Photoshop 2020: Temp Files Filling Scratch Disk FAST (possible memory leak?)

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  • Problem
  • Updated 4 months ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
I work with extremely large PSB files (~20-100 GB). Supercharged Windows 10 machine built for this purpose alone, that includes:
  • NIVIDIA Quadro P4000 (8 GB RAM)
  • 128 GB RAM
  • 1 TB OS Drive
  • 14 TB Data Drive
  • 4 TB Data Drive
  • 2 TB, RAID 0 scratch disk 
Previous project file was 50 GB and used approximately 500 GB of my scratch disk. Current project file is now reduced to 22 GB. After upgrade to PS 2020, I had to add 2 additional scratch disk options and TEMP files are now eating 4 TB and counting! It's creating anywhere from 3 to 8 new 64 GB Temp files every minute when using the program!

After spending 1 hour on tech support, I was told this is normal, expected behavior; to use 10+ times as much scratch disk space as Photoshop 2019!

Screen capture available here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/r31dzyzsq1uiv2m/Photoshop-2020%20Scratch%20Disk%20Issue.JPG?dl=0
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Greg Parrish

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  • frustrated

Posted 9 months ago

  • 7
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Dan La Vigne

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Same problem here: 500MB file INSTANTLY taking up 75GB of my scratch. Just from OPENING THE FILE.
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Thomas Lévy

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Same here too...and
Ive deleted my temp files, and launched PS2020
and chose a clean 1200*1200px sheet, and watch my temp files goes up to 12gb just from a clean sheet.
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Jayson Noftle

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Yes, I'm having the exact same issue!!! Dozens of 64GB Temp Files are filling all 7 TB of scratch disk space (in about 30 minutes), and then not allowing me to "save". I switched back to PS 2019 and it's not an issue. I've lost many hours of productivity over this issue! HELP! FAST!
(Edited)
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Noel Carboni, Employee

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Hi Greg, presuming you haven't already been contacted by and are working with someone from Adobe, I'd like to try to learn more about what you're seeing.

I'm sure you already know that Photoshop keeps an entire copy of your document's working memory content for EACH new step stored in the History panel, and that is expected to grow.  The total scratch disk space used for such history states can be limited by configuring the History States setting in the Performance Preferences panel.

We've tried generally to reproduce the issue you've stated here on several of our big Windows systems but beyond just what you'd expect by multiplying out the storage needed to keep the History states during editing we're not seeing runaway usage of scratch disks.  Presuming what you're reporting goes beyond multiplying width x height x depth x history states, can you describe what operations you're doing to cause an increasing number of scratch files to accumulate?

Thanks!

-Noel Carboni
 Adobe QE Developer
(Edited)
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Phillip Anderson

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Same issue here. Working on a 3GB file created in PS 2019. Within a few minutes of brushing a mask my 500GB scratch disk was full. As I have just managed to convince management to spend money on an ultra fast drive to devote to being a scratch disk, and I don't think I can convince anyone to let me spend the cash for multi terabyte array, I am forced to continue to use PS 2019 unless this issue is addressed. I commonly work on files that are between 15-20GB so this new structure is unacceptable. I would suggest there be an option for handling temporary files in preferences between the previous and new versions. Not everyone can just go out and spend more money whenever Adobe gets the inclination to change a fundamental part of the PS workflow.

Thank you for letting me vent, very frustrated.
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Noel Carboni, Employee

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I apologize for this being a bit of review and/or not applicable for some, but we need to separate expected scratch space use from that which is unexpected.  Certainly some of you have already compared scratch space use in Photoshop 2020 against its predecessor and are reporting an increase in disk usage.  I'm concerned that configuration options may be changed / reset between versions, or that documents have changed leading to different results.

A bit of background on our architecture:

When working with large files, Photoshop will make an entire RAM copy of all the data associated with your document for each new History/Undo Step created.  This is optimized for speed, not space efficiency, as we imagine you don't want to wait for your History/Undo Steps to be saved.

Once a sequence of History/Undo Steps have filled your available system RAM, Photoshop must write the data to a scratch file, via our own memory management subsystem.  In fact it plans ahead and does this pre-emptively.  Again, this process is managed with an eye toward speed optimization, so large blocks of disk storage can be expected to be allocated at once.

The important takeaway from the above is this:  Your History/Undo Steps will be at least as large as the RAM your document uses in memory, which is affected by pixel width x height x channel depth and may multiply further depending on your use of layers.  If you're editing a document that takes 10 GB of RAM, then every step you perform that adds a state to your History panel will  use 10 more GB of RAM and ultimate disk space.

You can see how this could add up in a hurry.  For example, 50 History States x a 10 GB document could chew through 500 GB of disk space in 50 operations.

Things you can do to lower the use of RAM and scratch space are:

1.  Watch your History panel and determine how many History States you really need (i.e., how far back you want to be able to Undo).  If possible, configure your History States setting in your Preferences > Performance section to a smaller number.  If you're seeing a difference in the way Photoshop 2020 behaves vs. Photoshop CC 2019, bear in mind they don't use the same preferences and please check your HIstory States setting in both versions.

2.  This is of course not always possible but if you can, change some of your givens so that you're working with smaller documents.  This might mean using a lower ppi or channel depth, or collapsing some layers... 

That said, I'm already convinced that many of you already know the above implicitly and are experiencing a new problem.  I really need to be able to reproduce it so that we can understand the conditions in which it is occurring, which will lead us to being able to fix any problems.

I am still working to try to craft a document with which I can see a significant difference between the scratch space usage behavior Photoshop CC 2019 and Photoshop 2020, so if any of you can provide me such a document it would be extremely helpful in getting this issue resolved.  Again, my eMail is (squeeze out the spaces):  carboni@ adobe. com

Thanks!

-Noel Carboni
 Adobe QE Developer
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Phillip Anderson

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Just FYI, I just opened a document typical of the working files I deal with on a regular basis. The file size is a little over 18GB. I made sure my history states were set to 50 (reasonable I think, and what I have been using on previous versions of PS) Upon open I simply went into quick mask and put down fifty dots, which in itself ate up 495GB of scratch disk space. I attempted then to go in and edit a blur in a smart layer and got the "out of scratch disk space" message. I don't think I'm alone in saying that I cannot work at a lower ppi and I need to preserve as many layers and their effects as I can. I need occasionally to go back and pick up a particular effect I made or do a drastic revision to an existing piece. If I flatten out layers I lose the ability to do that and would need to start from scratch on many images, which would waste much more of my time than waiting for the scratch disk to catch up, which is the problem I just spent money to improve, and is working just fine under PS 2019. If you need me to send you a document that is doing this, I think I could send you almost any file I've worked on in the past 5-10 years and you would get the same results. I will have to see what files I'm currently working on I can send your way, but this isn't a hard problem to replicate. This new way of allocating scratch disk space seems to be geared directly at people generating web content with relatively small file sizes. I appreciate you would like to improve the speed, but this scheme is unworkable. Adobe, please fix asap.
(Edited)
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Phillip Anderson

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Noel, I've emailed you a link to pick up the above mentioned file. Thanks for taking a look.
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Greg Parrish

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I will add, we also work in non-destructive workflows as Phillip has described. And I agree, it might work for web-based art but not high-resolution for printing. Thank you Phillip for providing a file to Adobe for troubleshooting!
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Noel Carboni, Employee

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Update:

We have identified a workaround that has little downside and should allow you to use Photoshop 2020 for your big projects without blowing out your scratch space:

Go into Preferences > Performance and check the [ ] Legacy Compositing setting, then Quit and restart Photoshop.

Please let me know here if you continue to have any issues with scratch file sizes after doing the above.

Thanks!

-Noel Carboni
 Adobe QE Developer
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JWL

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Absolutely. I am happy enough to have a temporary solution for now that you have provided us with. Looking forward to the fix for this issue, cheers.
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Jon Koivula

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Hello, I tried to use Legacy Compositing settings. The moment I create a new project in adobe photoshop, whole harddrives fills up with temp file, around 60Gb. One layer adds another 60Gb more. So scratch disks just goes full in a matter of seconds(use brush, new layer etc does it). Hopefully you guys are working on a solution.
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Noel Carboni, Employee

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Hi Jon, make SURE you quit Photoshop after making that Legacy Compositing change and start it again.

Please rest assured we'll be delivering a real fix to this issue soon.

-Noel
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Jamie

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I also have this problem. Working on a 3GB file, just using the healing tool clocked up 15GB everytime I used it (for small 15px brush size) and took up 495GB Scratch Disk until there was nothing left. I have reinstalled PS CC 19 untill it gets fixed.
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Jon Koivula

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Hi Noel, Yes we did that and even restarted PC. We will be eagerly waiting for a fix then :)