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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 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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LEGEND ,
Mar 03, 2020 Mar 03, 2020

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lmrw, why did you format as exFAT?

Neil, how is your disk formatted?

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New Here ,
Jul 18, 2020 Jul 18, 2020

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You are HEAVEN sent. Thank you!

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2020 Jul 27, 2020

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Open Photoshop as administrator.

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New Here ,
Aug 21, 2017 Aug 21, 2017

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I cannot open photoshop because it says scratch disk full. I know of the shortcut (ctrl+alt) and have used it before to set my scratch disk to almost empty drives. I've tried the same thing again as photoshop is starting up but it does nothing and i still get the "scratch disks full" error message. It has opened in the past so I don't know what happened. I need this to work for school in a couple of weeks so any help is appreciated!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 21, 2017 Aug 21, 2017

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Try resetting your Photoshop preferences. Start Photoshop immediately press and hold Shift+Alt+Ctrl. If done in time Photoshop should pop up a dialog asking if you want to delete your preferences. Reply yes delete them.  Photoshop should then open using an new set of Adobe default preferences. If your system startup disk is full Photoshop may no start for there need to be free space on the drive tor Temp files and scratch space,  You system performance  will be poor not what it should be.  Your OS new to use temp space too.

JJMack

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2017 Aug 22, 2017

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It worked! Thank you!

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Participant ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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I have the same problem. Suddenly PS won't launch and gives me a series of scratch disk errors but my disks aren't full. (LR and other programs run fine)

So before I delete my preferences where are they so I can make a copy of them. The idea of having to recreate all my settings is not that appealing.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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Try holding down Ctrl+ALT and keep them held down and start Photoshop.  You should be able to  then change Photoshop's scratch disk configuration.

JJMack

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Participant ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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Thank you I was able to launch it

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Participant ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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Yeah except when I did Ctrl + ALT I now realize I lost all my prefs, keyboard shortcuts and customization etc. hence my question to where that was located to make a copy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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That should not have happened.  It sounds like you reset your preferences. Did you get this popup starting Photoshop while holding Alt+Ctrl? I changed mine fron C:\ to F:\ still has all my settings.

Capture.jpg

JJMack

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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If you have a system bbackup you user Id Photoshop preferences are stored in the following file system tree. Normally a hidden folder.

Use you ID not mine

Capture.jpg

JJMack

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Participant ,
Sep 07, 2017 Sep 07, 2017

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Yes that's what I got but somehow it affected my prefs

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New Here ,
Jan 18, 2019 Jan 18, 2019

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CTRL + ALT worked for me thx.

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New Here ,
Oct 29, 2019 Oct 29, 2019

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I tried the Shift+Alt+Ctrl and it didnt work, the other way didnt work either, I tried it many times, the scratch disk message just keep popping up.

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2019 Nov 26, 2019

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I have the same problem... and every single thread is giving the same solution :'( I've deleted my settings and it still doesnt work at all... 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 26, 2019 Nov 26, 2019

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Well, how much free disk space do you have?

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2019 Nov 26, 2019

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I have 3 partitions. I cleared them until they all reached at least 99 GB free. For some reason now the C is full again 

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New Here ,
Nov 26, 2019 Nov 26, 2019

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And I switched them in PS settings so the program has space. Last time I only assigned one disk, that was almost empty and with 100 GB free. After I started trying to use PS again and the error showed up, I checked the space that is available in that disk without closing the program and it appears full. 

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New Here ,
Dec 09, 2019 Dec 09, 2019

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Thanks! I have the Dell G7 and got that message. I started PS, waited for it to start to initialize then pressed CTRL and ALT. The pop up came up and I changed my scratch disk to my D drive. All was good after that! 

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New Here ,
May 22, 2020 May 22, 2020

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Here is more feedback on trying to get PhotoShop 7 passed the NO SCRATCH AVAILABLE

problem- here i will only add to what I reported earlier,

1) Someone suggested running as administrator and use Cntl-Alt to re-define the scratch unit -

    sorry, but that didn't work = same ERROR + termination.

2)Next, on my older PC I have a 2 TB external traditional hard drive (not SSD) - I copied

    PhotoShop 7 to it - and it runs fine = no ERROR message - it goes directly to

    execution.

 

So 2 TB is NOT THE problem - everything seems to point to SSD - is there

something special about SSD formatting or storage that would make it slways

appesar full to PhotoShop 7? 

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New Here ,
May 22, 2020 May 22, 2020

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This seems like BLACK MAGIC, but it worked - I copied the entire PhotoShop 7

directory to a tiny USB storage stick - I then run it from there as administrator

and used Cntl-Alt to change the scratch device from Source to E:\ - and it ran =

no SCRATCH FILES FULL ERROR - as a test I edited a few pictues, stored

them and exited the USB storagec stick executable.

 

Next I tried to it run from where it is installed on my internal 2 TB SSD - this

time as a normal users (no administrator) and no Ctnl-Alt - just click-click on

icon on my desktop and IT RUNS = PROBLEM SOLVED.

 

HOW and WHY??? I don't care - it works - seems like if you can get it running

once from any acceptable device (my tiny USB storage stick worked) and once

you changr the scratch device (Cnlt-Alt), and get it running you (or at least I)

can run as I normally would.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 22, 2020 May 22, 2020

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This isn't about where Photoshop is installed. It's about the scratch disk, which is something else. Photoshop 7.0 cannot see drives bigger than 1TB, such a disk will effectively be invisible, and so Photoshop will report no scratch disk available.

 

If Photoshop is installed on a bigger drive, but the scratch disk is put on a drive or partition smaller than 1TB, that will work fine.

 

The scratch disk is Photoshop's working memory. Photoshop moves around so much data that RAM will always be insufficient no matter how much you have, so it writes temporary files to disk. RAM acts like a fast access cache to the scratch disk's main memory.

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New Here ,
Oct 28, 2016 Oct 28, 2016

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I have read some posts about this , but the answer seems to be to partition my hard drive  , I don't want it partitioned , its the entire reason i got a 2tb hard drive , was to have 1 large drive , , some replies also said to redirect the Scratch Disk to another location/partition/other hard drive , the issue with that is how can i redirect the Scratch Disk/program if i can't access it ?? ,  it opens/loads , but then the error message pops up and i can't do anything except click "OK" which closes Photoshop  as long as the message is there i can't click on anything else in Photoshop, it worked fine on my 1tb hard drive in Win 10 , which is still installed  , , do i take the desktop shortcut from my Win 10 1tb hard drive and use it on my 2tb hard drive desktop ???  any helpful info , that does not want mt to partition my drive or upgrade to Photoshop 10 , would be appreciated ....Thanks ...Jim

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 28, 2016 Oct 28, 2016

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The reason for the scratch disk error is photoshop 7 and older versions of photoshop as well can't see free

disk space over 1 TB and thus think the disk is full and generate the scratch disk full message.

 

You can hold down the Ctrl+Alt keys just after starting the launch of ps 7 to get the Scratch Disk Preferences

where you can point to another smaller partition or drive if you have one.

 

Screenshot-(34).png

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