About scratch disks

When you edit a project, Adobe Premiere Elements uses disk space to store scratch files for your project. These include captured video and audio, conformed audio, and preview files. Adobe Premiere Elements uses conformed audio files and preview files to optimize performance, allowing real‑time editing, high processing quality, and efficient output. All scratch disk files are preserved across work sessions. If you delete conformed audio files, Adobe Premiere Elements automatically recreates them. If you delete preview files, they are not be recreated automatically.

By default, scratch files are stored where you save the project. The scratch disk space required increases as your movie becomes longer or more complex. If your system has access to multiple disks, choose Edit > Preferences > Scratch Disks / Adobe Premiere Elements 13 > Preferences > Scratch Disks. Specify the disks Premiere Elements uses for these files. For best results, set up your scratch disks at the very beginning of a project, before capturing or editing.

Types of scratch disks

While performance can be enhanced by setting each scratch disk type to a different disk, you can also specify folders on the same disk. Select Edit > Preferences > Scratch Disks / Adobe Premiere Elements 13 > Preferences > Scratch Disks to set the following scratch disk options.

Captured Video

Folder or disk for video files that you capture using the Capture panel.

Captured Audio

Folder or disk for audio files that you capture using the Capture panel.

Video Previews

Folder or disk for video preview files. These files are created when you choose Timeline > Render Work Area, export to a movie file, or export to a DV device. If the previewed area includes effects, the effects are rendered at full quality in the preview file.

Audio Previews

Folder or disk for audio preview files. These files are created when you choose Timeline > Render Work Area command. They are also created when you choose Clip > Audio Options > Render And Replace, export to a movie file or DV device. If the previewed area includes effects, the effects are rendered at full quality in the preview file.

Media Cache

Folder or disk for audio peak files, audio conform files, video index files, and other files Premiere Elements creates to improve performance when reading media files.

DVD Encoding

Folder or disk for encoded video and audio files that are generated when you create a DVD.

Note:

Adobe Premiere Elements places preview files, encoded files, media cache files, and other types within subfolders of the folders you specify for these types. Each subfolder is named for the type of scratch files it contains.

Set up a scratch disk

You set up scratch disks in the Scratch Disks panel of the Preferences dialog box. To verify the amount of free disk space on the selected volume, see the box to the right of the path. If the path is too long to read, place the pointer over the path, and the full path appears in a tool tip.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Scratch Disks / Adobe Premiere Elements 13 > Preferences > Scratch Disks.

  2. For each scratch disk type, specify a disk location for Premiere Elements to store the corresponding files. Choose one of these options from the pop-up menu:

    My Documents

    Stores scratch files in the My Documents folder.

    Same As Project

    Stores scratch files in the same folder where the project is stored.

    Custom

    Indicates that the current path isn’t in the pop‑up menu. The current path isn’t changed until you click Browse to specify any available disk location.

Maximizing scratch disk performance

  • If your computer has only one hard disk, consider leaving all scratch disk options at their default settings.

  • If it has more than one, choose large, secondary hard drives for scratch disks and not the main load drive. In Premiere Elements, you can place each type of scratch file onto its own disk. For example, you copy video to one disk and audio to another.

  • Defragment scratch disks regularly by using the disk defragmenting tool available on your computer or use a third‑party utility.

  • Specify your fastest hard disks for capturing media and storing scratch files. You can use a slower disk for audio preview files and the project file.

  • Specify only disks attached to your computer. The throughput from a hard disk on a network is too slow. Avoid using removable media as scratch disks because Adobe Premiere Elements always requires access to scratch disk files. Scratch disk files are preserved for each project, even when you close the project. Adobe Premiere Elements reuses these files when you reopen the project associated with them. If scratch disk files are stored on removable media and the media is removed from the drive, the scratch disk is not available to Premiere Elements.

  • You can divide a single disk into partitions and set up each partition as a virtual scratch disk. However, partitioning doesn’t improve performance because the single drive mechanism is a bottleneck. For best results, set up scratch disk volumes on actual separate drives.

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