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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 PS-65057}

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

New Here , Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

This is super late, but for anyone else who runs into this issue...Similar thing happened to me. Do you make new files by pixel size or by inches? I usually go by pixels (ex: 2500x3000 or something like that), but I apparently I had accidentally switched to inches and it would only let me max the numbers to 1000. Went back to pixels and it all worked out!

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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 ,
Jul 26, 2021 Jul 26, 2021

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This helped! Thank you.--
Mindy McQueen, Guest Teacher
[Moderator deleted private information. Please do not post private information like e-mails and phone numbers]
Texas Certified
Prefer afternoons or Fridays

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Participant ,
Jul 31, 2022 Jul 31, 2022

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Photoshop will not recognize my LaCie 5TB external drive...it won't even see it!

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2020 Feb 03, 2020

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I've read every post on scratch discs, so don't refer me to one of those posts, I've googled everything, I've been on hold with Adobe customer support for 25 minutes.  I can't change the location of my scratch disc, nothing works, I need an actual person to help walk me through this.  I'm doing step by step everything every blog says to do, it won't work.  I'm paying a ton of money for this program that has been nothing but a nightmare from day one.  I have to use it because my photogrophy class requires it.  This so seriously shouldn't be this hard. I've used free apps on my phone that work better than this.  I need some actual help.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2020 Feb 03, 2020

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The devil is in the details.  Tell us about your computer system.

  1. Which operating system build #?
  2. How many hard drives do you have and what type are they?
  3. Which version of Photoshop?
  4. Do you have administrative rights to change settings on your computer?

 

Scratch disks cannot be

  • Network drives
  • Thumb drives
  • Any USB-2 drive

 

 

 

Nancy O'Shea, Product User & Community Expert
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Valorous Hero ,
Feb 03, 2020 Feb 03, 2020

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2020 Feb 03, 2020

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I don't know which tutorial you're following but this is the official Adobe help article for your  reference.

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/scratch-disks-preferences.html

 

Nancy O'Shea, Product User & Community Expert
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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New Here ,
Apr 09, 2020 Apr 09, 2020

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I have tried two different external disks.  Both are formatted as Mac OS Extended journaled.  Any ideas what could be

wrong?

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Apr 10, 2020 Apr 10, 2020

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Hi there,

 

Sorry that Photoshop is not recognizing your external drive as a scratch disk drive.

 

I'd recommend that you checkout the steps mentioned in this article https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/scratch-disks-preferences.html#Troubleshootscratchdiskfuller... and let us know if that helps.

 

Thanks,

Akash

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New Here ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Apparently my scratch disk is full. I hold down the Ctrl + Alt keys and try to open PhotoShop but I keep getting the message that it's full. It won't open! So how do I get to the settings then?

 

I am a designer, not a techie, the 'instructions' are not aimed at technically challenged people.

 

If I uninstall then reinstall will that fix it? HELP!

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May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Hi there,

 

Sorry that Photoshop is showing an error message that says scratch disks are full on your computer. 

 

Which version of Photoshop are you using? Would you mind checking the steps mentioned in this article https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/scratch-disks-preferences.html#Troubleshootscratchdisksarefu... and let us know if that helps?

 

Thanks,

Akash

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New Here ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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I'm running PhotoShop CC 2020.... I cannot find these .psp files on my laptop... HELP!

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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How much free disk space do you have?

 

Photoshop moves so much data around that it needs free disk space as temporary working memory. RAM can't handle all of it, so it needs to write to disk.

 

If you don't have the necessary disk space available, Photoshop can't operate.

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New Here ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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2.73GB... not enough?

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Community Expert ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Note even close. You need ten to twenty times that at least.

 

But quite aside from Photoshop, your disk is dangerously full, to the point that it's an emergency situation. Your whole machine can freeze up very soon. You should never allow your system disk to fill up beyond 70% or so - Windows needs free space, your other applications need free space.

 

In other words, you need to get another disk immediately, maybe an external, and transfer as much as you possibly can ASAP. Just get it off your system drive.

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Community Expert ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Photoshop is freshly open on my system currently (which has 64MB RAM), with no files open,  and the scratch disk size is 5.3GB on a disk with 1.2TB free space. So no, 2.73 GB free space is not enough. In fact if your scratch disk is sharing space with your operating system (as opposed to being on a separate disk) then you are going to run into much bigger issues than Photoshop not opening.

 

Dave

 

 

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New Here ,
May 07, 2020 May 07, 2020

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Ok, thanks, let me clean up my hard drive....

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New Here ,
Jul 28, 2021 Jul 28, 2021

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I'm trying to use an external drive specifically for my scratch disks for Adobe Photoshop, but whenever I open the preferences to select my flash drive it doesnt show up. I've quit, logged out of, and even uninstalled photoshop and reinstalled it after my external drive connected to my computer but I still can't get it to show up as an option. Am I doing something wrong?

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2018 Jan 21, 2018

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Hey there, I recently renewed my photography plan but I cannot seem to open photoshop.

Upon launching the application I am greeted with this message.

I would change the scratch disks to my e: drive, which has 2 terabytes available, but I am not able to click on anything.

This goes for basically everything on my computer, I am getting messages saying that my c: drive is full, which it is, but I cannot figure out how to change/move things to my e: drive.

Any help is appreciated.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 21, 2018 Jan 21, 2018

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You generally can’t move any system files or apps. You can COPY your own files and delete the original. Whether this helps depends on what your C drive is full of. You need to examine what is using the space, in detail. You could waste time moving thousands of small files for no gain.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 21, 2018 Jan 21, 2018

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First of all, run Windows Disk Cleanup. If necessary run several passes, progressively checking more options.

Most of the remaining junk tends to accumulate under your user account. This is where you can really free up space.

Just to start somewhere random, look at you Bridge cache. It can easily grow to tens of gigabytes - and note that previous versions' caches do not get deleted when you uninstall! There are lots of these.

There is an excellent free utility called WinDirStat (google it). Armed with this, you can really clean house. This is a screenshot from my own system - the outlined area is my user account. Expand the folder and you can chase the files down to the last dusty corner:

windirstat.png

The big red blobs to the right are hibernation and pagefile. You can disable hibernation and reclaim all that space - I don't remember how, but I'm sure someone else does.

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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Hello Guys!
Please help me (picture attached), I have read the related article but have not had any success in fixing this issue, some instructions are way over my head 🙂
I use the new MacBook Air and the latest Photoshop, anyone got advice for me?
 
Many Thanks
 
Screenshot 2022-03-10 at 18.06.00.png

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LEGEND ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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To start with, how much free space do you have on your system disk? Many computers are sold with disks too small for Photoshop. Let us know if you're not sure how to find out.

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New Here ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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Hi,

 

I have cleared my scratch disks with WinDirStat and it worked, but when I open a certain .PSB file, it goes back to the issue of scratch disks being full. 

 

For reference, I have about 20 GB of free space, and the file is about 1GB, but when I try to open it, my free space goes to just 6GB, and it won't open due to the scratch disk issue. 

 

I feel that it has something to do with the file. Any pointers would be much appreciated. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 10, 2022 Mar 10, 2022

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It has indeed something to do with the file: it's big.

 

20 GB is not nearly enough. I'm sorry, but you really need at least ten times that to be reasonably safe. Personally I would never work with anything less than 500GB free space, but preferably more.

 

There is no way around this. It's not a "bug" or a fault in Photoshop - it's that raster image editing moves huge amounts of data around, and it has to go somewhere.

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New Here ,
Apr 19, 2022 Apr 19, 2022

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If you're getting an error message that the scratch disk is full, it usually means you need to clear some space on whatever drive is defined as the scratch disk in Photoshop Preferences, or add additional drives for Photoshop to use as scratch space.

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