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


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  1. Emery Swanson

    Great Tips on saving space! Thanks Steve!

  2. Bobbi Mercouri

    amazing! tip on saving space. thank you!

  3. Irene

    thank you! great tips!

  4. Brian Taylor

    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

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

  6. Vic Zubakin

    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

      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

        Thanks Steve.

  7. Dusfim

    Hi Steve,

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

  8. Lórien Davy

    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

      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

    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

    The really helped me, thank you so much.

  11. Ben Dangerfield


    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

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

  13. Anne Hartman

    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

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

  15. Craig Ozancin

    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

    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

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

  18. kate jones

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


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