Mac is one of the devices that we can count on in using programs like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Photoshop. Now, if you are in this kind of field, then you must probably encounter some errors that are actually related to your scratch disk.

One of the most common error that you will receive is when Photoshop is unable to open together with a message that says “could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disk is full”.

However, lucky for you that even if you are encountering this kind of error you still can get it fixed.
In this article, we are going to show you how you can possibly get this error fixed. We are also going to show you with how to clear scratch disk and how you can clean up your Mac to have it performed at its best.

Article GuidePart 1: Knowledge about Scratch Disk You Need to HavePart 2: What Should You Do Once Your Scratch Disk Is FullPart 3: How to Clear Scratch Disk on Mac EfficientlyBonus Tips: Improve Your Online Experience Using Any Web Browser

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Part 1: Knowledge about Scratch Disk You Need to Have

Before we proceed with the process on how to clear your scratch disk, it is a must that you first need to have the knowledge about the scratch disk. As what they say, you will never find the perfect solution if you do not understand nor determine the problem.

Once that you started using programs such as Final Cut Pro or Photoshop, they will automatically ask you to have some sort of space called the virtual memory or sometimes called the cache memory.
This is because of it the place where all the project files that you are going to make will be saved and accessed.

Your scratch disk actually serves as your hard drive space which is used by the programs such as Photoshop. It serves as the virtual memory when you no longer have enough RAM for you to be able to finish your task.

When you are using Photoshop, it actually allows you to use several scratch disk on your Mac. If you are working on with some large images and layers, the Photoshop program will then start to get your Mac’s space and is piling up your project temporary files.

So, once that you started using Photoshop, always keep in mind that you have an option for you to use your scratch disk on your chosen hard drive. Then you need to clear scratch disk photoshop when it is full. We mostly recommend for you to do is for you not to use your Mac’s system drive not unless you no longer have another alternative.

How to Clear Scratch Disk

Part 2: What Should You Do Once Your Scratch Disk Is Full

When you are using your Mac, there is a tendency that you will be receiving a message that says “scratch disk full”. This means that you have used up all the space on your hard drive that you have used to assign and be used as your scratch disk

Photoshop does not always have the ability to remove the temporary files that you no longer need. This is where the problem occurs. So if this is the case, what you need to do is for you to delete photoshop temp files mac.

Part 3: How to Clear Scratch Disk on Mac Efficiently

This is a solution that you can do once that you received a message that says “scratch disk is full”.
If you happen to get this kind of message on your Mac, then that means that the hard drive that you have assigned as your scratch disk is out of space. Then maybe you should do something like removing mac purgeable space.

The one problem that you will encounter in using Photoshop is that it does not always remove all the files that are temporary once that you no longer need them. Now, this can be a big problem if you do not know what to do or the solutions that you need to know. That is why we have included here some ways on how to clear scratch disks.

Here is a quick guide on how to clear scratch disk on Mac, just have a look at these easy steps as following:

  1. Clear Photoshop scratch disk.
  2. Delete Photoshop temp files on Mac.
  3. Make sure that you empty your disk space.
  4. Replace your scratch disk.

Clear Scratch Disk Photoshop

Step 1. Clear Photoshop Scratch Disk

In general, the photoshop program already comes with a built-in solution which it can detect its cache.
Once that these caches were not removed by photoshop automatically by the program, these will be piled up and can take up a lot of memory from your scratch disk space.

For you to be able to use this tool, all you have to do is to enter Photoshop on your Mac and launch it together with an image and do the following steps.

  1. Go ahead and click on the edit menu button.
  2. Then, point your mouse cursor over “purge” for you to see four different options.
  3. Then try to click Undo, Clipboard, History, All. If you see an item that is in grey then that only means the item is already deleted.
  4. After that, you can also choose a specific item that you would want to remove. You can also click on “Select All” if you would want to delete your cache all at the same time.
  5. A prompter will give you then a warning that the action will not be undone. Now, this is where you have to make sure that you no longer need any item on your project. Then click on the “OK” button.

By following the steps above, you will know how to clear photoshop scratch disk.

Delete Photoshop Temp Files

Step 2. Delete Photoshop Temp Files on Mac

In terms of having your scratch disk space full, the thing that is responsible for this is your Photoshop temp files. As we have mentioned earlier, there are instances that this program removes these files automatically. However, if it does not, then you have to do it manually.

For you to start looking for these temp files, you will be needing to find those files that start with “pst” and a string of numbers together with the extension name “.tmp”. You can also try to look for your scratch drive.

However, you have to make sure that you will be able to find everything. You can also try to look within your entire Mac. This process may take up some time so you have to be patient enough until the process is complete.

Empty Your Disk Space

Step 3. Make Sure That You Empty Your Disk Space

If in case you do not have any spare hard drive or you do not want to get a new one, then the best option for you to do a quick clean up on your Mac. You can start by looking at the content of your hard drive and look for any files that you no longer need and delete it.

One alternative that you can also do is for you to transfer your DVD’s, external hard drive, or your storage cloud to your iCloud or your Dropbox.


For all those macOS Sierra users, some are already aware that Apple has a new tool that can help you in managing your storage space on your Mac. All you have to do is to do the following steps.

  1. Go to the Apple Menu.
  2. Then click on “About This Mac”.
  3. Then choose “Storage” and you will be able to see the new bar graph for Sierra.
  4. Once that you select “manage” then you will be prompted to the new tools that the Sierra has.

This version had released several helpful elements that could help you such as using the “Optimized Storage”.
However, since these kinds of things on your Mac are made automatically, then people who use Sierra do not know what their Mac is doing for them.

So, if this is the case, what we usually recommend you to do is for you to turn off all these tools on your Mac.
Otherwise, if you want to turn them on automatically, then make sure that you have the knowledge of what it can do to your Mac.

Replace Your Scratch Disk

Step 4. Replace Your Scratch Disk

As what we have mentioned earlier, you can definitely identify what is taking up your Mac’s storage space. Now the thing that you can do is for you to change your scratch disk into another hard drive that you have on your Mac system. If in case that you no longer have any hard drive on your Mac, they might as well buy one. Choose SSD as this will be the best option as a scratch disk on your Mac.

Here are the steps about how you can change the scratch disk on your Photoshop.

  1. The first is to go ahead and click on Photoshop.
  2. Then go to “Preference” and then choose “Scratch Disk”.
  3. After that, go ahead and mark down the checkbox for you to remove or to select a hard drive and serve as your scratch disk.
  4. Then click on the “OK” button.
  5. After the process is complete, go ahead and restart Photoshop.

Bonus Tips: Improve Your Online Experience Using Any Web Browser

Now, there are instances that you might be needing to use your browser while you are working on your Photoshop. And pretty sure that you do not want to experience a slow browsing performance on your browser. But how to fix Mac running slow? Do not worry because we have the best tool that you can use.

For you to have a better experience in using your Mac’s web browser, all you need is the iMyMac Browser Cleanup.

This program will allow you to improve your online experience using any web browser that you have on your Mac. This is because it has the ability to clean up your junk files, caches, cookies, and history. It can also remove any deceleration reasons and can help you in cleaning up any traces on your browser. This way, all your important data on your browser will be protected.

Here is how to use the iMyMac Browser Cleanup:

Step 1: Download and Launch iMyMac-PowerMyMac

The first thing that you need to do is for you to download the iMyMac-PowerMyMac on your Mac. You can download the program by going to our official website at And then, have the program installed on your Mac.

Free Download

Launch the program once that you have successfully installed it on your Mac. On the left side of your screen, you will be able to see all the actions that the iMyMac-PowerMyMac can do.


Step 2: Scan Your Browsers on Mac

From that list, go ahead and click on the “Browser Cleanup-Privacy” button under "ToolKit". Once that you have already selected the module, go ahead and click on the “Scan” button. The program will then start scanning of the data that you have on your browser.

Privacy Scanning

Step 3: Preview and Choose the Browser's Data to Clean

When the scanning is completed, you can select the desired browser and choose the browser cash, histories, cookies you want to clean.

Privacy Chrome

Step 4: Browser Cleaning is Done

Once that the scanning process is complete, you will have the option for you to choose which browser on your Mac that you want to clean.

Once that you click on your desired browser to clean, you will be able to see on the right side of your screen all the things that you can remove such as histories, cookies, cache.

After seeing all the things that you would want to remove from your browser, go ahead and click on the “Clean” button. Click on the “Confirm” button from the pop-up menu to confirm the changes.

The iMyMac Browser Cleanup will then start cleaning your browser. Wait for the program to complete the process.

Privacy Chrome Delete

There you have it! Your browser is all cleaned up.

In Conclusion

Now that you know what scratch disk is, you now have the idea on how and where it is used. Make sure that this scratch disk has more than enough space so that you can save more files using Photoshop.

An in case that you run out of space, simply clean up your scratch disk or you can go ahead and assign another hard drive that will serve as your scratch disk.

You can also clear disk space with the best free Mac Cleaner. The iMyMac Browser Cleanup is also one of the most effective tools that you can use since you will be using the browser on your Mac frequently.

By having this program, you are sure that your browsing experience will be better as it can help you clean up all the junks like history, caches, cookies, and more that you no longer need on your browser. This way, your task will be done faster.

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