How to fix "scratch disks are full" error in Photoshop?

Question

Issue: How to fix "scratch disks are full" error in Photoshop?

Hello. I was working in Photoshop and when I tried to use a gradient tool I received the “scratch disks are full” error. I am not able to perform any functions due to this error message. What should I do?

Solved Answer

Scratch disks in Photoshop refer to the location where the program stores information as it edits an image. Photoshop uses the scratch disk to store temporary files and cache data, which allows it to perform certain functions more efficiently.

Users may see the “scratch disks are full” error when there is not enough free space on the designated scratch disk(s) for Photoshop to continue working. This can occur if the user is working with large files or if they have filled up their hard drive with other files.

When a user sees this error, it can impact their workflow as they may not be able to save their progress or continue editing the image. It can also lead to crashes or other issues with the program. To resolve the issue, the user will need to free up space on their scratch disk(s) by deleting unnecessary files, moving files to an external hard drive, or increasing the amount of hard drive space on Windows.

Alternatively, user can also change the scratch disk location to another drive with enough space from Photoshop's preference settings. In this guide, you will find 10 steps that should help you fix the “scratch disks are full” error in Photoshop. Keep in mind that the manual troubleshooting process can be lengthy.

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How to fix scratch disks are full error in Photoshop

Method 1. Free up Disk Space

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  • Open the Settings app and click on System
  • Select Storage to view your computer’s storage details
  • You will see what is occupying the memory, and this will help you decide what to delete

Free up Disk Space

Method 2. Delete Temporary Files

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box
  • Type %temp% and press Enter
  • When the temporary folder opens, find the files named Photoshop or PST
  • Right-click those files and select Delete
  • Now go to the Recycle Bin and empty it

Delete Temporary Files

Method 3. Specify Drives for Scratch Disk

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Launch Photoshop and press and hold down the Ctrl and Alt keys at the same time
  • Select a new scratch disk from the Startup dropdown menu and click OK

Specify Drives for Scratch Disk

Method 4. Change the Scratch Disk Drive inside Photoshop

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Launch Photoshop on your computer
  • Click the Photoshop menu at the top, select Preferences, and choose Performance
  • Enable and disable scratch disks in the Scratch Disks section

Change the Scratch Disk Drive inside Photoshop

Method 5. Disable Auto-recovery Saving

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Launch Photoshop on your machine
  • Click Photoshop at the top, select Preferences, and choose File Handling
  • Untick the box that says Automatically Save Recovery Information Every

Disable Auto-recovery Saving

Method 6. Let Photoshop Use More RAM

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Open Photoshop on your computer
  • Click the Photoshop option at the top, select Preferences, and choose Performance
  • In the box next to the Let Photoshop Use option, enter the amount of RAM that you want Photoshop to use
  • Click OK to save the changes

Let Photoshop Use More RAM

Method 7. Delete Photoshop Cache

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  • Access Photoshop on your machine and click on the Edit menu at the top
  • Select Purge, and choose All

Delete Photoshop Cache

Method 8. Reset Crop Tool Values

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Access the crop tool in Photoshop and remove any values from the given boxes
  • When you enter any values, use pixels as the unit whenever possible

Reset Crop Tool Values

Method 9. Defragment Hard Drive

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Search for Defrag in the Start Menu search and click Defragment and Optimize Drives
  • You’ll see your hard drive partitions listed on the following screen
  • Select the one that you use as your scratch disk and click on the Optimize button

Defragment Hard Drive

Method 10. Reset Photoshop Preferences

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Close Photoshop on your computer
  • Press and hold down the Shift + Ctrl + Alt keys and launch Photoshop
  • You’ll get a prompt asking if you want to delete the Photoshop settings file
  • Click Yes to delete the file

Reset Photoshop Preferences

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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