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How to Change Screenshot Save Location

Last modified: Jun 23, 2016 10:15 AM
Rating: 5 out of 5
120 89 likes 109,483 views Last modified Jun 23, 2016 10:15 AM

Almost every Mac user takes screenshots. By default, screenshot is saved on your Desktop. This is handy place to store them. However if you use command + shift + 3(eventually 4) shortcut to often and do not want to trash the old files, one day you may find your desktop overwhelmed with screenshots. What to do in this case? You may easily adjust where to save captured screenshots.

1.First of all you should make new folder somewhere on your Mac. To do this you just click on Finder and look for “File” menu at the top. Than choose “File” and click on “New folder”. Probably the easiest way to create new folder is well known command + shift+ N combination. You can use it as well. I have created new folder on my desktop.

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2. Now I have the new “untitled folder” on my desktop. Next step is to rename it. I would call it ‘’screenshots”. However you may choose the name that best fits you. In order to rename it just do a single click on it and press Enter or Return key. Type the name of your future screenshot storage folder(i my case I call it screenshots)

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3. Open the Terminal application on your Mac. To do this click on Finder icon and look for “Go” menu at the top. Select utilities and find Terminal app there. Launch it.

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4. Copy and paste this command to the terminal window:

defaults write location /path/

/path/ is the place where you want to save your screenshots.

If screen captures are stored on your desktop:

/path/ = ~/Desktop/.

If you have already created screenshots folder on your desktop the location of this folder(aka path) is:


If you wish to save screenshots in downloads folder the path looks this way: ~/Downloads/

So you need to paste this command to the terminal in order to save screen captures in recently created screenshots folder:

defaults write location ~/Desktop/screenshots/

Press enter(return key)

Then paste this command to save changes and see immediate effect

killall SystemUIServer

Press return.

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That’s it. Now your screenshots are saved in the folder on your desktop.

In order to revert changes paste this command to the terminal window:

defaults write location ~/Desktop/

Press return and paste this command to save changes:

killall SystemUIServer

Press return.

Hope this helps to prevent the situation when your desktop is cluttered with dozens of screenshots. Please feel free to add your comment or improve this user tip.


Jun 10, 2016 9:59 PM

Images don't display unless you click on the link for the file names.

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Jun 10, 2016 9:59 PM