Steps to Clean Scratch Disk on Mac

What is Scratch Disk?

Scratch Disk is space created on hard disk for temporary storage. When you are using Photoshop application, it requires a work space called cache memory or virtual memory where all temporary project files are stored and accessed. By default, it uses the drive space in which Photoshop application is installed. This drive space is called scratch disk.

Why Need to Clean Scratch Disk Mac?

Photoshop program doesn’t automatically get rid of temporary files which are not needed anymore. Hence, scratch disk space gets full and become insufficient for the application due to which you will get scratch disk full error.

Methods to Empty your Mac Scratch Disk-

1. Delete Photoshop Temp files: If Photoshop program crashes in the middle of an editing session or terminated abruptly, then it fairly leaves large temporary files on your scratch disk. Look for Photoshop temp files that start with Temp on Mac or PST on Windows followed by some numbers and .tmp file extensions. These are safe to delete.

2. Clear disk space: When you can't open Photoshop and scratch disk full error pop up unexpectedly, then you need to clear some space on the scratch disk. Either you can go ahead and erase your old files to free up some space or add the additional drive for Photoshop to use a scratch disk. Follow these steps to change and add multiple scratch disks in Photoshop:

  • Launch Photoshop and go to Preferences, then click Performance tab
  • Tick the checkbox to add or remove a drive as the scratch disk
  • Click Ok icon and restart Photoshop

3. Defragment your hard disk drive: Sometimes, even if the scratch disk has free space, you may get scratch disk full error. This is because Photoshop application needs contiguous free space on the scratch disk. To get rid of this error, you need to run disk defragmentation utility.

After performing the above steps on your Mac machine, you can definitely get rid of scratch disk full error. But, there are chances that your Photoshop files might get corrupt or damaged and refuses to open. Nothing to worry! In such case, you need to use Remo Repair PSD tool to open damaged Photoshop files in just a few clicks.