All you Need to Know about Photoshop Temp Files On Mac

Photoshop is a highly versatile photo editing tool with limitless possibilities. With the help of Photoshop application, a user can manipulate a single pixel. However, Photoshop applications create a lot of temporary files while editing and sometimes these temp files will even occupy gigabytes of space. Many users are confused on what to do with Photoshop temp files and how to locate them. In this article we have mentioned all the details you need to know about the Photoshop temp files on Mac.

What are Photoshop temp files?

Photoshop generates a lot of temporary files while working with large projects. To avoid RAM overloading. If the ram overloads it will result in crashing the Photoshop application which might even result in the end of the file error on Photoshop. To avoid that Photoshop stores these temporary files on Mac storage volumes. The space occupied by the Photoshop temp files is also known as a scratch disk. When the Mac volumes run out of storage space will result in Photoshop scratch disk error.

In Spite of that, these Photoshop temp files are supposed to be automatically deleted as soon as you close the Photoshop application. Nevertheless, in many situations, these files will be still lying on your Mac volumes occupying up a lot of space. So, the actual question is, where are Photoshop temp files located on your Mac how to clear them?

Note: If you are looking for recover Usaved PSD files using  Photoshop temporary files click here

Location of the Photoshop temp files on Mac

Photoshop temp files are located in the default temp folder of Mac. However, for a novice user, it can be a bit complicated to access it. Hence, follow the mentioned instruction to access the Photoshop temp folder on Mac.

Note: Before accessing the Photoshop temp files on your Mac, make sure none of the projects are running on Photoshop application. If there are any running projects, save them, and quit Photoshop application in a proper manner.

  • Open Applications folder using the Go option from the home screen.
  • In the applications window scroll until you find the utility option.
  • Utility window, you might find a list of numerous tools, among them select the Terminal option and click on it, this will open the terminal window.
  • Finally, in the terminal window just type a command "open /tmp" (without quotation marks) in order to open the temp folder.
  • Wait for a while until the command is being processed, after completion, the Mac temp folder will be opened.
  • Mac will store all the temp files related to all the applications in this location. Among these, you can even find the Photoshop temp files. Some of the examples of the Photoshop temp files are Photoshop Temp15201, Photoshop Temp18714, and Photoshop Temp795956 etc.

Limitations of Photoshop of temp files

  • Photoshop temp files might even get so large that the Mac runs out of storage space resulting in scratch disk error.
  • The processing of large temp files takes a long time and impacts the performance of the PS application.

Due to these limitations, it is suggested to delete the temp files in a timely manner. However, there are few precautions before deleting the Photoshop cache or temp files on Mac. In the later section of the article, you find the information on the location of Photoshop temp files on Mac and how to clear them.

How to Clear Photoshop cache on Mac?

Here are some of the things you should take care of before deleting Photoshop Temp files.

Make sure all your work is saved:

Since Photoshop temp files store a lot of information about the currently open PSD, deleting temp files without saving your work might damage the PSD file.

Close all the Adobe or Photoshop related programs:

Any Photoshop related applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Bridge might conflict while deleting the temp files. Hence, open the task manager and make sure all the Photoshop related applications are closed.

Once it is done, access the Photoshop Temp files location as mentioned below. Select all the Mac Photoshop temp files and delete them.

Why Photoshop temp files are important

Mac Photoshop temp files also have advantages, such as.

  • Instead of storing all the temporary files on Ram, PS stores large size temp files on local storage drives. By doing so, Photoshop will reduce the stress on the Ram.
  • Photoshop temp files also act as a backup to restore the PSD files that are lost in case Photoshop is crashed.


Photoshop temp files on Mac tend to occupy a large amount of space. Hence, it is suggested to clear the Mac PS temp files from time to time. If you find any difficulties in locating Photoshop temp files on Mac, this article will guide you on finding them. Additionally, before clearing the Photoshop temp files, you need to take a few precautions such as saving any currently working PSD files.

All you Need to Know about Photoshop Temp Files On Mac was last modified: June 5th, 2020 by Molly Owen

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