Photoshop Error: Scratch disks are full [Fixed in 3 Steps]

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
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  • Adobe Photoshop is an industry-leading image editor that pretty much everyone has heard of.
  • The complete toolset makes it one of the most used image editors on the market.
  • If you are interested in a vector-based equivalent, Adobe Illustrator is your best bet.
  • For more great articles like this one, check our dedicated Adobe Fix page.
Solve Scratch Disks are Full error photoshop

Photoshop is one of the most powerful graphic editors out there. With lots of features and an incredibly intuitive interface, it quickly became a go-to for the PROs and the amateurs alike.

Despite its amazing popularity, Photoshop is not without its flaws and errors. One of the most common issues reported in Windows 10 by users is Scratch Disk is full.

Because Photoshop uses your hard drive as a temporary storage space or even as virtual memory storage whenever it runs out of RAM, it becomes the Scratch disk. The number of temporary files that can trigger the Scratch disk is full error.

How can I deal with Scratch Disks errors in Photoshop? The quickest way to solve the problem is to change the Scratch disk allocation. In most cases, the error gets triggered by insufficient storage space.

After that, you can delete Photoshop Temp files and increase the RAM limit.

Let’s find out how to do all that from the solutions below.

How do I fix Scratch Disks are full errors in Photoshop?

  1. Change the Scratch disk allocation
  2. Delete Temp files
  3. Increase the RAM limit in Photoshop

1.  Change the Scratch disk allocation

This is the first thing you should do because it’s rather simple and has been confirmed as working by the majority of users. To change the Scratch disk allocation, do the following:

  1. Download Photoshop free here
  2. Launch Photoshop.
  3. Go to Edit > Preferences > Scratch Disks.photoshop scratch disk full error
  4. Now choose your preferred drive or the one with the most space available.scratch disk full photoshop windows 10

In some instances, users reported that they cannot go into the app because of this error, and naturally, can’t get into Preferences.  If that’s your case, then follow the steps:

  1. Launch Photoshop.
  2. As soon as the launching process begins, hold Ctrl + Alt.
  3. A Scratch Disks Preferences window will appear.photoshop won't launch scratch disk error
  4. Now choose your preferred drive or the one with the most space available.

Remember that Photoshop needs a lot of swap space, and by default it will use the operating system or (C:) drive. If that’s not enough, be sure to change it to another one that has a lot more space.

2. Delete Temp files

As we already explained, a large quantity of temp files can trigger this error. A quick fix could be deleting them to create room for new ones.

Just go to (C:) > Users > Your user > AppData > Local > Temp and find all the ~PST or Photoshop Temp files and delete them. You can do the same thing by pressing Windows key + R > type %appdata% and hit enter > Local > Temp.clear photoshop temp files

Deleting the temp files should solve the issue and the error.

3. Increase the RAM limit in Photoshop

By default, Photoshop is only using 60% of the total amount of RAM. If your RAM limit is the default one or you have lowered it even more, it’s just a matter of time until you will bump into the Scratch disk error.

To increase the RAM limit, follow the steps:

  1. Launch Photoshop.
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance.solve scratch disk error photoshop
  3. Under Memory Usage section, you will see Let Photoshop Use option. Move the cursor to adjust the amount of RAM desired or type the number in the box.increase ram in photoshop scratch disk error

Photoshop will give you the Available RAM and the Ideal Range. You should take into consideration the Ideal Range and increase your RAM usage to about 70% or 80%.

Note that if you go above these numbers, your Windows 10 PC performance will take a noticeable hit and it is not recommended.

That’s about it. Hope that one of these solutions helped you get rid of the Scratch Disks are full error and you can move on with your amazing projects.

Remember to leave any other questions and suggestions in the comments section below, and we’ll be sure to take a look.

FAQ: Learn more about Adobe Photoshop

  • What is Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based imaged editor created, developed, and distributed by Adobe Inc. If you’re looking for the vector-based equivalent, there is Adobe Illustrator.

  • Can I download Adobe Photoshop for free?

Yes, Adobe Photoshop can be downloaded and tested for free for a 7-day period, along with all other Adobe Creative Suite programs.

  • What is Adobe Photoshop used for?

The original purpose of Adobe Photoshop is the doctoring of photos. Now it is used for both basic and advanced photo editing.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020  for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in May 2019 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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