Photoshop is using way too much disk space.

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  • Updated 2 years ago
When i am working with website layout PSDs (file size <100MVb) with a lot of layer comps, my scratch disk rapidly goes out of space. 

E.g. starting with 120GB free SSD diskspace (16 GB RAM):
  • opening 2 files, i have 105 GB left.
  • just switching between different layer comps in these 2 files, no single change in the document! -> 80 GB left
  • after working a while with these complex psds, i often see the "disk is full" warning. Saving impossible:(
Even if i close one file, Photoshop does not free any memory on ram or disk.

Only solution, restart Photoshop -> 120GB free diskspace

This is kinda unproductive, is there a way to limit Photoshops hunger for disk space?

Thanks
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Malte Schümann

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  • frustrated

Posted 2 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Photoshop uses only the space required by your documents, presets, and editing.
Remember that every history state requires more space, as do all the large (brush, pattern, style) presets you load.  And changing a layer comp can make hundreds of changes in the layers of your document.

No, Photoshop reuses memory and scratch space after it is allocated.  So closing a file doesn't change the allocations.

You can specify another disk for scratch to grow into.  Or you can limit your editing to documents that fit on your computer (which sounds a little small for editing those large documents).
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Malte Schümann

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Hi Chris,

thanks for your response.

Unfortunately, i dont have anymore space on my 512GB Macbook Pro SSD. Or a second drive :(

The files are not big, just about 80MB. Its just the layercomps that make them so greedy for space.

Do the cache settings maybe make any difference?

But why does photoshop keep about 100GB scratchdisk size, even if i close all these files that where responsible for that history state?
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Chris Cox

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But an 80 MB file (compressed on disk) could be a 2 Gig document in memory (and require 2 GB of scratch space).

Reducing the image cache would reduce memory usage a little bit, as would reducing the tile size.  But it won't be a huge difference (maybe 20% saved).

Photoshop doesn't reduce it's memory allocations or disk usage unless it has to -- because allocating that memory and scratch space is SLOW.  (like when you open the first document after launching PS - all the time goes to allocating memory and scratch space, and only 10% or less is PS doing work)
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Malte Schümann

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Ok, i switched from Cache Size 6 and Cache Tilesize 1024KB  (Small files, many layers) to Cache Size 2 and Cache Tilesize 128KB (Big files, less layers) and its a difference like day and night!

Now i can open as much files as i want and change between layer comps and still have 110 GB free on disk.

And its blazing fast, no more waiting time, when switching between layer comps like before, when the scratch file blew up 10 Gigs with every step.

So, for anyone who is handling with small files with a lot if layers (like me), try choosing the opposite setting in photoshop/performance settings :)

Thanks for the hint, Chris.