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

You might have seen the error “Could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full.” if you are a Photoshop user.

As the error message indicates, the scratch disk that is being used by Photoshop is full. Do you wonder “what are these scratch disks?

The scratch disks are any drive or partition on your computer with free memory. The Photoshop application uses a scratch disk to perform user operations if there is not enough RAM available. Generally, a drive should be selected as the scratch disks with high defragmented space available.

If you ever encounter this Adobe Photoshop error, you have 2 options. Either you change the existing scratch disk location or add additional scratch disk.

Here is a step by step guide to fix this Adobe Photoshop scratch disk full issue.

  1. Launch Photoshop
  2. In the loading screen, hold down Ctrl+Alt till the Scratch Disk Preferences window appears.
    photoshop scratch disk full issue fix
  3. Either change the first disk location or add a second location.

Read also: A simple way to fix the Outlook search issue

How to change Photoshop scratch disk location?

Once you have the workaround of changing the scratch disk location at startup and are able to launch photoshop, you can add up to 4 disk locations and change the order as well in the preferences.

Go to Edit → Preferences → Scratch Disks… to see the available options.

If you want to continue with the same scratch disk, you need to clear the scratch dish location.

I am writing this post as I have got this scratch disks full error in Photoshop multiple times and wanted to share the details.

The above steps that I mentioned to fix the photoshop error are for Windows 10/8/7 but if you are using a Mac, here are the steps to follow.

  1. Press and hold Cmd + Option on the startup screen that shows the scratch disk preference window.
  2. Add/Modify the drive options

The path for changing the scratch disk location remains the same for both Windows and Mac.

Edit → Preferences → Scratch Disks…

I hope this fixed your scratch disk full error in any version of Photoshop.


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