6 Steps to Fix Scratch disks are full Error in Photoshop.


Scratch disks are full:

Scratch disks are full is one of the annoying error in photoshop. A scratch disk is used when photoshop is running. If scratch disks are full you can’t save or do anything in photoshop. To fix it you have to do some settings in photoshop.


What is a Scratch Disk?

A scratch disk is a disk drive or SSD used for short storage while Photoshop is running. Photoshop uses this space to store portions of your documents and their history panel situations that don’t fit in the RAM. Scratch data go into hidden OS-specified folders, except for non-boot volumes on Windows, at the source directory of the drive. When a non-boot drive is used as a scratch disk, the temporary files are stored in the drive’s root directory. The Scratch disks are full error occurs in photoshop.

What do Scratch Disks are Full Mean and How Much Space do you need for Disk?

To prevent getting scratch disks are full error, You must have to know how much space you need for the Disk.

  • The scratch space needed depends on how you update and the number of history states in memory.
  • If your changes are small only then you should need a minimum of 1.5 GB scratch disk space for Photoshop (with default preferences, brushes, patterns, etc.) plus 2 times the area of all the files you have open at a similar time.
  • If you make large changes to dense pixel layers (then using several filters on complex background photos or many edits to big smart objects) you could need as many times the size of the real file as there are history states.

Photoshop always reserves 6 GB of space on boot drives as well and 1 GB on non-boot drives to avoid any problem for the operating system by running a drive completely out of space. Having many hundreds of patterns or brushes loaded significantly increases the required scratch space for Photoshop to launch.

How to Fix Scratch Disks Are Full:

To fix the scratch disks are full error in photoshop, You need to do some settings in photoshop.

Method 1: Increasing the RAM provided by Photoshop:

Another solution that might make the Scratch disks are full error away is to allow Photoshop more RAM. By default, Photoshop is calculated to draw 60% of your entire RAM, but you can execute it use even more. Here’s how.

  • Edit > Preferences > Scratch Disks or Photoshop > Preferences > Scratch Disks.
  • In the Preferences dialog, select or deselect the Active checkbox to enable or disable a scratch disk. To edit the scratch disk order, click the sign button.
  • Click OK. To apply the changes after restart Photoshop.


Method 2: Delete temporary files

If you have the attitude of force-closing Photoshop without presenting it enough time to accurately close down projects, it will leave a huge chunk of temporary files back. If you do this many times, your temp folder will become full of Photoshop associated files. To remove Scratch disks are full errors do these settings.

The good news is, Photoshop files can be quickly recognized and deleted. Normally, their name starts with ~PST or Photoshop Temp (in newer versions). You can delete them securely without any risk of harming your system. Your temp folder is placed in C:/ > Users > “YourUser” > AppData > Local > Temp.

Method 3: Editing the scratch disk location

If your photoshop shows you, the “scratch disk is full” error before you run to get into the settings, there’s a quick shortcut that you can use to improve Scratch Disk Preferences. To use it, start Photoshop and as soon as the window jumps up press and hold CTRL + Alt or press Cmd + OPT on a Mac. You will quickly see a Scratch Disk Preferences menu.

 Select the different partition from the drop-down menu near First and hit Ok. Your Photoshop will restart without displaying the “scratch disk is full” error.

Method 5: Adjusting your scratch disks

Expert “photoshop users” will sometimes arrange a dedicated hard drive partition correctly to prevent an issue like Scratch disks are full. Although Photoshop is capable of working quite well with the default scratch disk arrangement, you might get cleared of the error by providing Photoshop to use other partitions.

By default, only your C:/ drive is chosen to serve as a scratch disk, but you can allow all your partitions to share this responsibility. To do this, move to Edit > Preferences and click on Scratch Disks.

Once you enter the Scratch Disks tab, check the box near each partition to allow them as scratch disks. Then click Ok and reboot Photoshop.

Method 6: Purging Cache

Another step to fix Scratch disks are full. While going on projects you might have figured a lot of layers to an image or made a lot of editing, as we all know you can quickly undo your previous steps and research with the image. But the storage of these steps that you do takes up a lot of space on the scratch disks and if you are going with a huge project these actions can take up gigabytes of space. Therefore, in this step, we will be clearing this cache but keep in mind that the undo steps will be finished and you won’t be able to return to an older version of the image. To do that, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Photoshop window in which you are currently running.
  2. In the top tray, Select on the “Edit” option and choose the “Purge” button.
  3. Agreeing on the “Purge” button
  4. There are a few options here. These are described as follows.
  5. Undo: Clears the history of your changes and by removing you won’t be able to undo your changes.
  6. Clipboard: Delete the clipboard of the things that you might have copied. You won’t be ready to paste anything that you have copied so far if you remove this.
  7. History: Removes the history of your changes to the image. The changes stay but you won’t be able to lookup the changes that you have done to an image.
  8. All: Deletes all cache.
  9. Video Cache: Deletes all video cache that you might have in reserve. Removing this won’t allow you to return changes made to a video.
  10. Click on the option which you need to clear and confirm the information promptly.
  11. Check to see if the problem continues.


Advantages / Disadvantages of Disk Partitioning

I have a 100 GB hard drive on my Win XP Pro desktop. I’m using a 250GB external drive for backups and I’m wondering if there would be any benefit in partitioning my internal hard drive.

I understand that some people like to keep their OS and programs in one partition and their data in another partition on the same hard drive.


  1. Ease of Formatting – If you ever need to format, you don’t need to copy the data first, as it’s in a different partition. You can just format the OS partition.
  2. Enhanced Security – Increases data security as your data is now in a different partition. Malicious programs that affect or scan files on only one disk will not scan your data partition.
  3. Improved performance – You can defragment your OS disk for maximum performance and not worry about it being fragmented as quickly as the data (where it changes the most) is on a different partition.


  1. Slower data movements – Moving data from one partition to another takes some time, as opposed to moving data in the same partition.
  2. Inconvenience when setting up. It is recommended that you take steps so that your OS can efficiently use the other partition as data without affecting your workflow. for example, move the My Documents folder to a different section.
  3. Reduced Space – When you have 2 partitions, some space is wasted.

How to Clean Up a Scratch Disk in Photoshop on Mac

The Mac is one device we can count on with programs like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Photoshop. Now, if you are in this area, you are likely to run into some errors that are actually related to your scratch disk. One of the most common errors you will get is when Photoshop cannot open along with the message “ Photoshop could not initialize because the scratch disk is full ”.

However, luckily for you, even if you encounter such an error, you can still fix it simply by learning how to clean up your disk. In this article, we show you how you can fix scratch disks are full in photoshop. We’re also going to show you how to clean up a scratch drive and how you can clean your Mac to free up space and perform at its best.

Can’t Open Photoshop because Scratch Disks are Full?

Before we start the process of cleaning up your scratch disk, you need to first become familiar with your scratch disk. As the saying goes, you will never find the perfect solution if you don’t understand and define the problem. Once you start using programs like Final Cut Pro or Photoshop, they will automatically ask you to allocate some kind of space called virtual memory or sometimes called cache memory. This is because this is the place where all the project files that you intend to make will be saved and available.

Your scratch disk actually serves as hard disk space, which is used by programs like Photoshop. It serves as virtual memory when you no longer have RAM to complete a task. When you use Photoshop, it actually allows you to use multiple scratch discs on your Mac. If you are working with some large images and layers, Photoshop will start taking space on your Mac and accumulating temporary files in your project.

So, once you get started with Photoshop, always remember that you have the option to use the scratch disk on your chosen hard drive. “Scratch disks are full” will happen on Mac or Windows 10, the two most used systems. Then you need to clean up photoshop from scratch when it is full We generally recommend that you do not use the Mac system drive unless you have another alternative.

What do Scratch Disks are Full Photoshop Message Receive?

When you are using your Mac, there is a tendency that you will receive a message that says “Scratch disks are full.” This means that you have used up all the hard disk space that you used to be assigned and used as a scratch disk.

Photoshop can’t always remove temporary files that you no longer need. This is where the problem comes in. So, if that’s the case, you need to delete temporary files in Photoshop on Mac.

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