What Can I Do If My Photoshop Scratch Disk is Full?

What Can I Do If My Photoshop Scratch Disk is Full?

Hey there! Have you ever come across the frustrating message in Adobe Photoshop that says “Scratch Disk Full”? I know how annoying it can be when you’re in the middle of working on a project and this error pops up. It can really throw a wrench in the creative process. But fear not! I have some tips and tricks for you to deal with this issue.

First off, let’s understand what a scratch disk is. In simple terms, it’s a storage space that Photoshop uses to temporarily store data when your computer’s RAM is not enough. It acts as a safety net to prevent your system from crashing due to lack of memory.

Now, when your scratch disk is full, it means that Photoshop can’t store any more data because the allocated space is all used up. But don’t worry, I’ve got a few solutions for you.

One option is to clear some space on your scratch disk. You can do this by deleting unnecessary files or transferring them to another storage device. By freeing up some space, you’re allowing Photoshop to breathe a little easier and avoid that pesky “Scratch Disk Full” error.

Another solution is to change the location of your scratch disk. Photoshop allows you to select multiple scratch disks, so you can choose a different drive with more storage space. To do this, simply go to Photoshop’s Preferences, select “Scratch Disks,” and choose a different drive as your primary or secondary scratch disk.

If clearing space or changing the scratch disk location doesn’t work for you, you can also try resizing the scratch disk. Photoshop gives you the option to adjust the amount of space allocated for your scratch disk. By increasing the size, you’re giving Photoshop more room to work with. Just be aware that this might affect the available space on your hard drive, so make sure you have enough free space before doing this.

Lastly, you can consider upgrading your computer’s RAM. More RAM means that your computer will rely less on the scratch disk, as it will have more memory to work with. While this might be a more expensive solution, it can greatly improve the performance of Photoshop and prevent the “Scratch Disk Full” error from happening so frequently.

In conclusion, a full scratch disk can be a real buzzkill when you’re using Photoshop. But with these tips in your arsenal, you can tackle this issue head-on and get back to creating without any interruptions. So don’t let a full scratch disk get in the way of your artistic endeavors. Keep calm, follow these steps, and let your creativity flow!

Hey there, let’s talk about the scratch disk in Photoshop. It’s like a temporary hard drive that Photoshop uses when it needs extra space to work. It’s kind of like a backup plan for when your computer’s memory isn’t enough to handle what you’re doing.

Now, when you see that pesky “Photoshop scratch disk full” error, it means you’re running into some trouble. Don’t worry though, there are a few things you can try to fix it. This error won’t just magically disappear, you’ve got to take action and get things back on track so you can get back to creating your awesome Photoshop masterpieces.

Setting Up Scratch Disks

If you only have one partition on your computer, that’s where your scratch disk is set up (pretty straightforward, right?). But if you have multiple partitions, Photoshop will default to the drive where your operating system is installed.

The good news is, you can easily change the location of your scratch disk and even set up additional locations to improve performance. Just head over to the “Edit” tab in Photoshop, click on “Preferences”, and then select “Scratch Disks”. If you’re on a Mac, you can find it under the “Photoshop CC Menu” and then “Preferences” and “Scratch Disks”.

Now, if you’re a serious Photoshop user and want to avoid this issue altogether, you might want to consider creating a whole partition on your hard drive just for your scratch disk. This way, you can make sure it’s the fastest drive on your computer and really optimize your Photoshop experience.

Oh, and a little side note – try not to use your main Windows drive as your scratch disk. It’s best to keep your edits on a different drive altogether, and avoid using network drives or removable drives as scratch disks. It just helps everything run smoother and prevents any potential hiccups along the way.

Free Up Disk Space

When you see this error message, the easiest thing to do is to clear some disk space. Go to the partition where your scratch disk is located and start deleting files that you don’t need. Start with the big ones, like movies, TV shows, and video games. This will free up space on the scratch disk and fix the error.

Delete Temporary Files

No one likes it when their apps crash. If you forget to save your work regularly, a crash can destroy hours of hard work. But with Photoshop, it’s even more serious. When Photoshop crashes or is shut down improperly, your scratch disk gets filled up with temporary files.

Normally, Photoshop deletes these temporary files automatically when it shuts down correctly. But if the shutdown process is interrupted or fails, the temp files can stay on the scratch disk, taking up unnecessary space. This can cause the “Photoshop scratch disk full” error to appear. Luckily, you can manually delete these temporary files on both Windows and Mac.

Simply go to the location of the temp files (the scratch disk) and look for files with names like ~PST####.tmp or Temp####, depending on whether you’re using Windows or Mac. The #### are numbers in this case. Don’t worry, these temp files are safe to delete manually, and it will give your scratch disk some breathing room.

Defragment Your Hard Disk

If there’s plenty of free space on the scratch disk partition and you’re still getting the “Photoshop scratch disk full” error, your hard disk may be too fragmented to function properly as a scratch disk. Remember, the scratch disk is meant to act as virtual memory and replace your RAM when needed, but it can’t do this if your disk is fragmented.

In this situation, it might be a good idea to defragment your disk. Keep in mind that defragmenting will erase all the files on that partition or disk, so make sure you have everything important backed up first. That’s why it’s generally recommended to use a separate hard drive for your Photoshop needs.

Change Scratch Disks

You can choose which disk you want to use as your scratch disk in the Photoshop Preferences menu. From the list of drives on your computer, select the one you want to designate as the scratch disk. On Mac, use the shortcut Command + Option, and on PC, use Ctrl + Alt.


Sometimes, when you try to crop an image, you might encounter the “Photoshop scratch disk full” error. But don’t worry, this is usually due to a simple mistake. It usually happens when you enter the wrong size or resolution values in the options bar of the crop tool, such as using inches instead of pixels.

For example, if you input inches instead of pixels for a size like 1680×1050, Photoshop will create a huge file, causing the “Photoshop scratch disk full” error. The solution here is to press “Clear” in the options after selecting the crop tool. Just make sure to do this before making your crop.

Managing the Scratch Disk

There are several solutions that can help with the “Photoshop scratch disk full” error. Make sure you’ve chosen the right location for your scratch disk and ensure that your hard disk is not fragmented. And be careful when cropping!

How have you dealt with this error? Which of these tips did you find most helpful? Feel free to join the discussion in the comments section below.

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