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

 

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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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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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Do you actually have another disk? If so, what kind, how is it connected? How is it formatted? If external, are you reconnecting it so that the drive letter changes? (that can be avoided by assigning a high letter).

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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HI ,

 

To refurish more info, my W7 has 1 SDD and 1 SATA. I am planning to use the SATA disk as scratch disk since it has > 800 Gb of free space. This disk is formatted as NTFS and as admin, I have full rights to the disk, meaning I am able to read/write and even format the disk. This SATA disk is a 2nd disk meant for storage and it is not holding any system files.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 15, 2021 Jun 15, 2021

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Hi there,

 

We're sorry for the trouble. What is the external drive format that you are trying to use as a Scratch disk?

 

Do you see the drive is listed under Scratch disk in Photoshop preferences? The drive format should be one of these NTFS, exFAT, FAT32 to use as Scratch disk in Photoshop.

 

Thanks,

Mohit

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 15, 2021 Jun 15, 2021

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Hi,

 

I've managed to resolve my issue. Apparently, I need to change the Enviromnet variables under the Advanced system settings to route TEMP and TMP to my secondary disk and do a reboot before I get to see the scratch disk is routed to my desired drive.

 

Thanks

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Participant ,
Jun 20, 2021 Jun 20, 2021

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I have no idea what you are talking about! Evironment variables? That's a new one on me.  And just to clarify, I don't have any issue with scratch disks. I simply wanted to add another external drive to the list. It has Macintosh HD as #1 and I have a LaCie that is listed 2nd. but it's not showing my additional LaCie which is 5TB and I wanted to list it as #3, but photoshop doesn't see it. (I'm sure it's formated the same as the other, so that can't be the problem). My iMac sees it fine. It's photoshop 2019 that doesn't see it. (I can't use Photoshop 2020 or 2021 cuz I'm using macOSCatalina -- which pissses me off to no end)! Why didn't Adobe warn us of this before Catalina came out???!!!  Why do I keep payng this damned $52 every month when I CAN"T EVEN USE IT!!!!! It's extortion!

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 20, 2021 Jun 20, 2021

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@KokoBlue...I am just sharing my findings and managed to resolve the issue I have. Obviously, you didnt read what machine I am using which the solution I managed to get somewhat solved the issue. As for your Mac, good luck to you. I am a user and not Adobe staff. I understand your frustrations but you should direct your anguish to the relevant group of people , instead of the communites where users sharing ideas/solutions to help each other.

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Participant ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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Okay. So, to whom do I write a letter or send an email to where it will get actually get read by a person with any influence at all??!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 21, 2021 Jun 21, 2021

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The best place would be Adobe Photoshop Family

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New Here ,
May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020

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HI, I was trying to enter to Photoshop but it wont open since my scratch disks are full. Ive seen tons of tutorials but none would help me to empty the scratch disks. Can someone help me?

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 12, 2020 May 12, 2020

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Hi. Essentially, you need as much free space as possible in your Scratch Disk. Maybe these links can be helpful:

Troubleshoot scratch disk full errors in Photoshop

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

Marlon Ceballos.

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New Here ,
Jul 23, 2021 Jul 23, 2021

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I was trying to load Watercolor Artist actions into my 2018 PS version.  I was able to load the Watercolor Artist and WCA Brushes, but I was not able to load the WCA Patterns.  It needed version 20, 21 or 22.  I updated (21.2.10), but now I am receiving "Scratch Disk Full" (Mac 10.13.6) and unable to open the application at all.   I am probably not going to be able to figure out how to change the settings.  Is there a way to at least restore my older PS version so I can still use?  Thank you for your suggestions.  

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Adobe Employee ,
Jul 23, 2021 Jul 23, 2021

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Hi,

 

We're sorry about the trouble due to the Scratch disk issue while trying to launch Photoshop. The scratch disk is basically the amount of free space on the computers storage that Photoshop requires to create the necessary temporary files while launching and working on project files. How much free space do you have on your computers drive?

 

You can check out: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/troubleshoot-scratch-disk-is-full.html

 

Let us know if it helps!

Regards,

Nikunj

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New Here ,
Jul 26, 2021 Jul 26, 2021

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This helped! Thank you.--
Mindy McQueen, Guest Teacher
(281)844-3868 cell / text
Texas Certified
Prefer afternoons or Fridays

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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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Adobe Community Professional ,
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, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2020 Feb 03, 2020

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Adobe Community Professional ,
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, Adobe Product User & Community Professional
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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Adobe Employee ,
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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Adobe Employee ,
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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Adobe Community Professional ,
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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Adobe Community Professional ,
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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