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How to Clear Photoshop Cache

Published: 30/06/2023

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Cache refers to temporary files and data that Photoshop stores on your computer's hard drive. Photoshop can accumulate temporary files, previews, and performance-related data, which can grow in size and lead to sluggish performance or unexpected errors. Knowing how to clear Photoshop cache can help you regain lost speed and resolve such issues.

How to Clear Photoshop Cache

You can clear the Photoshop cache by selecting the Edit menu and the Purge command. Another option is to delete the cache from the hard drive directly. These can boost the speed of Photoshop by storing frequently accessed data for quick retrieval.

Photoshop generates temporary files and caches data as you edit real estate images. The cache files can accumulate over time and occupy a significant amount of disk space, causing sluggish performance or low disk space rather than improving performance. Fortunately, you can use the following steps to clear the Photoshop cache.

Deleting the cache using the purge command in Photoshop

Deleting the Cache Using the Purge Command

The scratch disk is a designated space on your hard disk used by Photoshop as virtual memory. Photoshop might throw the Clear Scratch Disk error when it is full or running out of space.

Usually, this is because the cache data is too large, and there needs to be more space available on the scratch disk to perform certain operations or allocate additional memory. The Purge feature allows you to clear specific types of this data within the application, freeing up memory and disk space.

The good thing with the purge command is that it allows you to clear specific types of data within the application selectively. Simply navigate to Edit on your Photoshop interface, choose the Purge option and then choose one of the following purging options.

Copy selected image like the building in Photoshop and temporarily stored it on the clipboard


When you copy or cut an image or selected elements within Photoshop, the data is temporarily stored on the clipboard. This allows you to duplicate or transfer the content into different locations, such as a different document or another application.

The clipboard in Photoshop can hold various types of data, including images, layers, selections, or even text. Usually, data is stored in the clipboard when doing any of these commands.

  • Press Ctrl + C or Ctrl + X on Windows
  • Press Command + C or Command + X on Mac
  • Click Edit and choose the Copy or Cut option

The data stored in the clipboard can be large, especially when you copy or cut high-resolution real estate images. Choosing the clipboard option clears the contents of the clipboard in Photoshop. Note that you will not be able to paste the copied or cut content after selecting this option.

Undo the most recent action you performed in the image of a building


This command lets you reverse or cancel the most recent action or series of actions you performed. It restores your image or document to its previous state. This helps when you make a mistake such as oversaturating a real estate image and the walls look unrealistic, and you want to backtrack and undo the changes.

For this command to work, Photoshop keeps a record of the actions you have performed. It is generally a sequential list of changes to your image, allowing you to step back through your editing process. This sequential list of changes is usually stored as cache data.

  • You can clear this data by choosing the Undo option under the Purge option.
  • After choosing this option, pressing Ctrl + Z on Windows or Command + Z on Mac, or Ctrl + Alt + Z on Windows or Command + Option + Z on Mac won't revert the image to a previous state.
Undo the history of the image of a building in Adobe Photoshop


The Histories option allows you to clear the history states or undo history in Photoshop. It functions similarly to the Undo option. However, it stores the history of edits so you can select the version you want from the history rather than going backwards sequentially.

Since it stores all the edits you have performed, the cache data can build up and cause a Clear Scratch Disk error. When you choose this option, the history of the edits will be lost. Thus, you won't be able to go back to the previous state of the edits.

Note that Histories is available in the older versions of Photoshop. Meanwhile, the newer versions usually use the Undo option instead of the Histories option.

All option allows you to clear all types of data in Photoshop like the image of the building


As the name suggests, the All option allows you to clear all types of data that can be purged within the application. This command helps free up memory and improve performance. It will clear the Clipboard and Undo or Histories cache, as well as the following caches.

  • Image caches: This clears any cached versions of images that Photoshop generates for faster rendering and previewing.
  • Tile caches: Photoshop uses tiles for efficient processing and display of large images. Choosing All also clears tile caches, removing pre-generated image tiles.
  • Metadata: This removes cached metadata associated with the images. For example, the geographical location of the real estate property featured in the picture.
  • Font caches: Suppose you have installed custom fonts or have a large number of fonts. Choosing the All option clears font caches, which will help refresh the font information and improve performance.
  • GPU settings: This clears GPU-related settings and preferences stored by Photoshop.
Edit video clips of a building in Photoshop using video cache

Video Cache

Usually, there are temporary files that are created when you import or edit video clips in Photoshop. The video cache option frees up memory by clearing all unnecessary data accumulating during video editing.

This can help the program run smoothly, especially with large or complex video files.

Delete the selected caches directly from the hard drive

Deleting the Caches From the Hard Drive

If you want to delete the caches directly from the hard drive, exit Photoshop if it's currently open. After that, locate the cache folder on your hard disk. The default location depends on your operating system as follows:

  • Windows: C:\Users[your username]\AppData\Local\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop [Photoshop version]\Adobe Photoshop [Photoshop version] Settings\
  • macOS: /Users/[your username]/Library/Caches/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [Photoshop version]/Adobe Photoshop [Photoshop version] Settings/
  • Remember to replace [your username] with your actual username and [Photoshop version] with the version of Photoshop you have installed. Once you've found the cache folder, open it and select all the contents within the cache folder.
  • Select the files by pressing Ctrl + A on a Windows PC or Command + A on a Mac.
  • Delete by pressing the Delete key on your keyboard or right-clicking and selecting Delete.

Related Questions

Does Deleting the Photoshop Cache Delete My Projects or Settings?

No, clearing the Photoshop cache removes temporary and performance-related files and does not affect your saved projects, presets, or customized settings. However, it's a good practice to back up your important files before making changes to your system, just to be on the safe side.

Can I Change the Location of the Photoshop Cache?

Yes, you can change the location of the Photoshop cache. Navigate to Photoshop's preferences under the Edit menu on Windows or Photoshop menu on Mac. Lastly, specify a different location for the cache files.

Do I Need to Clear the Cache Regularly?

It is optional to clear the Photoshop cache on a regular basis. Generally, it's a troubleshooting step when you notice performance issues or encounter unexpected errors. The overall impact on performance may vary depending on your system and the specific problems you are experiencing.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to clear the Photoshop cache is a simple yet valuable thing. This can help reclaim disk space, enhance performance, and resolve various issues affecting the Photoshop workflow. You can clear the cache using the purge command or deleting it directly from the hard drive.


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