How to Fix Scratch Disks Are Full Error in 2023

by Trevor Rocious

Nowadays, there are lots of people that specialize in photo editing, designing, and other photography-related activities. The advancement in technology has made photo editing activities easier and quicker. With the use of computers, experts in this sector can come up with fascinating and beautiful photographs. One of the photo editing tools is Adobe Photoshop. The Adobe Photoshop suite has been identified as one of the few software that popup errors while in use.

This is because the software uses the RAM and storage of the PC. When this error message is displayed, it sometimes discourages and can become annoying. Nonetheless, these scratch disks are full error can be fixed. There are different ways through which you can fix the scratch disks are full error. However, it is essential to figure out the best ways to fix the error. With that said, today, I will be telling you about the best way to fix the scratch disks are full error.

What Scratch Disk Means

The scratch disks are storage space on the hard disk where files are stored temporarily. The temporal storage of files on the hard disk becomes imperative when there is no memory space to run photoshop's operation on the PC.

Causes of Scratch Disks Are Full Error Message

1. Increased Temporary Files

The presence of a large number of temporary files on your PC is one of the major causes of the scratch disks are full error message. The temporary files are found in the C-drive of your PC. Also, you can generate temporary files when you don't close the Photoshop editing tool properly. With the presence of a lot of temporary files in your hard disk, you will get the error message when you attempt saving photoshop edited files.

2. Low Hard Disk Space

The hard disk is the major part of the computer where data is saved. If the temporary space on your RAM is low, files are saved in the primary partition (C: drive). In case there is no space the primary partition on your PC, it becomes difficult for the photoshop editing tool to function effectively. At this point, you are likely to get the error message.

3. Large Photoshop Cache Files

One of the files that are generated while working with the photoshop editing tool is the cache file. Many a time, the cache files are not deleted from the memory disk. An accumulation of the undeleted cache files results in you getting the error message.

Summary of Best Ways to Fix Scratch Disks Are Full Error in 2023

The table below summarizes the points to note about the methods of fixing the scratch disk error issues.

Methods Discussed Points no Note
Free Up Enough Space
  1. Use this method if you have not changed the settings on your device.
  2. It involves you freeing a minimum of 40GB space on your hard disk.
Remove Temporary Files
  1. Remove temporary files from your hard disk.
  2. Delete all uncompleted Photoshop edited files.
  3. Remove files that end with.PST on Windows OS and PST on Mac.
Change the Scratch Disk LocationChange your hard disk with another one that has a large storage
Increase RAM space for PhotoshopIncrease the RAM on your device to between 70%-80%.
Stop Auto Recovery of Your Photoshop Files
  1. Auto recovered files occupy space in your hard disk.
  2. Stop or disable the auto-recovery set up for files on your device.

Methods of Fixing the Scratch Disks Are Full Error

Now that you know the meaning and the causes of the scratch disks are full messages, it is essential to look at the ways through which you can solve the problem when the need arises. Today, there are lots of ways through which you can fix the error. However, in this section, I will be discussing the tested and trusted ways of fixing the error.

1. Free Up Enough Space

Provided that you have not to change the preferred memory of your device, the primary partition is always set as the scratch disk by default. So, if you have not to change the settings, this method will definitely work effectively for you. The steps you can follow to free up space is discussed below

  • Locate the Photoshop software. Then click on it to access its main interface.
  • Navigate to the "Edit" icon. Tap the "Edit" icon. Then maneuver the mouse to the "Preference" icon, and tap "Performance."
  • Next, you will see a popup window. When the window loads up, you will easily ascertain the directory set for your scratch disk. Then if space is filled up, you can free up space. While freeing up space, e nsure you have a minimum of 40GB space. The 40GB space is good enough for the excellent working efficiency of any multimedia tool.
  • Now that you are through with the freeing up of the space, you can close the software and open it again. Then check if the error message is no more, or maybe it still appears.
  • If you still get the error message, you will have to restart your PC.

If the error message persists, then the next solution will fix it.

2. Remove Temporary Files

As said earlier, the accumulation of temporary files in your PC can result in you getting the error message. These temporary files are generated from uncompleted Photoshop edited files and files from other programs. With a large accumulation of temporary files, you can get the error message. However, you can fix the problem by following the step below

  • Press the Windows and R key simultaneously or hit the main menu icon and enter "Run" in the search box.
  • A dialog window will appear on the screen. You can type "AppData" and hit the enter key on your keyboard.

  • You can search for files that end with -PST and delete them from your PC. Also, if you are not afraid of losing your files, you can permanently delete all the files.

  • If your device is Mac, the files you are to delete ends with PST. Also, you should use the command key instead of the control key that is used on Windows PC.

3. Change the Scratch Disk Location

In case the first two solutions don't work out well, then you can suspect if there is something wrong with the location of the scratch disk or there is no enough space for the scratch disk to run properly. If any of these issues persist, you can consider changing the location of the scratch disk. The steps involved in changing the scratch disk location are discussed below

  • Open the interface of the Photoshop software
  • Hit the "Edit" icon and navigate to Preference. Next, click on the "Performance" icon.
  • You should see the location of the scratch disk on your device. You can choose any other drive that has enough space that can make your scratch disks run successfully.
  • Hit the "Default option" and tap "OK" to close the opened dialog box.

For Mac Users

  • Open Photoshop and click on "Preference" on the main interface.
  • Click on the "Scratch disk option."
  • You will see the Scratch Disk marked as the default option. You can search for a partition with enough space and set it as your scratch disk.
  • Tap "OK" and restart the Photoshop software.

4. Increase RAM space for Photoshop

As said earlier, one of the causes of Scratch disk error is the non-availability of enough space in the RAM of your device. The Photoshop software takes up to 60% of your RAM space. Hence, increasing the RAM on your PC can fix the error message. The steps involved in increasing your RAM space are discussed below

  • Open the Photoshop software and tap the "Edit" icon.
  • Navigate to preference and hit the "Performance" icon.
  • Open the dialog box on the left side of the screen. Then the Memory Usage Controller will appear. Try tweaking the memory usage controller to achieve up to 70%-80% space for the Photoshop tool. This should fix the scratch disk error.

For Mac Users

  • Open Photoshop
  • Navigate to Preference and click the "Scratch Disk" icon
  • The Memory Usage Controller will appear. You can tweak it to get your desired percentage of space.

5. Stop Auto Recovery of Your Photoshop Files

Auto recovery of files generated during Photoshop editing is an excellent feature of the editing tool. The auto-recovery saving helps you recover your files when your PC unexpectedly shut down. However, this feature can also result in you getting the scratch disk error message. This is because the space in the hard disk may have been filled up. To stop the auto-recovery of the files, you can follow the steps discussed below

  • Open the Photoshop software
  • Tap the "Edit" icon
  • Hit the "Preference" button
  • Navigate to File Handling
  • A dialog box will appear. Then disable the automatic save recovery Information.
  • Click on OK to save the change applied.


Today, I have discussed the ways through which you can fix the scratch disk error issue. Please read through and apply any of the solutions to solve the challenge.

About Trevor Rocious

Trevor Rocious is a prominent science blogger known for his engaging and informative content in the field of scientific exploration and discovery. With a passion for unraveling the mysteries of the universe, Trevor has captivated a wide audience with his ability to communicate complex scientific concepts in a relatable and accessible manner.

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