Need Assistance Selecting a New Scratch Disk

Community Beginner ,
May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021

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I keep getting alerts that my scratch disks are almost full ... or I can't launch Photoshop because the scratch disks are full. I "Purge All" frequently. I've searched my hard drive for ".tmp" files. I reboot multiple times per day. Nothing is helping. I would like to change my scratch disk to my external hard drive, which is always plugged in and has plenty of TB to spare. But when I topen the preferences to change scratch disks, the only thing that shows up is my computer's hard drive with the checked box. I cannot add my external hard drive. Am I missing instructions on how to get my external hard drive to show up so I can switch my scratch disks to it?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021

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Start first by trashing your Photoshop preferences. It may help.

Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) or Option+Command+Shift (Mac OS) immediately after launching Photoshop. You will be prompted to delete the current settings.

(Mac OS only) Open the Preferences folder in the Library folder*, and drag the Adobe Photoshop CS Settings folder to the Trash.

This action only affects the items found in the preferences dialog box. Numerous program settings are stored in the Adobe Photoshop Preferences file, including general display options, file-saving options, performance options, cursor options, transparency options, type options, and options for plug‑ins and scratch disks. Brushes (and lots of other setting) are not affected by the above instructions for deleting preferences. You may wish to make a screen capture of the settings in the Preferences dialog to reset them prior to deleting of this file.

Also: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/preferences.html

*To manually delete Photoshop preferences:
Quit Photoshop.
Navigate to Photoshop's Preferences folder:
macOS: Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings
Windows 10: Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version]/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

Note:
The user Library folder is hidden by default on macOS. To access files in the hidden user Library folder, see How to access hidden user library files.
Drag the entire Adobe Photoshop [Version] Settings folder to the desktop or somewhere safe for a back-up of your settings 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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Community Beginner ,
May 29, 2021 May 29, 2021

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Thank you! I'll give this a try. I've been using Photoshop since the early 1990s and I've never encountered this issue before. So odd that it's occuring now, when computers have far more memory.

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New Here ,
May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021

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because of this I hate this program and sorry I bought it. This is crazy.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021

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@Maggio0D4C wrote:

because of this I hate this program and sorry I bought it. This is crazy.


Fine, let's close the discussion down if you don't want help. This is a user to user forum; so if you don't want to tax other uses helping you, great! 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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Community Beginner ,
May 29, 2021 May 29, 2021

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Not sure what precipitated your response here. I feel MaggioD4C has a right to express frustration, even if it doesn't directly assist me with this issue. I certainly can relate to their frustration!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2021 May 29, 2021

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quote

So odd that it's occuring now, when computers have far more memory.


By @Ana5CFA

 

It's not about memory, it's about physical disk space. Photoshop (and raster image editing in general) manipulates huge amounts of data, far exceeding any RAM you may or may not have installed. There is no such thing as "enough RAM". So temporary working data are written to disk. That's the scratch disk.

 

If you don't have enough free disk space, Photoshop can't operate. How much free space do you have? In most normal scenarios, you'll need somewhere between 50 - 200 GB free space, but if you work with large files, 500 GB is a more realistic figure.

 

An external drive is usually too slow to be used as scratch disk in an efficient way. If possible, it's much better that you try to clear out space on your internal system drive.

 

System drives fill up with all kinds of junk and dead meat over time. Most of it will accumulate in your user account.

 

Aside from your image files, a standard configuration of operating system and applications should normally not take up much more space than 100 GB or so. If you have much more than that, it's time to clean out.

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Community Beginner ,
May 30, 2021 May 30, 2021

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All old and unnecessary files were pulled from this computer before I came here for help. 😊 Therd is very little on this laptop, actually, just word-processing files. I save all photos to a server and back to an external drive so my husband and I are stumped as to why we are running out of space. I have terabytes on the external drive. I have 4 GB on the laptop. 

My husband is taking the laptop into work on Tuesday to have one of the techs try the fix with the preferences. Hopefully that'll do it, although it may just be time to get a new laptop. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2021 May 29, 2021

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MaggioD4C wrote he/she hates the program. Users supporting users with issues can't help in that respect. 

Getting back on topic and as a possible aid: Photoshop has always needed 3 to 5 times each open document size, as reported with layers, bit depth etc, in RAM. When it cannot use the RAM for this, it has to hit scratch disk. It's been this way for decades. 

You should be able to select another scratch disk. If you cannot, the suggestion first and foremost is to reset preferences. If that doesn't work, we need to drill down as to why that additional drive cannot be selected. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 29, 2021 May 29, 2021

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What format is used on the external drive you want to use for scratch?

Dave

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