Effective Ways to Clean Scratch Disk in Photoshop CC

Estimated read time 7 min read

How to clean scratch disk in photoshop cc

Adobe Photoshop CC is a powerful tool used by photographers, designers, and artists around the world. However, constant use of Photoshop can consume a significant amount of your computer’s scratch disk space, which can slow down your computer and affect Photoshop’s performance. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of cleaning the scratch disk in Photoshop CC.

Step 1: Close Photoshop CC

Before we begin cleaning the scratch disk, it is important to close Photoshop CC completely. This ensures that no files are being accessed or modified during the cleaning process, which could lead to data loss or corruption.

Step 2: Locate the Scratch Disk Preferences

Next, we need to locate the scratch disk preferences in Photoshop CC. To do this, open Photoshop CC and navigate to the “Preferences” menu. Under the “Preferences” menu, click on the “Scratch Disks” option. This will open the Scratch Disk preferences window.

Step 3: Select a Scratch Disk to Clean

In the Scratch Disk preferences window, you will see a list of available scratch disks. These disks represent the different storage devices connected to your computer. Select the scratch disk that you want to clean by clicking on it to highlight it.

Step 4: Click on the “Purge” Button

Once you have selected the scratch disk to clean, click on the “Purge” button located at the bottom of the Scratch Disk preferences window. This will initiate the cleaning process for the selected scratch disk, removing any unnecessary temporary files and freeing up disk space.

Step 5: Repeat for Additional Scratch Disks (if necessary)

If you have multiple scratch disks listed in the Scratch Disk preferences window, repeat steps 3 and 4 for each scratch disk that you want to clean. This will ensure that all the selected scratch disks are optimized for better performance.

By following these steps, you can easily clean the scratch disk in Photoshop CC, optimize its performance, and free up valuable disk space on your computer. Regularly cleaning the scratch disk is essential to ensure that Photoshop CC runs smoothly and efficiently for all your creative endeavors.

Step 1: Close Unnecessary Applications

Before cleaning the scratch disk in Photoshop CC, it’s important to close any unnecessary applications that are currently running on your computer. This will help ensure that Photoshop has the maximum amount of available space on the scratch disk to perform its operations.

To close unnecessary applications, follow these steps:

1. Save your work

1. Save your work

Before closing any applications, make sure to save any open projects or documents to avoid losing any unsaved work.

2. Close all other programs

Open the task manager on your computer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc or right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager.” In the task manager window, go through the list of running applications and processes and close any that are not essential or currently in use.

Some common applications to close include web browsers, media players, chat programs, and any other resource-intensive or memory-consuming software.

Once you have closed all unnecessary applications, you can move on to the next step of cleaning the scratch disk in Photoshop CC.

Step 2: Access Preferences

Step 2: Access Preferences

Once you have launched Photoshop CC, you need to access the preferences settings in order to clean the scratch disk.

To access the preferences, follow these steps:

Step Action
1 Click on the “Edit” menu located at the top of the screen.
2 From the dropdown menu, select “Preferences” and then click on “Scratch Disks”.
3 A preferences dialog box will appear. Here, you can choose the scratch disks you want to clean.
4 Check the boxes next to the scratch disks you want to clean.
5 Click the “OK” button to save your preferences.

By accessing the preferences and selecting the scratch disks to clean, you are now ready to move on to the next step in this guide.

Step 3: Set New Scratch Disk

Step 3: Set New Scratch Disk

Here are the steps to set a new scratch disk in Photoshop CC:

  1. Open Photoshop CC on your computer.
  2. Go to the “Edit” menu at the top of the screen and click on “Preferences”.
  3. In the Preferences menu, click on “Scratch Disks”.
  4. A list of available drives will appear. Choose the drive that you want to set as the new scratch disk by clicking the checkbox next to its name.
  5. If you have multiple drives available, you can rearrange them in the order of your preference by clicking and dragging the drives in the list.
  6. Click “OK” to save your changes and exit the preferences menu.

By setting a new scratch disk, you can ensure that Photoshop CC has enough temporary storage space to work efficiently without any performance issues. It is recommended to choose a drive with plenty of free space to avoid running out of scratch disk space during your editing sessions.

Step 4: Clear Scratch Disk

Step 4: Clear Scratch Disk

After identifying the location of your scratch disk in Step 3, it’s time to clear it out to free up some space. Here’s how you can do it:

Method 1: Manual Deletion

One way to clear your scratch disk is by manually deleting the temporary files stored in the selected location. Follow these steps:

  1. Close any open files or projects in Photoshop.
  2. Open the File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac).
  3. Navigate to the location of your scratch disk as identified in Step 3.
  4. Locate the temporary Photoshop files, which usually have the “.tmp” extension.
  5. Select the files you want to delete and press the “Delete” or “Trash” button.
  6. Empty the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac) to permanently remove the files from your system.

Note: Be cautious when deleting files manually, as you might accidentally delete important files. Make sure you only delete the temporary Photoshop files.

Method 2: Photoshop Preferences

Photoshop also provides an option to clear the scratch disk within its preferences. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Photoshop CC and go to the “Edit” menu at the top.
  2. Select “Preferences” and then choose “Scratch Disks” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the Scratch Disks preferences window, uncheck the box next to the scratch disk you want to clear.
  4. Click “OK” to save the changes.
  5. Photoshop will prompt you to restart the application for the changes to take effect. Click “OK” to proceed.

After Photoshop restarts, the scratch disk will be cleared, and you will have additional space for your Photoshop projects.

By clearing your scratch disk regularly, you can optimize the performance of Photoshop and prevent any issues caused by insufficient disk space. It’s a good practice to clean your scratch disk periodically to maintain efficient workflow in Photoshop CC.

Step 5: Restart Photoshop CC

Step 5: Restart Photoshop CC

After completing the previous steps, it is important to restart Photoshop CC to ensure that all changes take effect. Restarting the program can help refresh the system and eliminate any temporary files that may still be occupying the scratch disk.

To restart Photoshop CC, simply close the program and then reopen it. This can be done by clicking on the “File” menu at the top left corner of the window and selecting “Exit” from the drop-down menu. Once the program has fully closed, you can reopen it by clicking on the Photoshop CC icon on your desktop or by searching for it in your computer’s applications folder.

By restarting Photoshop CC, you can ensure that the scratch disk is properly cleaned and ready for use. It is recommended to restart the program regularly, especially if you notice any performance issues or if you have been working with large files. Doing so can help maintain the efficiency of Photoshop CC and prevent any potential errors or disruptions in your workflow.


What is a scratch disk in Photoshop CC?

A scratch disk in Photoshop CC is a designated space on your hard drive that is used by Photoshop as temporary storage for large files and editing actions.


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