Photoshop is a robust and popular program for editing photos and designing graphics. It offers an abundance of features and tools to improve and edit images, but sometimes, the vast magnitude and complication of image editing tasks can decelerate the tool. One of the usual suspects behind this lack of responsiveness is the scratch disk in Photoshop. In this blog post, we will investigate the meaning of a scratch disk, reasons for its potential fullness, and techniques to improve its efficiency to enhance the efficiency of your photo editing process.

Understanding the Photoshop Scratch Disk

The scratch disk in Photoshop functions as a designated storage space located on your computer’s hard drive which Mac Photoshop utilizes as virtual memory. When you operate on big documents or execute demanding processes, Photoshop on Mac employs the scratch disk for storing temporary information and exchanging files. By using a temporary storage, Photoshop on Mac can clear scratch disks, and memory and manage complex tasks efficiently. However, if your temporary storage is running short on space or fills up, it can significantly impact how well Photoshop runs and decrease in speed your editing workflow.

Why Do Scratch Disks Become Full?

There are a number of various factors that lead to scratch disks becoming full. Here are a few common scenarios:

  1. Working with Large Files: When you modify high-quality images or work on assignments with many layers and effects, the temporary files produced by Photoshop can rapidly occupy the scratch disk.
  2. Limited Storage Space: If your computer’s hard drive has restricted storage capacity, it can lead to an occupied scratch disk. This is especially accurate if you employ your startup disk for alternative programs or if you haven’t assigned sufficient room solely for the scratch disk.
  3. Insufficient RAM: If your computer has Insufficient RAM, Photoshop may rely more heavily on the page file to compensate. This elevated usage can lead to an overflowing scratch disk.
  4. Accumulated Cached Data: Over time, Photoshop accumulates cached data on the scratch disk, which can take up valuable storage space. If this data is not regularly cleared, it can contribute to a full scratch disk.

Clearing the Scratch Disk in Photoshop (Mac)

If you’re encountering slow performance due to a full Photoshop scratch disk on your Apple computer, no need to panic. You can take multiple measures to reduce the issue, find ways to clear space on your Mac, and clear scratch disk photoshop on Mac, and accelerate the photo editing procedure. You can also avoid other scratch disk errors as a result. One option could be to use the CleanMyMac software to optimize Mac performance. Here’s how you can clear the scratch disk in Photoshop for Mac:

1. Check Available Storage Space

Prior to any step, it is crucial to inspect the accessible storage capacity on your computer’s main drive, which serves as the default working disk directory. To do this, access the Apple menu, pick “About This Mac,” and tap on the “Storage” tab. If your hard drive is nearing capacity on space, consider making available some disk space or assigning an alternative disk as the buffer space.

2. Change Scratch Disk Location

Photoshop enables you to assign another drive as your temporary storage. To change the temporary storage location, open Photoshop and go to the “Photoshop” menu. After that, choose “Settings” and subsequently “Buffer Disks.” Remove the checkmark for your main disk and choose a different drive with sufficient available storage. It’s recommended to choose a rapid and exclusive drive, such as a flash drive, for peak performance.

3. Clear Scratch Disk

If you have already changed the buffer drive location and are still experiencing issues, you can try purging the scratch disk within Mac Photoshop to clear the scratch disk. In order to accomplish this, access the “Edit” menu, choose “Purge,” followed by selecting “All.” By doing this, all cached data on the scratch disk will be deleted and create more space for smoother operation in Photoshop on Mac.

Optimizing Photoshop Performance on Mac

Apart from managing your scratch disk effectively, there are additional steps you can take to optimize Photoshop’s performance on your Mac. Consider the following tips:

1. Update Photoshop

Frequently monitor to get the latest information to guarantee you’re employing the most recent edition of the Photoshop application. Adobe regularly publishes patches that resolve performance issues, glitches, and security weaknesses. Upgrading to the most recent update can boost overall functionality.

2. Increase RAM

Adobe Photoshop depends on available memory to ensure smooth performance. If you frequently work on huge files or challenging projects, consider improving your Mac’s memory to a greater capacity. Use Clean My Mac to optimize the space on your Mac and boost its performance. Additional memory permits Mac Photoshop for storing and retrieving additional information, decreasing the requirement for unnecessary scratch disk utilization.

3. Utilize GPU Acceleration

Activate GPU acceleration in Photoshop settings if your Mac supports the GPU. Graphics processing unit acceleration transfers processing tasks to the dedicated graphics card, resulting in quicker rendering and enhanced overall performance.

4. Optimize Photoshop Preferences

Photoshop gives you multiple options and adjustments that can be changed to cater to your specific demands. Explore options such as storage levels, past states, and text previews to strike the right balance between performance and functionality.

5. Manage Plug-ins and Fonts

Too many or badly optimized plug-ins and typefaces can impact the performance of Photoshop on Mac. Evaluate the extensions and text styles you have uploaded and turn off or delete any that you don’t regularly utilize. Moreover, make sure that the extensions and typography are upgraded to the newest updates to steer clear of compatibility conflicts.

6. Optimize Hard Drive

Consistently optimizing and improving your Mac’s storage device can enhance the performance of Photoshop. Use the in-built Disk Utility tool or non-native applications to rearrange and resolve any storage errors.


The scratch disk in Photoshop has a significant impact in improving the software’s efficiency, specifically during resource-intensive projects. Comprehending the significance of temporary storage and acquiring the skills to control and improve them can vastly enhance the speed of the process of editing your photos. By frequently monitoring unused storage capacity, adjusting the scratch disk location, and removing temporary files from the scratch disk when needed, you can ensure that Photoshop runs smoothly on your Apple computer. Additionally, applying different optimization methods, such as upgrading the software, expanding the RAM, leveraging GPU acceleration, organizing plug-ins and fonts, and enhancing the hard drive optimization, will further enhance your editing experience. With a fast storage drive and optimized Photoshop settings, you’ll be able to tackle your picture manipulation projects without any efficiency issues or delays.

Guest post provided by Max Bell