Can you put Photoshop on an External Hard Drive?

Can you put photoshop on an external hard driveCan you put photoshop on an external hard drive

Can you put Photoshop on an External Hard Drive?

It’s an open secret that external hard drives are convenient devices that can help expand the storage capacity/space of your computer. Photoshop is generally a heavy program and not everyone has a lot of space on their systems. Today, I’ll be answering a question that frequently comes my way, “Can I put photoshop on an external hard drive?”

You can put photoshop on your external hard drive. You just have to change the location when the installer wizard will be downloaded. It’s also possible to install the program on your system. 

External hard drives can perform the same functions as the drive installed in your computer. Such functions include storing applications and work files. It’s also possible for you to change your download and installation location to your external hard drive instead of your system’s internal drive. 

You’ll have to note that you may not be able to move the external drive to another computer and then run your programs on that workstation. 

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How do I download photoshop to my external hard drive?

Like I mentioned early, photoshop, and photo editing apps in general, tend to be heavy. And for this reason, you may decide to download the program on your external hard drive to save precious storage. I’ll be giving you a step-by-step process of how to download photoshop on your external hard drive

1. The first thing you have to do is to connect your external hard drive to your computer. Check to make sure that your system has detected the external hard drive and note the letter allocated to the drive. You can check this under  Windows File Explorer.

2. Visit Creative Cloud Website. This is where you’ll be downloading photoshop from. You may be prompted to sign it into your Creative Cloud account. Do so. You can sign up if you don’t have an account.

3. If you are on a Windows platform, you may be prompted to save the downloaded file. MacOS may prompt you to allow the download to begin. By default, the application installer will be downloaded on your internal drive. 

You’ll have to go to ‘Preferences’ and then change the download location to your external hard drive. 

4. The next step is to go to the location of the downloaded file on your external hard drive. You can easily navigate thereby using Windows File Explorer. Execute the application installer by double-clicking it to begin the installation. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

5. You can then launch the app the same way you’ll launch any other program by double-clicking it or tapping it from the Windows search option. 

Normally, the app will launch immediately after installation. 

Note that you will have to choose the ‘Download and install a creative cloud trial’ If you have a free trial membership to Creative Cloud. 

See bottom of the article for video on taking advantage of scratch disks with a Photoshop tutorial.

Installing photoshop on an external hard drive

By default, Photoshop will download and install on your internal drive. Downloading photoshop on an external drive is straightforward while installation may be a bit tricky. Unless you are really running low on space, always try to install photoshop on your internal drive. 

To install photoshop on your external hard drive, you’ll have to change the installation from the Creative Cloud program. To do this, launch the Creative Cloud program, then go to ‘Preferences’. Click preferences, then creative cloud, and then click on apps. Under apps, you’ll see the install location. Click on the install location and then set it to a folder within your external hard drive.

Try to name your installation folder as ‘Photoshop’. Creating a folder is key to a successful installation as you won’t be to change the installation location unless you have a folder. And it seems naming your folder ‘Photoshop’ tends to help.

Note that the application will stop working when you remove the external hard drive. Also, make sure the external hard drive has been connected and detected by your system before launching the application. And do not for any reason disconnect the external hard drive while the application is still running.

You may also encounter a drive letter allocation issue when using an external hard drive. This occurs when your system allocates a different letter to your external hard drive. For instance, your computer may change the letter allocation of your external drive from, say drive F to drive E. And should this happen, you’ll be unable to run the program. An easy way to get around this issue is to assign a persistent drive letter to your external hard drive. 

Using external hard drive as a scratch disk

If you are a photographer or graphic designer who has been using photoshop for some time, then you’ll know that the big size of PSD can be quite problematic. As we run various applications in the background, photoshop may sometimes not have enough disk space to store information.

For those who don’t know what a scratch disk is, I’ll take a moment to explain it. You see, a scratch disk is an area of your hard drive that photoshop uses to store data. The reason for photoshop needing a scratch disk is because the app performs memory-intensive functions. These functions at times may exceed the amount of RAM available on your system. 

By default, Photoshop uses your hard drive (the drive on which your operating system is installed) as your primary scratch disk. But you can always add additional drives for photoshop to use in order to improve the app’s performance. 

You can use your external hard drive as a scratch disk by following the steps below.

1. Connect the drive – This is an obvious thing to do. Connect your external hard drive to your system and check if it has been detected. 

2. Now open photoshop and then go to ‘Edit’, then ‘Preferences’, and then ‘Performance’.

3. The next thing is to find the scratch disks option. This is where you’ll add your external hard drive as a scratch disk. 

You’ll have to restart photoshop before your external hard drive starts working as a scratch disk. And this means you’ll have to connect your external hard drive before launching the app if you want your drive to function as a scratch disk. 

If you are having trouble setting your external hard drive as a scratch disk, you can fix this by changing the format of your external hard drive. If your drive is formatted with FAT 32, then a mac computer may not recognize it. Instead, format your external hard drive with OX X EXTENDED (JOURNALD) format. You should be able to use your external hard drive as a scratch disk after this. 

Best external hard disk for a photoshop

A quick search for the best external hard drives for photoshop will yield hundreds of results. Then taking a look at a number of external hard drives, you see mixed reviews which makes it almost impossible for one to make a choice. As a result, I’ve researched some of the most reputable external hard drives brands and come up with one that will meet your photoshop needs. Continue reading to find the best external hard drive for photoshop. 

Seagate Backup Plus Hub Desktop Drive

Both storage enthusiasts and professionals lookout for two important things about external hard drives. The first is storage space while the second is file transfer speed. This external hard drive will not disappoint you in those areas and more. The Seagate backup Plus works seamlessly across Windows and Mac platforms. 

The storage capacity of this external hard drive ranges from 4TB to 10TB. And this ensures you have enough space for your files, no matter how large they are. I also like that this drive works with USB 3.0 ports which is important for the fast transfer of files to and from this drive. Speed is never going to be an issue with this drive. This drive comes with backup software that helps backup your files ensuring that your files can be recovered should your drive become broken or stolen. You can easily customize your backup schedule. 

You may be lucky to get a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan after purchasing this drive. 

You can check out Seagate Backup Plus Desktop Drive on Amazon.

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