How to wipe a scratch disk in Photoshop on an old Mac

Not many things are more frustrating than getting the error “Your request could not be completed because scratch disks are full” while working on a project in Photoshop… Not only that, but the program won’t let you proceed until this issue occurs is fixed.

Unless you have experienced this error before, you may not know what a scratch volume is and how to delete it Photoshop cache. Fear not – this error is quite common among older people Macs and there are some easy ways to fix it.

Why is my scratch disk full?

Like any other active application, Photoshop stores all temporary working files in your RAM (Random Access Memory). However, once your RAM fills up, Photoshop will start using one of your hard drives for extra storage – these are also known as “scratch drives”. At the same time as you create and edit your projects, Photoshop creates a lot of temporary files that also fill up your scratch disks and therefore result in an error.

Clear your Photoshop cache

The easiest way to clear your scratch disk is to clear your Photoshop cache. This essentially deletes all previous versions of your projects stored on your Mac as temporary files, thus freeing up more scratch disk space work on new projects. However, make sure to save all your current projects so you don’t lose any recent changes.

To do this, open a project in Photoshop. From the menu bar, choose Edit > Clean > All and click OK in the pop-up window. Repeat this step for other projects until the issue is resolved.

Delete temporary files in Photoshop

Another simple solution to this error is to manually delete all temporary files in your Photoshop. To do this, simply remove all files with the “.tmp” extension. You can also search for “/tmp” in your Finder window, which will automatically find all temporary files and folders on your Mac, making them much easier to find and delete.

Free up your storage space

While clearing your Photoshop cache or temporary files can get rid of the error, the roots of this problem lie in the cluttered hard drive on your Mac, so it may not be long before you run into it again. By freeing up as much space on your hard drive as possible, you are more likely to get rid of this problem for good.

Erasing your hard drive means going through all your files and deleting anything you no longer need. This can include removing duplicate files, uninstalling and deleting unused applications (and any leftover files). Clear your browser cachesempty your recycle bin and so on.

While not necessary, it can be a good idea to always follow the 15% rule when it comes to your hard drive space. This rule states that you should always have 15% of your disk space free to make room for new files when working on projects in Photoshop or other applications. How to wipe a scratch disk in Photoshop on an old Mac

Fry Electronics Team

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