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Adobe Photoshop "could not open a scratch file" and "could not initialize" error
By On January 12, 2013
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Adobe Photoshop "could not open a scratch file" and "could not initialize" error

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Most recent version of Adobe Photoshop CS6 seems to have a bit of problem when starting. It gives a “could not open a scratch file” error followed by “could not initialize” error.

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What Kind of Error?

There seems to be some problem with file access permission. Some file in the Adobe Photoshop folder needs extra admin permission to run and normal start-up of Photoshop seems to be not getting it. The error info instructs to Use the ‘Properties’ command in the Windows Explorer to unlock the file. But it does not state which files exactly are locked and need to given permission.

You can see the screenshots of the two error info windows below.

Adobe Photoshop Cs6 Could Not Open A Scratch File Error

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Could Not Open A Scratch File Error

Adobe Photoshop Cs6 Could Not Initialize Photoshop Error

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Could Not Initialize Photoshop Error

I decided to do some experiment and Wala I found a neat trick or should I say a simple easy solution to the problem.

My solution is real easy – Just ‘Right Click‘ Adobe Photoshop Icon and thenRun as Administrator. Ya, that easy. There is only one problem with this simple solution, you will not be able to open a PSD file (or any other image file for that matter) directly i.e. you cannot do ‘Right Click’ a file and ‘Open with’ – Adobe Photoshop. If you try to do that you will encounter the error stated above.  However you can first run Photoshop as administrator and then open any other file from inside the Photoshop but that is like doing a extra step and we want to be able to open any image file through Photoshop without any problem.

So what is the solution to the little problem. It is again a simple and easy one.

Just follow the 4 Steps Below.


Adobe Photoshop Cs6 Properties

Adobe Photoshop Cs6 Properties

  1. Find the Photoshop Icon or exe file either on Desktop or Start Menu.
  2. Then ‘Right Click‘ the Icon and Click ‘Properties‘.
  3. In Properties go to ‘Compatibility‘.
  4. Check – ‘Run this program as an administrator‘.

And there you have it, all our problem solved with a easy neat trick.

Go try it if you face “could not open a scratch file” and “could not initialize” error in Adobe Photoshop.

An Update and a more Proper Solution

One of our Visitor – Anonimo has commented and given a proper solution to the problem. Anonimo says this problem is due to moving of my paging file/temp files to other drive instead of keeping it in the default install drive. Here is Anonimo’s solution.

  1. Run Photoshop as Administrator in Photoshop, go to Edit > Preferences > Performance. It shows you “Scratch Disks”
  2. Unchecked the C drive and checked the drive where my paging file/temp files are. Click OK.
  3. Close… and now Photoshop runs perfectly
http://geekscolumn.com/2013/how-to/easy-solutions/adobe-photoshop-could-not-open-scratch-file-could-not-initialize-error/799#comment-7

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12 Comments
  • March 29, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Great post! This really helps others.

  • Vivian Chow
    April 8, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    Interesting.. I don’t really use Adobe photoshop though. I use Corel PaintShop more..

  • Anonimo
    April 9, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    I am using Windows 8 & Photoshop CS6.. I moved my Paging File & Temp Files to another drive / partition & got the error saying that the scratch file was locked

    Solution

    run Photoshop as Administrator
    in Photoshop, go to Preferences > Performance

    It shows you “Scratch Disks”

    I unchecked the C drive and checked the drive where my paging file / temp files are.

    Click OK

    Close… and now Photoshop runs perfectly

  • Stephanie
    May 14, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    I did both of the suggestions and it will not let me run it still…I tried the run as administrator and it says photoshop has stopped working and goes away 🙁 I just want my photoshop back so I can paint!

    • Stephanie
      May 14, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Just figured it out 😀 had to use ctrl+alt+Shift before clicking on the Ps Icon to get into the program…before when I was trying as administrator it said it stopped working and would shut down <3

  • June 20, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    Hey Deepak
    How to create videos in photoshop CS6. I can’t recognize this option in photoshop CS6 menu’s.

  • July 31, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    YES! it worked! (particularly, the bottommost part…)
    I realized that I had this problem because I moved my TEMP folder out of my SSD… (to optimize it for longer lifespan).

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