Photoshop: Could not use the spot healing brush / fill because there's not enough memory

  • 4
  • Problem
  • Updated 7 months ago
  • In Progress
  • (Edited)
Is this ever going to get fixed? After hours of googling all I find is more people having the same problem.
This is in no way actually related to not enough memory, I have 40% of my 16 GB RAM free, 8 GB scratch space on one disk, 200 GB more on another, and it happens even when I'm trying to content-aware fill a single pixel in <1 MB single layer file...

Persists after reinstalls or resetting preferences, same in 19.0, 20.0.1 and 20.0.2
Other people have reproduced the bug, given the steps.
Here's a sample file:
- zoom in to 300% (optional)
- select spot healing brush (default = size 19 px, mode normal, content-aware)
- click with it at the top here:
- click anywhere else, it does the memory message anywhere unless it's an empty area.
- select any non-transparent area, even if it's just 1 pixel, with the rectangular marquee, click it with the right mouse button and select fill (content-aware)

And yes, I know the intended effect could be done in other ways, but that's not the point here. I've been doing this in the past all the time, so it did work before (using content-aware healing spot on the borders or transparent parts).
The only change I can think of is that I desaturated (shift+ctrl+u) this layer.
Photo of Deith Wen

Deith Wen

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
  • frustrated

Posted 8 months ago

  • 4
Photo of eartho

eartho, Champion

  • 1198 Posts
  • 363 Reply Likes
Weird. I can definitely reproduce this issue. Not sure why the transparency triggers the out of memory, but it's probably go something to do with not having enough pixel info to pull samples from. More than likely there's plenty of memory, but Ps just throws out that error because there's not one for not having enough to sample from...
If you put a solid color fill below your layer, everything works as expected, btw.
Photo of ivan.planinar


  • 106 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
+1. I can also reproduce this. I hope Adobe devs will take a look and possibly solve other memory issues for PS.
Photo of eartho

eartho, Champion

  • 1165 Posts
  • 356 Reply Likes
This is not a memory issue, it's just an error caused by a lack of image to use for the heal.
Photo of Deith Wen

Deith Wen

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
...or fill :) I'D say Ivan's issue is closely related, as not only the error message is the same, but also tools used (healing brush/fill).

Also it's kinda weird to not have enough image if I select just 1 pixel, even in the middle of the ~95x17 non-transparent pixels area. Shouldn't transparent pixels be "image" anyway? Just with special color :)
Adding a solid color fill layer only helps if I check Sample All Layers - and when working on the borders, it would heal/fill with the fill color instead of transparency.

I'm just hoping that bugs like this will be easier spotted (and fixed) when dealing with as simple example as possible that still causes this to happen, contrary to the usual workflows, which usually means big files and lots of stuff open in the background which may make the causes harder to pinpoint.
Photo of Jeffrey Tranberry

Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

  • 15622 Posts
  • 2365 Reply Likes
Official Response
Thanks. Those files were extremely helpful to consistently reproduce the problem. I'll have the engineers take a look.