If you use Photoshop, you may run into the problem of having your scratch disk full. A scratch disk can be defined as a drive for temporary Photoshop storage. The software needs the drive for temporary documents that it creates while you use Photoshop.
The problem with these temporary files is that the computer system creates invisible folders and stores the data in them. In other words, you cannot simply locate these files and remove them from the system. No, things are more complicated than that.
Add the fact that by default, Photoshop creates scratch files in the same drive where your operating system is. For instance, if you separate your hard drive or solid-state drive and use one part for the OS and the other for different data, the odds are that the part with the operating system will be smaller. And if you are not careful, the disk will run out of space due to too much Photoshop clutter.
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Clearing the Scratch Disk
The question is this – how to free up scratch disk space and eliminate the problem from running rampant on your computer.
There is an option to tinker with system settings to access the temporary files and remove them manually. However, you may run into potential trouble since not all systems may give you access to temporary files that easily.
Instead, you would be better off getting a cleanup utility tool that removes unnecessary system junk for you, including Photoshop scratch.
Investing in such a tool is worth it because you will need to remove temporary data regularly so long as you use Photoshop. Besides, it is not just Photoshop that creates unnecessary temporary files. Other software also comes with caches, plugins, and extensions. Getting rid of this data will free up the overall computer disk storage and improve performance.
Adjusting Scratch Disk Preferences
You could also readjust scratch disk preferences on Photoshop and even invest in an external drive that you would use as a scratch disk. If you have a laptop, replacing the integrated HDD or SSD may be a bit tricky but still possible. At the same time, you can just connect an external drive and use that. For PC owners, things are a bit easier.
Now, as for what kind of drive you should buy, it comes down to your budget and preferences. Overall, it is recommended to get an SSD instead of an HDD because the former performs so much better compared to its counterpart.
It will also help if you keep the scratch disk mostly for the Photoshop needs, though it would not hurt to add other files on it so long as these files do not get in the way by cluttering the drive.
Lastly, defragment the scratch disk regularly so that it has less junk on it and runs smoother. And keep in mind that the more often you defragment, the better because waiting for too long means more files to defragment. And the more data the computer has to deal with, the more time it will require.
Freeing up Disk Space
You may still encounter errors about having a full scratch disk despite your best efforts. If so, why not take a different approach and look for ways to free up the drive space on your computer so that Photoshop has more storage to work with? Besides the aforementioned temporary junk files, there are multiple methods to make more space on your hard drive or solid-state drive.
- Scan for potential malware
There is a chance that your computer has malware or another cybersecurity threat consuming the drive’s space. Scan the system with a reliable anti-malware tool and get rid of any potentially corrupted files.
- Delete old files
Permanently removing files you no longer need should also be a good way to free up the total storage. Be it software, video games, or photos you downloaded from social media; these files may take more space than you expect. If you do not need them, why keep them on the computer?
- Use cloud storage
Your data management strategy could be based not just on removing files. Just like transferring some data to an external hard drive, you could also use services like iCloud or Dropbox.
Cloud storage is an excellent alternative, and it provides a safe location to keep your files. Keep in mind, though, that you will likely need to pay a monthly fee to get enough space on clouds because the default plan usually offers a few gigabytes of storage.
- Stick to streaming platforms
The last piece of advice is to use streaming platforms rather than hoarding large media files on the computer’s drive. You can watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services.