Fix Full Photoshop Scratch Disc Errors

  1. Troubleshooting steps and quick fixes to free up space for photo editing
  2. Set up scratch disks
  3. Delete temporary Photoshop files
  4. Free up disk space
  5. Defragment your hard drive
  6. Disc Scratch Errors When Trimming
  7. Swap Scratch Discs
  8. More about scratch disk

Troubleshooting steps and quick fixes to free up space for photo editing

Question . What is a Photoshop Scratch Disc? How To Fix “Scratch Disc Full” Errors?

Rosie writes: What is a working drive? And more importantly, how can I delete its contents because the program no longer allows me to use it, because it is obvious that the “scratch disk is full”. Please help, this is urgent! “


The Photoshop scratch disk is your hard drive. Photoshop uses your hard drive as temporary swap space or virtual memory when your system doesn’t have enough RAM to perform an operation. If you only have one hard drive or partition on your computer, the scratch drive is the drive where your operating system is installed (drive C on a Windows system).

Set up scratch disks

You can change the scratch disk location and add multiple blank disks from Photoshop preferences (in Windows: Edit menu > settings > “scratch discs”, in macintosh. : Photoshop CC Menu > Preferences > Scratch Disks ). Many experienced users like to create a special hard drive partition for Photoshop scratch disk. Although Photoshop works with a single blank disk on the system partition, you can improve performance by setting the scratch disk as the fastest disk on your system. Other helpful guidelines for setting up blank drives: Avoid using the same drive your operating system is installed on, avoid using the drive that stores the files you’re editing, and don’t use network or removable drives for a blank drive.

If you have a fast solid state drive (SSD) installed on your computer, you should use the SSD as your scratch drive, even if it is your system drive.

Delete temporary Photoshop files

If Photoshop does not close properly or crashes during an editing session, rather large temporary files can remain on your scratch disk. Temporary Photoshop files are commonly called ~PST ####. tmp on Windows and Temporary#### on Macintosh, where #### is a sequence of numbers. It is safe to delete.

Free up disk space

If you get a Scratch Disk Full error, it usually means that you need to free up space on each disk defined as a scratch disk in Photoshop’s Preferences, or add more disks for Photoshop to use as workspace.

Defragment your hard drive

It is also possible to get the “Disk full” error even if there is free space on the scratch disk. This is because Photoshop requires contiguous unfragmented free space on an empty disk. If you get a “Storage disk full” error and there is enough free space on the blank disk, you may need to run a disk defragmenter utility.

Disc Scratch Errors When Trimming

If you get the “Stub is full” error when you try to crop an image, you probably entered size and resolution values ​​in the crop tool’s options bar by mistake, or you entered values ​​in the wrong units. For example, entering dimensions of 1200 x 1600 when your units are set to inches instead of pixels will result in a huge file that may result in a scratch disk full message. The solution is to press Clear in the options bar after selecting crop tool but before crop selection drag . (See: Troubleshoot Photoshop’s Crop Tool)

Swap Scratch Discs

When you open Photoshop Settings , you can select a category Scratch discs , to open Scratch disc settings panel . Here you will see a list of all the drives connected to your computer. Select one of the disks to switch from the current scratch disk. You can also click Command option (Mac) or ctrl-alt (PC) when starting Photoshop to change the Scratch disk.

More about scratch disk

For more information about how Photoshop uses RAM and scratch disk space (see Memory allocation and usage (Photoshop CC) by Adobe), or see the “Assigning scratch disks” section in the online help for your version of Photoshop.

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