Mac

How to Change Where Mac Screenshots Are Saved

Dan Price 28-03-2018

A cluttered desktop is not conducive to productivity. We’ve helped you with desktop organization before, even showing you how the MakeUseOf team keeps their workspaces under control 15 Desktops That Reveal How We Work at MakeUseOf Does your desktop reveal how you work or how you think? Is it clean or cluttered with shortcuts? Here's how the MakeUseOf team uses its Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. Read More .

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If you’re a Mac user, there’s one particular thing you might find extremely annoying: the fact that whenever you take a screenshot How to Take a Screenshot on Your Mac This guide to Mac screenshots shows how to take a screenshot on a Mac with several methods, including third-party tools. Read More , it automatically saves to the desktop. Windows, by contrast, just copies the image to your clipboard.

Luckily, it’s possible to change the default save location. You could even make a dedicated screenshots folder. Let’s take a closer look.

How to Change Where Mac Screenshots Are Saved

To stop your Mac from saving screenshots to your desktop, follow the simple step-by-step instructions below.

  1. Open the Terminal app (type terminal into Spotlight if you can’t find it).
  2. Type defaults write com.apple.screencapture location.
  3. Do not press Enter.
  4. At the end of the command, type your new default save location. For example, if you want a dedicated screenshots folder on your desktop:
    /Users/[username]/Desktop/Screenshots
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Type killall SystemUIServer.
  7. Press Enter.

Remember, Terminal also supports drag-and-drop. After typing the command in Step 2, just drag the folder where you want your Mac to save your screenshots into the Terminal window. The app will add the folder’s path to the command.

This is just one of many little tweaks you can make to your Mac to make it more enjoyable to use. If you’re looking for similarly easy tweaks, check out our guide to tiny but useful Mac features and our list of hidden Mac productivity tricks 10 Awesome Hidden Productivity Tips and Tricks for Your Mac While the Mac App Store is filled with awesome productivity apps, you don't need to look that far for some immediate productivity influx. Read More .

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Related topics: Mac Tips, Screenshots.

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  1. Linda
    October 18, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Nope, doesn't work on my Mac. I've been working on this for 12 minutes. I get the message "Rep argument is not a dictionary Defaults have not been changed. " I'm moving on to someone else's instructions now...

  2. leah
    October 8, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    this is clearly assuming people know more about using Terminal than the instructions dictate.. i've been trying this for 10mins and i keep getting it saying it could not parse. what the heck am i doing wrong??

  3. Deborah Puette
    August 9, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    When I do this, the screenshot pops into the applied folder for a second and THEN DISAPPEARS. LIKE SOME KIND OF GHOST. What is that about? Thanks!

  4. Dan
    January 14, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    You shouldn't use full stops at the end of the terminal commands in your instructions, as some people might type them in.