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P: Photoshop won't open because scratch disks are full

New Here ,
Jan 19, 2018 Jan 19, 2018

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I am running Photoshop CC on my MacBook Air with macOS Sierra. Every time I attempt to open Photoshop through any means, the following message appears: "Could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full", and Photoshop does not open. I tried clearing space from my Mac in general including several GB worth of apps and removing several cache files, but nothing seems to work. I also tried holding down the command and option keys to reveal the Scratch Disk Preferences, and it lets me select the Startup and MacIntosh HD. Again, nothing worked. Anyone know how to fix this message, and/or clear scratch disk space?Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.36.51 PM.png

 

{Moderator note: Edited the thread title}

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021
Hi all, We're sorry for the scratch disk issue. Take a look at the following troubleshooting article which can help you to resolve the "Scratch disk is full" error: Troubleshoot scratch disk full errors in Photoshop Please have a look and let us know if that helps. Thanks, Mohit

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New Here ,
Jan 17, 2020 Jan 17, 2020

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You can actually use thumb drives. But I can't get my USB 3 Kingston drive to be recognised. However I can get my Sandisk Cruzer force USB2 stick  to work and it's been a life saver with the latest Photoshop CC 2019. Noone recommends it but my macbook pro SD drive is full and this 256 Gb thumb drive has allowed me to work just fine without slowing everything down. Otherwise i get Scratch disks are full messages all the time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 17, 2020 Jan 17, 2020

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If your system drive really is that full, you should consider the PS message an early warning, and one you should take seriously. You may soon have much bigger problems than Photoshop. Your whole system may freeze.

 

Never allow a system drive to fill up beyond 70% or so.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 29, 2020 Sep 29, 2020

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I had the same problem, a Kingstone usb pendrive usb 3.0 128 GB.

Photoshop didn't recognize it as scratch disk disk. I fixed formatting the pendrive in journaled using Utility Disk (I have a Mac).

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New Here ,
Aug 03, 2019 Aug 03, 2019

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I've always wondered why PS won't let you use an external drive as a scratch disk, and I read somewhere on the PS forum it's because external drives are, of course, unplug-able, which would make a mess if PS was reading or writing to it. Correct ?

I have an unused 500G SSD that I use for different things, fast access slush storage, fast large file transfers between work and home computers, etc. I connect it to my computers with an Apricorn Easy Gig IV cable device that they provide with their disk cloning kit. Anyway, when I recently used it to transfer some large files, I noticed that Photoshop saw it as a BUILT IN DRIVE rather than an external drive and ALLOWED ME TO USE THE SSD as a scratch disk ! I partitioned the drive, and PS sees the different partitions. I have one for the scratch disk, one for file transfers, and one for Windows ReadyBoost. BTW I run Windows 10 on a late 2017 iMac 27. This device and the SSD work in both the USB3 and the Thunderbolt (with an adapter)

I suppose the cable device has a chip built into it that makes the operating system see it as an internal drive. It works well and I've has no problems with it. Just wanted to ask if anyone saw a problem with my accidental solution and make sure I wasn't gonna "break" anything. 

Thanks for your input.

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Aug 05, 2019 Aug 05, 2019

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Hi Dbphoto,

Photoshop uses this space to store portions of your documents and their history panel states that don’t fit in the RAM memory. Scratch files go into invisible OS-specified folders, except for non-boot volumes on Windows, at the root directory of the drive. When a non-boot drive is used as a scratch disk, the temporary files are placed in the drive’s root directory.

Please take a look art this article Set up scratch disks in Photoshop  and let us know if that helps

Thanks,

Akash

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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Hello, I am currently using photoshop on windows 10. I have a few A3 documents open with multiple layers and when I try to save them as a psd file or a pdf or a jpeg it says 'scratch disks are full'. I reeeaaally can't afford to lose this work. I have read that to delete temp files from the disk photoshop can't be open with files on it, so it wont let me do that either 😞 

Anyone know how I can clear scratch disk space without losing my work please?

 

Molliewhen i try save to hard drive this appearswhen i try save to hard drive this appearsperformanceperformancescratch diskscratch disk

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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Either save to a different hard drive or delete other files from your internal drive or both. If you only have one drive and its full, you REALLY need to get at least one additional drive or you will have system problems on top of losing data in photoshop.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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thanks for replying, when i try to save to my hard drive it comes up with a similar scratch disk full message. ill post a screenshot

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Guest
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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Hi

Do you have another disk that you can allocate as the scratch disk, how much free space do you actually have

clipboard_image_0.png

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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thanks for replying, I have added a screenshot

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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You can purge temp files with Photoshop open. Edit > Purge > All.

This might buy you enough space to allow the current file to be saved. Afterwards, you will want to clean up your drive so that you do not continually run into this problem.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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forgive me for sounding stupid, but what will purge do?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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While you are working, Photoshop saves temp files on the scratch disk. Purge will clear them out, potentially freeing up enough disk space to allow the saving process to occur.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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great, i will give it a go thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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LIFE SAVER, documents saved, now time to clean out the disk, thanks again!

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Guest
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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You only have 3.8 GB of Free space

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 20, 2019 Sep 20, 2019

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You need to buy an external hard drive pronto.

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New Here ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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Hi all.

 

I am trying to change the scratch disk to my external hard drive by going to preferences> Scratch disks etc but my External HD isn't showing as an option and it won't allow me to de-select the Mac HD option either. Even when I launch PS and press Command + option it doesn't show my external HD as an option.

 

I had to spend ages deleting a load of files from my HD in order to free up space, but I have an ext HD with tons of space so I would like to use that instead.

 

I'm using Photoshop CC 2020 - Macbook Pro Catalina v 10.15.2

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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Try restarting Photoshop while holding option and command (Mac) or CTRL and Alt (PC)

See if you can choose your drive.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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For windows, you can do this
Untitled-1.png

For Mac, I don’t know where the registry analog is, where you can specify the parameters for Photoshop.
 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 06, 2020 Jan 06, 2020

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Hi check following video hope it helps you ..... Regards

 

Fix! Scratch disks are full in photoshop 2021

Ali Sajjad

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New Here ,
Apr 23, 2020 Apr 23, 2020

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hey, i had the same problem - the external drive just won't show up in the list of possible scratch disks. what i found is that your external drive shouldn't be fat32 but os-x-extended, that's the reason. so you're left with two options: you either format your drive into mac's file system or give up. x

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Community Beginner ,
May 01, 2020 May 01, 2020

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Done and done.  Solved it for me right there ^^^.  Thank you.

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Adobe Employee ,
May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021

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Hi all,

 

We're sorry for the scratch disk issue. Take a look at the following troubleshooting article which can help you to resolve the "Scratch disk is full" error: Troubleshoot scratch disk full errors in Photoshop

 

Please have a look and let us know if that helps.

 

Thanks,

Mohit

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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HI,

 

I am running PS 2020 on a Windows 7 and I seemed unable to select my scratch disk from the edit> Preferences>Scratch Disk. I even tried to rename the PS settings folder in the user roaming profile and did a clt-alt keystroke before launching the program, but alas to no avail. 

 

Anyone has any suggestions?

 

Appreciate any help.

 

Thanks

newbie here 

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