Change Mac Screenshot Locations

I take a lot of screenshots while I use my Mac. You can see some of them here. Most of my articles include my screenshots. By default, the screenshots you take are saved on your desktop as .png files.

You can easily take a screenshot without the need to download/install any third party software. There are a few ways to capture screenshots on your Mac. For instance, you use Command (⌘)-Shift-3 keys to take a screenshot of your whole screen.

But if you take lots of screenshots, then you may notice that your desktop is getting crowded. Your desktop clutter may harm your productivity because it would be difficult to find what you are looking for.

The good news is that you can choose a location on your computer where screenshots should be saved. Here is how:

Change the location where screenshots are saved

  1. The first step is to decide where do you want to save them. For this article, I created a folder (screenshots) on my desktop. The screenshots I take will automatically be saved in this folder, instead of my desktop. You can do this by selecting Finder > File > New Folder (or just press Shift–Command (⌘)–N). Rename this new folder, anything you want, like screenshots etc.screenshots file locations
  2. Now launch the Terminal app (Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal)
  3. Type the following command:
  4. defaults write location ~/Desktop/screenshots/
  5. Press enterscreenshots folder locations
  6. Now enter the following command:
  7. killall SystemUIServer
  8. Press enter
  9. This command will let you apply the changes.
  10. That’s it. Now your screenshots will be saved in this folder.

Bonus tip:

As stated above, screenshots are saved as .png files. You can also change this if you like.  For instance, it can be BMP, GIF, PDF, or TIFF or JPEG. Here is how:

Change the screenshots file type

  1. Open the Terminal app on your Mac
  2. Enter the following command:
  3. defaults write type jpg
  4. Press enter
  5. Again enter the following command for the change to take effect
  6. killall SystemUIServer
  7. Now your screenshots will be saved as .jpg fileschange screenshots file format

See also: Mac: Can’t Adjust The Sound Volume Level, Fix

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. Here is his LinkedIn profile.

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5 thoughts on “Change Mac Screenshot Locations”

    • Under Utilities or Other, locate and open the Screenshot application (it will be in the same location as Terminal). Under options, choose the location where you want to save or open you subsequent screenshots. Screenshots will continue to be saved or opened as indicated until you select one of the other options. Hope this helps!


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