Recently, I was severely running out of disk storage space on the C-Drive on my desktop computer, which is a 256GB SSD drive that I use solely to run my Microsoft Windows operating system and all my program installs.
When space runs low on your C-Drive it can slow down the system to critical levels and hinder speed and operating efficiency, even if your computer hardware has quite high specifications.
If your system is getting slow you may want to look into how much space you have available on your C-Drive. But a drive of 256GB, if it is only running your computer operating system and programs like mine is, and not being used for other storage purposes, is usually more than enough capacity to store the system and programs and still have enough storage remaining for running system operations in the background.
So it seemed quite surprising to me that my drive was running out of space and I thought I was going to have to replace it with at least a 512GB SSD drive which could be a lot of hassle, plus extra expense.
Then I thought, before I spend a lot of time and money to fix this, I would first delve deeper into figuring out what is on my 256GB drive to see where all my storage space has disappeared to and if I could get any of it back. In the end it turned out that a huge chunk of it was being eaten up by unneeded cached files created by Adobe programs. What follows is what I also discovered and learned in the process.
Make a long story short, Adobe products were taking up 60GB of unnecessary space with unneeded files. I am not talking about the actual Adobe program installs themselves, even though they are generally bigger than most other program installs on a computer.
In the screen shot above it shows that Adobe is taking up somewhere in the realm of 16-17GB total for all my Adobe programs, which is fine on a 256GB SSD drive. Part of the problem though was that there were still all kinds of remnant files from older program installs of Adobe products left in my system. These are Adobe programs that had already been uninstalled when updating to newer versions and which don’t show up in the above list.
First, the biggest chunk, I had 30GB of space eaten up in a folder on my PC that is created by Adobe here: C:\Users\”Your Username”\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Common\Media Cache Files. If you are on a Mac computer the folder will be located here: Users/Home/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Media Cache Files, but if you click here this tutorial will step you through how to quickly delete the files on a Mac computer.
So I just deleted everything in the Media Cached Files folder on my PC and I got back 30GB right away. I then read accounts from other people who had this folder taking up as much as 300GB of space on their systems. Unimaginable for someone like me whose C-Drive is only 256GB in total. But this folder is the biggest storage drain for most people running Adobe programs and you can just go in and manually delete everything in that folder either on your PC or Mac and not worry about it. If Adobe ever needs any of those files again it will just recreate them.
Then I figured out that Lightroom was also using up 10GB of space in a catalog from just 100 photo files I had once imported into Lightroom. I rarely use Lightroom and just deleted the whole catalog from Lightroom and that got me back another 10GB instantly.
If you use Lightroom regularly, and have many different catalogs, then I imagine that Lightroom could be using up a lot more than 10GB of storage on your system. Lightroom also creates its own caches, in addition to catalogs, which means even more space consumed. In my opinion, Lightroom is a real storage memory hoard, so check it out if you are a heavy Lightroom user.
After deleting everything in my Media Cached Files folder and my Lightroom catalog I was already up to 40GB reclaimed on my C-Drive. Then I manually deleted all the old Adobe sub-folders still in my Adobe folder within the Program Files folder. They were from older versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and Dreamweaver that had already long been uninstalled. I actually still had installation folders from Photoshop CS4, CS5, and CS6 that I was totally unaware of. I just manually deleted all these folders and got back another 20GB.
After deleting everything I am now back to a total of over 100GB of free space on my C-Drive and the problem of low storage space on my C-Drive is solved. No need to buy a new and bigger SSD drive to run my Microsoft Windows operating system and programs.
In Photoshop you may find that Adobe Bridge (if you use it as part of your Photoshop workflow) is taking up some space too (not too much though) for all of the thumbnails it creates for your various image file folders. But you can go into Bridge, then Edit, Preferences, and click on the Cache menu and then “Purge All Cached Thumbnails And Previews” to get all that space back too.
Lastly, if you are a person that runs Adobe Premiere Pro quite often for video editing work then go into Premiere and click on Edit, Preferences, then click on the Media menu and then click the “Clean” button below where it says “Media Cache Databases”. If you use Premiere quite often this could get you back a huge amount of space too. For some people it could be tens, or even hundreds of gigabytes.
So now you are aware of Adobe and its nasty habit of secretly consuming huge swaths of storage space on your system drive that it doesn’t even need.
The Lightroom catalog system is also a reason not to use Lightroom at all as the huge space it swallows up can be avoided by just using Photoshop, which doesn’t even create catalogs, and can do everything that Lightroom can do and just as well in my humble opinion.
Hope that helps and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them below.