How to reduce Photoshop file sizes (and save heaps of disk space!)

Subscribe to Steve's YouTube channels for more videos:

Subscribe to steve's Updates on Facebook

21 Responses to How to reduce Photoshop file sizes (and save heaps of disk space!)

  1. Emery Swanson May 20, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Great Tips on saving space! Thanks Steve!

  2. Bobbi Mercouri June 16, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    amazing! tip on saving space. thank you!

  3. Irene August 14, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    thank you! great tips!

  4. Brian Taylor October 19, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    If you go to Edit/Preferences/File Handling, you can turn off the Maximise File Compatibility. Change it from Ask to Never.

  5. Brian Taylor October 20, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    On further checking, it would appear that what I suggested just turns off the dialog box, not the Maximise File Compatibility.

  6. Vic Zubakin November 16, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the video tips on saving HD space.
    I use LR as my catalogue for all my images.

    I usually save images as a Tiff file after roundtripping from PS.
    Would you recommend PSD’s instead?
    What are the pros & cons?

    • photographyuncovered November 24, 2014 at 8:00 am #

      Hey Vic,

      I think the main advantage of PSD is just the file size as seen in the video – there really aren’t any other differences that warrant choosing one over the other. They are both “lossless” formats, both (if I remember correctly) are owned by adobe. If anything, I’d guess TIFF is slightly more universal if opening in other programs than Photoshop.

      My best advice is just to stick with what you’re happy with. Tiffs are generally larger but quicker, PSD are smaller but slower.

      Hope this helps (and i hope I’m right LOL)


      • Vic Zubakin November 24, 2014 at 11:16 am #

        Thanks Steve.

  7. Dusfim July 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this information which most of amateurs photographers are going to find it very helpful.

  8. Lórien Davy August 24, 2015 at 12:32 am #

    Hi, Steve —

    Thank you for the excellent suggestions, but I do have one apposite question for you:

    If you only have 1T of storage space on your hard drive, and you are crowding it, why not get more storage space?



    • mm
      Steve August 29, 2015 at 3:03 am #

      Hi Lórien,

      Increasing your hard disk space is always another option 🙂

      I guess the answer of why not would just come down to cost/convenience. If you have an older computer with a USB2 connection and you keep your image files on a USB disk, then it can become very slow because of the transfer speed. USB3 and Firewire connections on newer computers are generally fast enough for it not to be a problem though.


  9. David Nissen September 7, 2015 at 12:32 am #

    Julianne Kost says you must “Maximize Compatibility” in a .PSD file if you want Lightroom to access and print a high resolution image.

  10. kay October 5, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    The really helped me, thank you so much.

  11. Ben Dangerfield October 19, 2015 at 1:55 pm #


    I am running 3 HDs that are separated catagorically. 1 80gig for the OS only and any upgrades to that. another one with several partitions for the Applications, Internet, downloads, documents and a separate partition for images with folders for B/W and Color with Raw, jpg, tiff and others that are named for certain subject catagories. Also, I have new eSata Startech ePCI Card. with 6gig USB3 speed. Presently my external HD has 2 parttions runs USB2. I am going to buy a 1 Terabyte HD to run off the Startech card. You can install this in a MB that is DDR2 and still get the 6gig speed. I suggest using either Gigabyte or Asus Motherboards.

  12. Shoeb November 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Steve, excellent tips. As an amateur ,I am find it very useful. Thanx

  13. Anne Hartman December 21, 2015 at 1:55 am #

    I’m still a bit confused. My images are stored in Lightroom. I open in Photoshop, work on them then just click Save to apply changes back in Lightroom. Is this option to deselect Maximize file compatibility available in the simple Save command rather than Save As? I’m not at my computer right now to see it. TY

  14. Dishan Marikar February 21, 2016 at 10:51 pm #

    Some great tips here! You can also halve file sizes by saving your edited 16 bit images as 8 bit files.

  15. Craig Ozancin February 22, 2016 at 12:49 am #

    I tried saving a TIF as a PSD with Maximise File Compatibility unchecked. It did save me a good chunk of disk space. That was very good new until I tried to import it into Lightroom. Lightroom complained that it could not read the psd file because Maximise File Compatibility was not enabled. It said that I had to reopen in Photoshop and save with Maximise File Compatibility turned on. I have the latest of both Photoshop and Lightroom. This is a big disappointment.

  16. Dave Cromack March 1, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Interesting video but I think your final comparison should have been to save to Zipped TIFF from the reduced size PSD. In the video you zipped the 750Mb TIFF to get down to a just over 300Mb file, rather than the final step 260Mb PSD. I’m sure that would reduce file size again.

  17. Carolyn Whettonn March 28, 2016 at 6:47 am #

    Very interesting video Steve on how to save HD space, I will certainly give it a try. Thank you.

  18. kate jones February 7, 2018 at 6:20 am #

    Thank you, that is a very helpful tip on saving disk space.

Leave a Reply