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 ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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Photoshop keeps giving me the message "scratch disk full". The program will open, but it doesn't allow me to make any edits. I have searched and searched all over the web for a solution. I searched for temporary files to delete them, but I couldn't find any on my computer. I purged 'all'. I have about 90 gb of free space on my computer, but in the past I had about 20 gb of free space and photoshop still worked so I don't think that is the problem. I only have one scratch disk location so I can't just change scratch disks.

Does anyone have any advice? Am I just totally missing something?

Thanks!

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Guest
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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Hi

What operating system and Photoshop versions do you have, is it just one document that's causing the issue or all documents

Have you try resetting Photoshop preferences

Reset Pref.jpg

To restore preferences quickly using a keyboard shortcut: Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) or Option+Command+Shift (Mac OS) as you start Photoshop. You are prompted to delete the current settings. The new preferences files are created the next time you start Photoshop

Also take a look here

How to Fix Photoshop Scratch Disk Full Errors

If all that fails try using the Adobe cleaner tool

Use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool to solve installation problems

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2018 Jun 27, 2018

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This helped, thank you!

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2018 Aug 18, 2018

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Hi I am having the exact same problem. I've done what you said to do but my file is quite large as it's for a banner.

Any other suggestions

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2019 Nov 05, 2019

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(Mojave on macbook pro with 4tb drive) I have a terabyte free on my scratch drive, and I was getting the error with two files open, one an envelope at 300 dpi and the other a 5x7 image at 300 dpi. One just opened and the other just created and pasted into. I'm thinking that really ought to fit in a terabyte.

 

I have not gotten this error before updating to CC 2019, and I usually work with many really big (4000x3000) multiple layer files. I make a photo cartoon and frequently have 20-30 files open while assembling the art for it. This is new.

 

"Reset your preferences" is just a throw-some-chicken-entrails-at-it answer intended to make the "solution" so painful (having to re-setup your preferences every time you start the app) that you give up and stop bothering tech support. But this is a subscription serveice now. Those kind of answers are not good enough.

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New Here ,
Dec 11, 2019 Dec 11, 2019

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Hi, I tried the above commands (Option+Command+Shift) and got this message:Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 6.09.16 pm.png

 

So I don't get the option to "reset preferences on quit".

Can you tell me if I should "delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings File?"

Thanks for your help.

Regards

Jo

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New Here ,
Sep 12, 2018 Sep 12, 2018

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I have the same problem but I closed Photoshop and now It won't open again because of that error. How do I empty my scratch disk if I cannot open photoshop?

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2019 Dec 17, 2019

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I can't open Photoshop either! Just keep getting this "scratch disk full" message. I then have to force quit Photoshop and can't open it again.

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2018 Oct 18, 2018

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PS won't even start

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New Here ,
Nov 08, 2018 Nov 08, 2018

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Mine won't start either...

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New Here ,
Nov 12, 2018 Nov 12, 2018

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Since this last update PS won't even start because of the error. My temp folder in Appdata doesn't have any PS files in it now, and the ALT+CTRL at splash screen doesn't work either.

Support​. please help.

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Engaged ,
Nov 14, 2018 Nov 14, 2018

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Had the same issue. Opening with Control/Option and changing the disk didn't help.  I finally uninstalled PS completely removing prefs and reinstalled it. This seemed to get it to work.

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New Here ,
Sep 23, 2019 Sep 23, 2019

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my scratch disk is full, but I can't close photoshop until I save what I have. The thing is, I've done a fair amount and I'm not sure how much the autosave will help me or if it will fix my issue

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2019 Nov 05, 2019

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I'm not sure if this will work while Photoshop is running, but if you know which drive is your scratch disk, you can move a few GB to a different drive. I don't think Auto save will be of any help, I think that's designed for crashes.

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New Here ,
Nov 20, 2019 Nov 20, 2019

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Yeah I have a question what if you can't get the program to even finish loading? So you can't change the preferences if the program won't load!...guess what pal you can't get here from here! Are you all even cognizant of the fact your relying on a community to answer your tech questions? My god it is totally up to Adobe to figure out that go figure people are using lager hard drives thanks to 4K, 9k, 18k (will it ever stop) video files that require massive amounts of storage!!! As a community I say the buck stops with Adobe and spend some of our harrd erned dineros to keep up with the technology! Not figuring out partion workarounds......What? For me I'm thinking of loading up my Photoshop 7 to get the work I need to get done....done! I've been using Adobe products for over probably 25 -30 years, when they really were an industry leader. But now they are relying on community bailouts to do their R&D. Well as a paying customer I say SCREW THAT! Just one mans opinion here ....Mine!

 

Jack LoPinto 

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New Here ,
Mar 09, 2020 Mar 09, 2020

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Hi

Photoshop 7 In Win10:

Problem with Photoshop 7 on a disc > 1 TB

Go to Discmanager and create a virtual Hard drive on your 2 TB C: disc, I created one with 1 GB space, got the name E:

Start Photoshop with CTRL ALT

Change scratch disk to E:

Worked here.

Best regards René

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New Here ,
May 27, 2021 May 27, 2021

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Thank you very much for this.  I've been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why I couldn't start PS while I had plenty of space all over.  This fixed my issue perfectly.

 

Russ Peters

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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I've found several discussions on this but most have been for mac instead of windows and most are unanswered. I have a 128GB surface pro 3 with a 128GB micro SD card. Recently, I've been getting the pop-up that says my scratch disk is full, so I need to set up another one. However, my SD card isn't showing up as an option to use. Is there any possible way that I format my SD card to where I can use it as a scratch disk? Or is there anything I can do in photoshop to pick up the SD card?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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It has to be formatted to the OS  HFS+ for Mac/NTFS for Windows. However I'm not sure Photoshop can "see" an SD card slot, so try a SD to USB adapter if Photoshop doesn't list it in your scratch options.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2018 Apr 08, 2018

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A terrible idea.  What is the fastest SD card available?  100Mb/s with the wind behind it, and providing you have a really good card reader.  I am sure that reading and writing to scratch files is a serious bottleneck, and it gets worse if you use a lot of Smart objects.  If you really need to use an external drive for scratch space, look at a USB3 drive that comes with its own power supply, like the Seagate Expansion.  They are good for 180Mb/s.

But let's take a step back.  Have you really run out of space, or is there another problem? 

Solve Adobe Photoshop problems and issues by keeping it up-to-date

How much free space does the primary Scratch drive have?

Look for orphaned Photoshop temp files in the root of that drive.  If it does not have today's date, delete it.  Or close Photoshop, and if any are left, delete them.

If you just have the one drive, then you might be able to free up a bunch of space.  If it was a Windows system, I'd suggest WinDirStat to see what is clogging the drive, but there is a Mac equivalent.   You'll need Gene or another Mac expert to suggest what can go, but the best plan is to relocate some things to a second drive.  Your

Disk Inventory X

Whoops..  Just read your post again and I see you are using a Surface Pro.  I have to go cook our tea right now, but'll post gain later if no one else has sorted you out.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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OK, so you are using Windows, and I imagine Windows 10?

Download an install WinDirStat, and check your boot drive.

https://windirstat.net/

It will produce something like this, and you need to look for the big chunks of data, like the huge blue rectangle in the middle of my screen shot.

If I click on that blue rectangle it tells me it is Windows hibernation which is 25Gb on my system, and something you don't need. So disabling it would immediately win me 25Gb of space and it's a PITA anyway.  The only reason I have not disabled so far on this system is that I have a 500Gb boot drive, but I have noticed that I can't wake Photoshop from Hibernate, so will be getting rid soon.

There are lots of opportunities to reduce space on a Windows 10 boot drive, and a ton of links telling you how:

https://www.windowscentral.com/best-7-ways-free-hard-drive-space-windows-10

How to Reclaim Hard Drive Space by 'Shrinking' Windows 10

While it is a terrible idea to use your SD card as Scratch space, there is no reason not to 'mount' it as a normal drive, and move some of the non-critical data to it.  If you are not, please feel free to run it buy us, but things like old picture files and other documents, downloads etc.  I don't actually know if you can hot swap an SD card when it is mounted, but if you can, then it would be a great way to do your backups.

Mount SD Card as Permanent Storage or Local Drive in Windows 10 – EaseUS

Good luck.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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Yes, WinDirStat will quickly become essential - keep the link handy everyone! There will be a rush of these coming!

All those first-generation 120/240 GB SSD machines are now starting to hit the wall. It worked for a while, but now the user account folder has accumulated enough junk to fill the system drive up completely. A lot of users will be at 80% or 90% by now.

After running Windows Disk Cleanup, the only sensible thing to do is to clean out the user account. Look for caches and preview folders. This is where WinDirStat is indispensable - those big folders stick out and you see them right away.

As an emergency first step - delete all Bridge Previews, going back all previous versions you have had installed. Redirect the previews folder to somewhere else in Preferences. If you have Premiere Pro and After Effects, they are other big offenders. Do the same there.

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New Here ,
Apr 23, 2018 Apr 23, 2018

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Hi, guys! I just wanted to thank everyone for your answers! I got a bit busy so this is long over due. I used WinDirStat and cleared up some space and and moved some stuff over to my SD card.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 31, 2018 Dec 31, 2018

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Hi, thanks in advance for reading my post. So I recently decided to get a 126GB external hard drive because I wanted Adobe Photoshop and my Internal hard drive currently only hass like 6GB worth of free storage (I know that's pitiful). I'm going to get an SD card eventually, but right now this is what I'm working with. The only problem is my external hard drive is not showing up in my Scratch Disk, all I see is my internal hard drive with 6GB.I can't really do anything with 6GB because as I'm sure you all know, photoshop likes room to spread it's wings. I'm slowly starting to lose my mind and I really would appreciate some help, I'm unfortunately not very tech savvy. I'm using a PC, I HP Stream laptop 14 to be exact. And I just have a SanDisk drive, nothing fancy. Again, thanks so much.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 31, 2018 Dec 31, 2018

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While this is Mac centric, the idea is the same. Be sure the external drive is formatted as NTFS and and checked on in Preferences > Scratch disks.

Cannot change my scratch disk to external HD - Photoshop CC 2015.5

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