Photoshop CC: Cannot save because the document is bigger than 2 gigabytes

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  • Updated 4 weeks ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
I have a fairly small psd file (1920x1080) containing just a couple of layers (25) mostly embedded linked psd files (small - between 70kb and 400kb each).

Now Photoshop (CC latest fwiw) sais, it can't save the document because it's bigger than 2 gigabytes. The document info sais Doc: 7,91M/50,9M...

Now what?

iMac 24GB RAM, Mavericks (latest), PS CC (latest)
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Andy Fuchs

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Posted 4 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Something in your document is much larger than you think, and it overflows the 2 Gig limit for PSD when saving.

You can save to PSB that handles larger files - but the file is still going to be large.

You need to figure out what in your document is so large (possibly a layer mask, or a transformed smart object that goes WAY outside the document bounds).
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Andy Fuchs

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It was my background rectangle (live shape 1920 x 1440px - seems not extremely huge to me ;)). After deleting the layer and dropping a new live shape in, things worked again.
A better error-message would be helpful, though.

thx

andy
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Chris Cox

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Something about it had to be much larger -- did you confuse inches with pixels somewhere?

And the message means what it says - the file size exceeded the 2 GB limit for PSD files. There could be hundreds of possible causes of that, and no way to list them all in the message.
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Andy Fuchs

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Hi Chris,

thanks for trying ;-) - but no, I re-verified - there was nothing wrong with the rect (if I could have saved it, I would have sent it for investigation anyway). I dragged everything to a new window - same problem; so PS was unhappy with something. I then deleted one layer after the other (unfortunately top-down, so the background rect was the last ;/)

The canvas (window) was setup to be 1920x1440px in size and I created/dragged the rect to exactly that size.

I don't know, if this is helpful, but there was one thing which I found mysterious:
- as I said, the window was 1920x1440px
- the rectangle was set to exactly that size, but at the right and bottom edges there was 1px missing and the window background shined through. When I moved the rect to fill out the whole window, the rect was 1921x1441px. And I verified a couple of times, the rect's origin was at 0x0px.
IIRC I had a similar problem a while ago, but dunno about the details anymore.

Maybe the problem was a coincidence of a couple of different things, but the Mac was freshly rebooted and only PS was running (as application).

I don't know if any of the above makes sense or is helpful in any way, but it may be related to the way I use SmartObjects (or linked documents), because that was what I was working on. (btw. I think I still have a former version of the doc, where the SmartObjects lost their references in a weird way: When updating one of the SmartObjects, only *some* of the other objects were updated (in my case 3 from 20) - I'll look tomorrow, if I still find this version).

Anyway - thanks for responding!

Best

Andy

Btw. since I'm doing UI all the time, everything in my settings is set to px - since 22 or 23 years (that's when I started using PS 1.0) ;-)
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Petr Seifert

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I have same problem. File contains some small bitmap layers + simple vector smartobject. When I save to PSB, filesize is 83MB.

Win 7 64bit, latest PS CC
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Federico Palmieri

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Hey all!

I had the same problem a couple of minutes ago and the only solution I found was to apply all the masks and then save.

Hope this helps someone out!
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Chris Cox

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That means that you had a transformed mask that was huge, and were saving in PSD format instead of PSB.
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Radwan Adel

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Try cropping the design... you may have file going over the canvas.. See 1st comment Chris Cox...
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Pete Rose

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The error message says to check 'saving and exporting' files, but the search function does not identify this topic
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steve shuck

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I had this problem on a piece of art I'm painting and it's 18,000 X 12,000 pixels. Yes, HUGE! The problem is if you have ANYTHING outside of the base rectangle/artboard the "beyond 2 gigs" message came up. I place a layer filling it completely with color, then I clicked on that layer and any layer that had anything outside the rectangle. By using the cursor and "pushing" the "bunch" of layers up, down or to the side I could see what was outside the rectangle. To delete the unwanted stuff I used the selection tool to select that layer of color I filled, hit invert and delete the effected layer, repeat for each layer. Now, you need to repeat the whole process from the selected layer again and again as you "push" your layer 'bunch' around and around so you can delete all outside the rectangle. Once finished, I moved my layer bunch back to the rectangle and now it will save! Can you picture that? Should I make a video?
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Choose Save As, then select Large Document Format from the Format pop-up in the save dialog. It will allow you to save a file greater than 2GB
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Linda Wood

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I believe this is a bug, I have the same problem since upgrading to the 2018 version of PS

I regularly have elements of my image outside the document canvas as I work in pattern so I’m doing repeats. My documents are usually quite large 7200x7200 or larger but the files are rarely bigger than a few hundred MB, I’ve been using Photoshop in a similar way for around 20 years and with similar document sizes for at least the last 8 years. Only since upgrading to the 2018 version of PS have I had this problem and it happens quite regularly. The document size reported in the PS UI is always less than 2GB, the only way to get it to save when this problem occurs is to remove everything outside the canvas and merger all the layers, even then it sometimes still won’t save. As others have mentioned, the problem seems to stem from having things outside the canvas which was never a problem in the past.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Can you save one of your files that you think should be smaller than 2GB (save as a PSB) so we can examine it for clues? (Post it to CC files or dropbox and provide a URL to download)

Often files are larger than you might imagine for valid reasons/
(Edited)
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Marcela Gomez

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The same thing happened to me and I figured out I was editing the image in 16bit but didn't change it to 8bit before trying to save it. This happened to me because, I had recently changed my settings in Lightroom to export into Photoshop in 16bit instead of 8 bit.
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Marcela Gomez

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In Photoshop, go to Image -> Mode -> 8bit then you save it. I hope this helps you.
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Amanda Roland-Convey

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Hi thanks for this info... I've spent hours trying to save some files for an exhibition I'm working on and I've managed to lose everything twice! I've just seen this on the forum, but my 8bit is greyed out... any solutions to that please.... really struggling to save anything... 
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Joseph Mcwilliams

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I had the same issue. 
File in 8 bit. 
8.5 MB when saved in .psb
No masks
No hidden or large objects
What worked for me was during the save process, unticking the Maximize Compatibility box in the Photoshop Format Options pop up modal. 
Hope that helps.