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Scratch Disc Full: Where are the temp files kept?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2011

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Hi,

I just tried to open a few of very large image files (9GB in total) and when I did I got the message "scratch discs full". Now I understand why that happened, but it seems to have eaten a whole load of disc space that wont come back. I've since closed photoshop, restarted my Mac, etc. but about 10 GB is still used up where it wasn't before. I can't locate any temp files anywhere (prefs only tells me the scratch disc is my Mac HD, not which folders it's in). Can anyone help me with this? Where are Ps temp files usually located on a Mac? I need those 10GB back!

Mac OSX running Photoshop CS3

Thank you!

Photoshop deletes any leftover scratch files when it launches, and unlinks them when they're created so they'll get auto deleted if the app crashes.  You shouldn't be able to see them at all.

You have something else filling up your disk.

If your scratch disk is set to the OS boot volume, don't forget that the OS will fill up space for virtual memory swap in addition to Photoshop's scratch files.

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Scratch Disc Full: Where are the temp files kept?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2011

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Hi,

I just tried to open a few of very large image files (9GB in total) and when I did I got the message "scratch discs full". Now I understand why that happened, but it seems to have eaten a whole load of disc space that wont come back. I've since closed photoshop, restarted my Mac, etc. but about 10 GB is still used up where it wasn't before. I can't locate any temp files anywhere (prefs only tells me the scratch disc is my Mac HD, not which folders it's in). Can anyone help me with this? Where are Ps temp files usually located on a Mac? I need those 10GB back!

Mac OSX running Photoshop CS3

Thank you!

Photoshop deletes any leftover scratch files when it launches, and unlinks them when they're created so they'll get auto deleted if the app crashes.  You shouldn't be able to see them at all.

You have something else filling up your disk.

If your scratch disk is set to the OS boot volume, don't forget that the OS will fill up space for virtual memory swap in addition to Photoshop's scratch files.

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Jul 16, 2011 1
LEGEND ,
Jul 16, 2011

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Within Photoshop choose Edit > Purge > All.

It's not a good idea to go trying to find hidden files and manually remove them.

Quitting Photoshop and restarting the system, should have cleared all temporary files.

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Jul 16, 2011 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 16, 2011

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Thanks scott. Unfortunately Purge is only an option when the file is still open (I've tried purging with new smaller files, but that hasn't made any difference). I've closed Ps and restarted a few times now, with no joy. If I knew where the temp files were, at least I could confirm how big they are. Any ideas where they might be?

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Jul 16, 2011 0
Jul 17, 2011

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Photoshop deletes any leftover scratch files when it launches, and unlinks them when they're created so they'll get auto deleted if the app crashes.  You shouldn't be able to see them at all.

You have something else filling up your disk.

If your scratch disk is set to the OS boot volume, don't forget that the OS will fill up space for virtual memory swap in addition to Photoshop's scratch files.

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Jul 17, 2011 0
Community Beginner ,
Jul 28, 2011

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Hi again Chris (or anyone else who cares to contribute),

My Mac's HD space continued to disappear and I have now, finally, located the cause (I think). I checked the system log (Stystem Profiler/Software/Logs/system.log) which was itself 4.5 GB in size (too large I think?). However, when I went to the file location (/var/log/system.log) I also noticed that the "asl" folder (in the same folder as the system log) was 20 GB in size!! Having read a few forum posts about similar issues, I took the risk of deleting both the system.log and the majority of files in the asl folder. This seems to have worked a treat (I now have 25GB returned to me).

As I said in my original post, this all started happening when I opened a few very big Photoshop docs (ones with layers). Do you have any idea what caused / is causing this to happen? I haven't opened Photoshop since deleting the asl files, but new ones still seem to be appearing in the asl folder. They are tiny (100KB at most) but I'm a little concerned I haven't fixed the problem. Any suggestions?

I can't see why new asl files would be appearing when I haven't even opened Photoshop.

I'm running on OS 10.5.8

Many thanks,

Matt

P.S. By the way, the size of the system.log seemed to be caused by a repeated message regarding RealPlayer, which I assume is unconnected, but I have included it below just in case (I've removed RealPlayer from my Mac to see if that helps, but the asl files still seem to be appearing):

Jul 28 18:16:07 localhost RealPlayer Downloader[299]: Failed to create window context device

Jul 28 18:16:09: --- last message repeated 1 time ---

Jul 28 18:16:07 localhost RealPlayer Downloader[299]: _initWithWindowNumber: error creating graphics ctxt object for ctxt:0x1152b, window:0xffffffff

Jul 28 18:16:07 localhost RealPlayer Downloader[299]: CGWindowContextCreate: failed to create context delegate.

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Jul 28, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 28, 2011

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.asl files in the system folder are Apple System logs. .asl files in Photoshop are layer styles. They aren't the same. If you find large .asl files in the system folder they are log files. And could easily grow due to consistent errors. Deleting them should cause no issues. But if the problem creating the large log files persists, they may grow very large again. Real Player, to the best of my knowledge has nothing to do with Photoshop. There's no connection between the two.

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Jul 28, 2011 1
Community Beginner ,
Jul 28, 2011

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Thanks Scott, thats obviously very helpful to know!

The .asl files in my log folder have the (what I presume is Photoshop related) "FX STYLES" icon - so you can understand where the confusion came from. It doesn't fill me with confidence that this is happening, but I presume it is just cosmetic.

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Jul 28, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 29, 2011

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Icon would be there because of the suffix .asl. But it's not the same as a Photoshop .asl file. Open the file in a text editor like BBEdit or TextEdit and you'll immediately see the difference. Generally, it's assumed no one will ever see the system logs so the icon wouldn't be noticed.

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Jul 29, 2011 1
Mentor ,
Jul 17, 2011

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WindomEarle80,

You don't give us nearly enough details, but if you're desperately seeking to regain a paltry 10 GB of hard disk space, that tells me you don't have remotely enough space to sustain a scratch disk to suit your needs on that drive, let alone multiple scratch disks.

Just for your reference, my first primary scratch disk is on a dedicated 160 GB physically separate internal hard drive and the second scratch disk is also on another dedicated 160 GB physically separate internal hard drive.

Other folks who work with a lot of files simultaneously have a lot more scratch space than I do.  My rule of thumb when I advice others is to figure on 35 to 50 times the size of the largest files you work with or more, multiplied by how many documents you keep open at once.  If you keep a lot of states in your History panel and add loads of layers to each file, your needs will be at the upper end of the range.

With 9 GB worth of files open at once, I wouldn't want to get caught with less than 150 GB to 300 GB of scratch disk space, and would shoot for much bigger drive in the terabyte range.

The reason for this is that Photoshop always creates a scratch file the instant you create a new file or open an existing document, and it estimates the needed size based on assumptions it makes as a result of your workflow history in the past.  It does this for every open file.

As Adobe top engineer Chris Cox just told you, any unexplained amount of hard disk space on your boot drive can easily be accounted for by the swap file of the OS.

Hard drives are dirt cheap these days.  My local Fry's had a 2-TB one on sale for under $99 today.

____________

Wo Tai Lao Le

我太老了

Message was edited by: Tai Lao

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Jul 17, 2011 0
Jul 17, 2011

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any unexplained amount of hard disk space on your boot drive can easily be accounted for by the swap file of the OS.

There could be other causes as well.  But many people forget about the OS swapfile and assume that Photoshop is the only thing using their hard disk.

And the OS also creates cache files. All web browsers that I know of cache files on the boot disk.  And Spotlight has to store it's database. And printers create spooling files. Some scanner drivers write out temporary storage for their scans (bizzare, but true).  Some games can create multi-gigabyte cache files. Etc.

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Jul 17, 2011 0
Mentor ,
Jul 17, 2011

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Chris Cox wrote:

…There could be other causes as well…

And the OS also creates cache files. All web browsers that I know of cache files on the boot disk.  And Spotlight has to store it's database. And printers create spooling files. Some scanner drivers write out temporary storage for their scans (bizzare, but true).  Some games can create multi-gigabyte cache files. Etc.

Thank you for the useful reminder.

The overwhelming intrusiveness and frequent uselessness of Spotblight were factors that led me to permanently disable it from day one; I hadn't even considered the location of its database.

All the other space-consuming elements you mention are always worth considering when watching the total capacity of the boot drive, as is the fact that whenever any hard drive gets to be 75% full, you're rapidly approach trouble already.

____________

Wo Tai Lao Le

我太老了

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Jul 17, 2011 0
New Here ,
Jul 12, 2020

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I've looked through forums trying to find help with this issue. My hard drive has been taken up for months, varying in size. Currently "other" is at 60.8GBs. I've spoken with Apple over the phone and in person about this issue, every time, deleting photos and ps files to free space which seems to temporairly give me some space back. The root of the issue I now see seems to be coming from Photoshop as it has been the only constant and the only thing I use on the MacBook. Whenever I delete files, a month or so later after working with photoshop, my "other" storage fills up, 10 or so gbs at a time usually. I have Purged the Cache. There seems to be no such .tmp or Temp file/s or folder located anywhere on my Mac. There is no Users>User>AppData>Local>Temp to access Photoshop Temp Files (which I hear is the primary issue identified in forums). 

 

I'm at a loss here. There's nothing else on my desktop, documents, or photos for me to delete. It's gotta be Photoshop temp files or something similar and I can't find it. I'm running PS CC 2019. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

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Jul 12, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Look under your user account. That's where all the junk accumulates, that's what silently fills up any system drive.

 

Every application you have deposits all kinds of stuff here, but never removes it again. Over time, it just builds up.

 

The user account is normally a hidden folder. You need to unhide it in your operating system. I would recommend something like the Mac equivalent of the Windows WinDirStat - can't remember what it's called - which will show you in a graphical interface exactly what you have on disk, where it is, and how much space it occupies.

 

Generally, most things in the user account can be deleted with no ill effects. Just be careful with operating system files. For applications, the stuff stored in your user account is user-specific settings and caches, not part of the program installation as such. If the application needs it, these files and folders will be rebuilt.

 

As an emergency measure, if the situation is critical, delete the cache folders from Bridge, Premiere Pro etc - this can free up to 100-ish GB alone. Then move these caches elsewhere in the app preferences.

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Jul 13, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2020

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I have the WinDirStat equivalent on my MacBook, it's called Disk Inventory X - Apple suggested I install it a while back. To my knowledge, it details only what I can see and access through Storage (which is Applications, Desktop, Documents etc) I still can't see where the "other" is coming from or what is taking that space up. The app only accounts for 30/40 gbs being used, the 50/60 gbs I still can't see. Or atleast, am unable to recognize. 

 

As for "User Account" - no idea how to find that or unhide it. Have you done this before and are you able to walk me through it at all?

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Jul 13, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 23, 2020

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I too am having this issue.  My mac book pro is only 9 months old, I'm using Photoshop consistently and there is 80GB of space taken up on "other" volume!  WTH?  I store all personal files on Dropbox so I know I'm not taking up that much space.  Help!

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Sep 23, 2020 0