If you’ve reached this page, then the chances are you’ve experienced the same problem as myself. When you go to open Photoshop, you get an error message saying it ‘Could not initialize Photoshop because the scratch disks are full’.

I’ll share the steps you can take to fix it along with the ones that worked for me.

The problem is that you are short of the virtual/cache memory that Photoshop needs to process and store temporary project files. Essentially, you’ve run out of space and need to clear it. So, how can you fix the issue?

  1. Free up space on your hard drive (worked for me): try to free up some space on your hard drive using Windows Explorer on PC or Storage Management. I ran into this issue when I had less than 5GB space on my Mac. By deleting and moving files to another hard drive, so I had at least 10GB made the issue go away.
  2. The reboot (worked for me): it’s a tried and tested method in IT, the restart!
  3. Clear Photoshop cache: unfortunately, Photoshop often won’t let you get this far until you’ve freed up some space, but it’s a useful piece of housekeeping, although only do it if you’re sure you don’t need an older version of a project. Open Photoshop if you can, click on ‘Edit’ > ‘Purge’ and then select the item you’re happy to delete.
  4. Clear your caches (worked for me): on a Mac, open Finder, then ‘Go’> ‘Go to Folder’> ‘~/Library/Caches’ > ‘Go’ and delete either just the Photoshop sub-folder inside the ‘Caches’ folder or all files inside the ‘Caches’ folder to free up space, but not the ‘Caches’ folder itself. If you’re on PC, then this article is useful.

You’ll find other suggestions when you search for options, but these are the ones that I’ve tried.

Please let me know of how you got on and alternative suggestions in the comments.

Disclaimer: as usual, do your own research and make sure you backup your computer before deleting anything.