on top, go to the option called “Edit”. Then from there, select the option called “Preferences”. Finally, go to the option called “Scratch Disks”. 

From the menu of Preferences, select the hard drive that acts like the scratch disk. Check how much space it has. Make sure there is a space of 40GB. If you come to find that there is less space, then remove the files that you do not wish to keep any longer. 

Solution 2: Remove Temp Files 

Most people end up closing the application forcefully. As a result, this generates temp files to be created. So the more you do it, the most temp files generate each time. But there is a way to get rid of them, easily as Photoshop files are named as PST. here’s how you can get rid of them:

Simply go to the C drive of the system from “This PC” or “My computer”. Then, in there, go to the “Users” directory. Then, go to the directory called “YourUser” Now finally, go to the option that says, “App Data”. 

Go to the “Temp” folder from the folder called “Local”. Select all the temp files and then hit the “Delete” button” on the keyboard. All the temp files will be removed successfully. Now open Photoshop and check if you get the same problem or not. 

Solution 3: Change Location Directory Of Scratch Disk

You can try changing the location of the scratch disk from the photoshop application itself. Here’s how to do it:

Launch the Photoshop software program from the start screen. Then press the Ctrl and the Alt key on the keyboard. Now, the scratch disk window will show up. Among the list of partitions, choose any other one apart from the current one. Then hit the “OK” button. 

Now the next time you open Photoshop, the directory of storing data will be from the newly selected partition. 

Solution 4: Allow More RAM In Photoshop

You can also allow Photoshop to use more space for RAM. Photoshop uses 60% of the RAM as a default function. But alternately, you can allow Photoshop to use more of the RAM. Here’s how you can do it:

The first thing to do is, launch the Photoshop application. Then, go to the option at the top called “Edit”. Then, from there, go to the option called “Preferences”. From there, go to the option called Performance. 

Then, you’ll see an option called Memory Usage. Glide the button in that option, so that you can increase the amount of space usage in RAM. However, keep in mind that you should not use more than 8-0&% of the space. Doing this will result in the system becoming much slower. 

Solution 5: Make Adjustments In Scratch Disk

So, could not initialize photoshop because the scratch disks are full? The default configuration of the Scratch disk does not trigger any issues. But you can still try tuning it. The default configuration of the scratch disk location is set to the C drive. But you can alter that using the following steps. 

Launch the Photoshop application and then go to the option at the top called “Edit”. Then from there, select the option called “Preferences”. In preferences, select the option called “Scratch disk”. 

Now, in the tab of Scratch Disk, select all three drives to serve them as the Scratch Disk. Once that is done, click on the “OK” button. 

Solution 6: Purge the Cache

If you’re working on something using multiple layers, or that involves a lot of actions of editing you’d be familiar with the option of undo. But this in return takes a lot of space in the disk. So in order to resolve that, purging cache is a viable option. But keep in mind by doing so, you’d lose all previous history of steps in the Undo option. Regardless, do the following steps:

From the current window session of Photoshop, go to the top panel and then click on the option called “Edit”. From the list of options, select the option called “Purge”. In the following box, select the option called “All”. 

Now you’ll get options for basic functions that you use in Photoshop. Select the option that you’d like to clear and then confirm the function by clicking on “Yes”. 

Solution 7: Disk Defragmentation Utility

Here’s an interesting fact that might make you wonder. You may get the “Scratch disk is full” even if there is space in the scratch disk. This happens because Photoshop needs space that is unfragmented. 

For this, you need to run a utility called “Disk Defragmentation”. 


Scratch Disk errors can be annoying. But then these solutions, mentioned above, done right, then you can easily resolve it!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I empty the scratch disk in Photoshop?

If you wish to completely clear scratch drive of past data, you’ll have to manually locate and remove the files. Once there, look for the file Photoshop Temp, followed by a series of numbers. This is the file that includes all of Photoshop’s temporary data when it starts up. To clear this file, delete it.

Why is my scratch disk full Photoshop?

Photoshop sets the primary scratch disc to the hard drive where the operating system is installed by default. When you get a ‘Scratch disc full’ error, it usually implies that the hard drive (or drives) you’re using as a scratch disc is (are) running out of storage capacity.