Could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full [FIXED]

In this article, I will assume that you guys know what Photoshop is, and that you’re familiar with the application.

Reason behind this error

Scratch Disks are full photoshop
MS Windows
scratch disks are full photoshop macOS

Photoshop uses your PC’s RAM to store temporary files while you’re on your project. Sometimes, your RAM runs out pretty quickly when you work on resource-intensive projects. When that happens, Photoshop is smart enough to use your hard drive to store temp files as a temporary virtual memory holder. This hard drive space is referred to as a scratch disk.

If you get this error when you start photoshop or when you perform a certain action, the reason behind this is that, you don’t have enough space in the particular partition where your “Scratch Disks” are located.

Possible Fixes

If you’re able to start Photoshop, you can navigate to the default “Scratch Disk” folder and delete PS temp files. They’re pretty easy to recognize.

From this window, you will be able to locate and change your scratch disks.

The default location for Temp Files of Photoshop is (Windows)

C:/ > Users > “YourUser” > AppData > Local > Temp.

For macOS

Library > Application Support > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop > Caches > Temp

PS Temp files are easy to identify. Their name starts with ~PST or Photoshop Temp

If you get this error, when you launch Photoshop

You can use the Keyboard shortcut to access “Scratch Disk” location of Photoshop. Make sure to press these shortcuts simultaneously, right after you launch Photoshop.

Windows and macOS keyboard shortcuts to access the Scratch Disk windown of Photoshop
Keyboard Shortcuts to access Preferences Window of Photoshop
After pressing those keys based on your Operating System, you will get to this window


Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard when it comes to Graphic Design. It is somewhat resource intensive, but all this depends on the kind of projects you work on. If you run into this issue often, you can try upgrading the amount of RAM available in your system. Then you can set the amount of RAM Photoshop can use. You can easily do that by going going to the Preferences Window and choosing Performance. By default, it is set at 60% of your system RAM. You can go higher. But make sure NOT to exceed the 80% threshold. That can make your computer slower.



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