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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 2 Correct answers

New Here , Dec 02, 2017 Dec 02, 2017

This is super late, but for anyone else who runs into this issue...Similar thing happened to me. Do you make new files by pixel size or by inches? I usually go by pixels (ex: 2500x3000 or something like that), but I apparently I had accidentally switched to inches and it would only let me max the numbers to 1000. Went back to pixels and it all worked out!

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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 ,
Jan 19, 2018 Jan 19, 2018

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How much free space does your Macbook have? Do you have an external drive you could plug in and set as scratch temporarily?

Best practice is to keep your system drive(s) as empty as possible, using additional drives (external especially in the case of portable computers) for storage.

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New Here ,
Jan 19, 2018 Jan 19, 2018

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Around 6.25 GB. I'll look around for an external storage to use, thank you

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Community Expert ,
Jan 19, 2018 Jan 19, 2018

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It should be formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or Photoshop won't list it as a scratch disk.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 20, 2018 Jan 20, 2018

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Yeah, 6.25 GB isn’t enough. I’d imagine your entire system would run faster with more space.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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I have a brand new HP laptop and while attempting to open my Adobe Photoshop 7.0 I get the error that the scratch disks are full. Can you help me fix this please?

Thanks in advance.

Mike

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Explorer ,
Sep 02, 2022 Sep 02, 2022

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Sorry, but this is BS (and still is in 2022).

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Community Expert ,
Sep 02, 2022 Sep 02, 2022

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Photoshop requires lots of free disk space to operate. Raster image editing moves huge amounts of data around, much more than any RAM you may have installed. All that temporary data has to go somewhere, so it's written to disk. That's the scratch disk.

 

This vastly exceeds the nominal file sizes. All your history states, for all open documents, go into the scratch file.

 

To be very clear: this is not a Photoshop setting or preference. This is real, physical disk space, and it's your responsibility to make sure it's there.

 

For casual use, you might get away with 50-100 GB free space. For serious work, you should have at least 500, preferably more.

 

If you're so low on space that Photoshop refuses to open, you'll very soon have much bigger problems than Photoshop. Your whole machine may freeze up any moment.

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Explorer ,
Nov 01, 2022 Nov 01, 2022

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lol @D Fosse. So, like (lets say) 20 years ago it was impossible to use Photoshop? Strange, I distinctly remember using it on a G4...

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2022 Nov 01, 2022

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It was exactly the same 20 years ago. You needed scratch disk space relative to the file sizes you were working on. Absolutely nothing has changed. I started with Photoshop 6.0 in 2001, and we needed scratch disk space then too.

 

It's always easier to work with reality than banging your head against it in denial. Your choice.

 

If you get "scratch disk full" messages, your scratch disk is full and you need to provide more. That's all there is to it.

 

This has nothing as such to do with Photoshop. It has to do with raster image editing in general. It has to move massive amounts of data around, much more than any RAM you may have installed, and that data has to go somewhere. What sets Photoshop apart from other applications is its sophisticated memory management system that allows a separate scratch disk. Other applications have to rely on OS paging, which is much more limited and hits the ceiling pretty fast. As a result, Photoshop can work with file sizes orders of magnitude bigger than other applications, without crashing or freezing. It just keeps going.

 

As long as you have enough disk space.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 01, 2022 Nov 01, 2022

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quote

I distinctly remember using it on a G4...

============

🙄 20 years ago, images were 1000% smaller.  Storage devices held megabytes and gigabytes of data.

 

Today's devices hold terabytes and cloud-based petabytes of data.

 

Nancy O'Shea, Product User & Community Expert
Alt-Web Design & Publishing ~ Web : Print : Graphics : Media

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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PHOTOSHOP WON"T OPEN! YOU CAN"T DO THAT IF YOU CAN"T OPEN IT!

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New Here ,
Aug 28, 2020 Aug 28, 2020

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Exactly!!!! and a MAC does not have ALT!!!!

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New Here ,
Sep 27, 2020 Sep 27, 2020

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I have a mac. If you still haven't fixed this problem, listen to what I'm about to say as I had the same problem. Clear up your storage, about ~10 GB should be optimum at the least.

You are getting the "Could not initialise" message from within the app. Although it isn't opening, the app is still running. So as you attempt to open it, hold down the Command and Option key simultaneously. This should prompt the menu that others are mentioning.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 22, 2021 Feb 22, 2021

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...yes it does?

 

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New Here ,
Apr 07, 2018 Apr 07, 2018

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I just had the same problem and found this on the Adobe photoshop support website (Optimize performance Photoshop CC😞

Note:

If Photoshop cannot launch because the scratch disk is full, hold down the Cmd + Opt keys (Mac) or Ctrl + Alt keys (Windows) on launch to set a new scratch disk.

I was able to reset the scratch disk and so far Photoshop is launching fine. Hope this helps someone!

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New Here ,
Jun 01, 2018 Jun 01, 2018

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But Photoshop won't open with 8GB of free space? So I can't change it.

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Guest
Jun 01, 2018 Jun 01, 2018

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Hi

Try holding down Ctrl+ALT for Windows/ Option+Command key for Mac OS and keep them held down and start Photoshop, you should see this

 

Learn more about setting up Scratch Disks.

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New Here ,
Jul 01, 2018 Jul 01, 2018

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THANK U ❤️

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2018 Oct 19, 2018

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Thanks!   Worked like a charm.  boot disk is small 110gb , but storage is 6 TB.

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New Here ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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CAN SOME ONE GIVE THIS MAN A BEER!! THANKS!

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New Here ,
Feb 10, 2019 Feb 10, 2019

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Thank you for this! Worked for me, but have to do it by opening Photoshop from the menu rather than desktop shortcut (which I did at first).

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New Here ,
Feb 12, 2019 Feb 12, 2019

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What if this doesn't work? I'm having the same issues, I had it set as my external hard-drive and somehow it didn't remember. I'm pushing CTRL+ALT and nothing. I get the spinning rainbow wheel of death.

SOS

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New Here ,
Apr 02, 2019 Apr 02, 2019

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yeah for this forum...worked like a charm!!

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New Here ,
Feb 13, 2020 Feb 13, 2020

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Thanks! help me a lot

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