Many people are really happy with their Mac device, and they never encounter any issues with it, until they see an error message on their device. This error often refers to a scratch disk being full, and you might not know what a scratch disk is. A scratch disk is a proportion of an SSD or disk drive that is used as virtual memory or as cache memory. This is frequently needed by intensive applications, such as Photoshop or other Adobe products. In theory, any large project you work on might require a huge amount of storage space or memory that is used temporarily, so it is important that you know how to fix this error.
How to Clear Scratch Disks
Whenever you see a pop-up message saying “the scratch disks are full” it means there has been an excessive build-up of temporary files, this is often not even visible to you as occupied memory. This can also happen if you are running out of free space or RAM, or if the disk partition you are working on is full.
In order to solve this problem and clear your scratch disk, you can follow the advice shown on CleanMyMac’s post.
- Make sure you clear your Photoshop cache occasionally, as this is similar to the files that continuously build-up on your memory. Those applications that require a lot of memory should be monitored by the user frequently in order to avoid RAM problems.
- Remove any temporary files you may have lying around in your Mac, if you do not need them for any projects you are working on. You can do this by opening a Finder window and searching for any files with the extension “.tmp”.
- Directly clear your disk space, if it is necessary. You can do this by checking your storage space available, on the Apple Menu, then About this Mac, then Storage. You can then remove any old downloads, old large files, empty your bin or tidy up your desktop. Remember that this is a process you should do every single day, making this a routine. Don’t wait too long to clean your computer’s disk space, otherwise you are going to accumulate useless files that are never going to be used.
- Monitor your RAM activity and take action. You can find this on Activity Monitor (Finder, Applications, Utilities) as the most RAM-intensive processes will be listed at the top of the list. If you don’t need any of those processes, you can simply end them.
- Another way is to disable auto-recovery saving, as this is set by default to save recovery files every 30 seconds, hence creating a lot of temporary files you may not need and which might eat up your precious space. Make sure this is disabled according to your needs.
- The last resort would be to simply quit and end the application you are running, which has prompted the error message. Sometimes this gives you a break from the error message, but be aware this may come back in the future if no further actions are taken.