How to solve Photoshop scratch disk is full

If you are a designer, photo editor, or digital artist, you must be a Photoshop user. It is not uncommon for users of this photo editing software to experience problems when using it, for example a problem with the error "Scratch Disks Are Full Error". For that, below we provide solutions to overcome these problems.

So, before moving on to the Scratch Disks Full problem, you need to know what causes this problem to appear and learn why it occurs.

How to solve Photoshop scratch disk is full

What Causes Scratch Disk Full Error?

This is why your system displays Scratch Disk Full:

  • There is not enough space on your hard drive: If you have less RAM, the system will access the primary partition (mostly C drive) to store temporary files there. If the C drive is fully charged, then programs running like Photoshop will have trouble functioning properly. At this point, the Scratch Disk Full error appears.

  • Files in the Temp folder on your desktop are full: Piling up temporary files in the Temp folder of various applications makes it difficult for Photoshop to save files on the C drive

  • Large number of Photoshop cached files: Over time, Photoshop generates large amounts of cache files that otherwise can be deleted an error that says, "Could not complete command because scratch disk is full."

How to Fix Photoshop Full Scratch Disk Errors?

So, how do you solve the Scratch Disk Full error in Photoshop? Here are five methods to fix it. You need to know, there are many causes for the Scratch Disks Full error. Therefore, you should try all of the following solutions one by one:

1. Clear Cache and Free Up Storage Space

In most cases, the primary partition (drive C :) will be the default Scratch Disk if you haven't changed it to another directory. So, to free up enough space, you can try the following steps:

  • Open Photoshop and open its main interface
  • Click Edit, then open Preferences, and click Performance
  • You will find a pop-up window open. In the dialog box, you will be able to specify which directory will serve as the Scratch Disk. You must ensure that the disk has at least up to 40 GB of free space which is required for the multimedia software to function smoothly.
  • Once you've finished freeing up space, close the app and reopen it. Check if the Scratch Disk error persists.
  • If the error still occurs, please restart your laptop / computer.
  • If the error still appears, it's time to try the next solution.

2. Clean Temporary Files

As mentioned above, the large number of temporary files from other programs is the reason for the appearance of "Scratch Disks Full" in Photoshop. Here are the steps for deleting temporary files from your computer:

  • Click the Start Menu and type Run in the search box. Or just press the Windows and R keys together.
  • dialog box will appear where you need to type 'AppData'. Then press Enter.
  • Under the folder called 'Local' you will find a folder called 'Temp'.
  • You can delete all files there. Or, if you're worried about doing so, look for files with the ~ PST extension
  • Once you find the list of files, select them all
  • Press Control (CTRL) and Delete to delete all files directly from your computer
  • For MacOS users, the file extension will be PST instead of ~ PST.

3. Change the Scratch Disk Location

Maybe the problem is because your C: drive is full. So, even after deleting temporary files there is still insufficient space for Scratch Disks to function properly, then you can change the disk location. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open Photoshop's main interface
  • Click Edit, then open Preferences, then click Performance
  • You will find where the Scratch Disk will be the C: drive. Choose another drive, which has a lot of free space.
  • Then click the 'Default' option and click OK to close the dialog box.

Mac users should follow a slightly different process, and here's how:

  • Open Photoshop's main interface, click on Preferences, and hit the Scratch Disks option.
  • The Startup Disk, in all likelihood, will be marked as the default Scratch Disk. Uncheck and set another partition with sufficient space as a Scratch Disk.
  • Click OK. Restart the Photoshop program.

Note: We recommend that you restart the system first before re-opening Photoshop so that the changes that have been made above are complete.

4. Allow Photoshop to Use More RAM

We have discussed earlier how RAM is an important and definite factor behind Scratch Disk Error.

And most of the programs from Adobe Suite use a lot of RAM. By default, Photoshop occupies 60% of temporary memory. For that try increasing the percentage of RAM usage.

Using this method, Photoshop will stop accessing the hard drive to get more space as it switches to RAM storage. Follow these steps to carry out the process:

  • Open Photoshop's main interface.
  • Click Edit, then on Preferences, and then go to Performance
  • In the opening dialog box, on the left, you will find the memory usage controller. Adjust a little more than the optimal range. Our recommendation is up to 75 or 80%.

Mac users must take the following steps for the process:

  • Under the main interface, open Photoshop, go to Preferences, then select Scratch Disks, where you will find the memory usage controllers.

If this process doesn't work, the File Auto-Save feature might eat up too much of your designated hard drive. You can try turning off the feature.

5. Disable Auto-Recovery Saving Photoshop files

This is actually a great Photoshop feature. Often we forget to save a project while it is working and suddenly the computer crashes or restarts itself or a power failure causes the project we are working on to become damaged.

To fix this, Photoshop has an Auti-Recovery feature. However, one of the drawbacks of Auto-Recovery is that it takes up a lot of space on the hard disk which allows it to interfere with the smooth running of the Scratch Disk operation, so you can turn off this feature:

Here are the steps for the process:

  • Open Photoshop's main interface
  • Go to Edit
  • Click Preferences
  • Select the File Handling tab
  • In the dialog that appears, make sure the option "Save Recovery Information Automatically" is unchecked.
  • Save changes by clicking OK.


Well, that's how to solve or fix the Scratch Disk Full error. The key is to understand the root of the problem and find a solution to the problem. Hopefully with this article all your confusion and questions about Scratch Disk are resolved. Good luck!