Change Where macOS Saves Screenshots

Dave Mark recently posted some useful information about taking screenshots without drop shadows on a Mac. He then updated the post with more information about Mac screenshots. So I thought I’d make a contribution, and mention something I do that makes managing screenshots easier.

If you take screenshots on your Mac, they are saved by default on the Desktop. But, for me, that’s not a good location to store them. I take a lot of screenshots for articles and books, and sometimes need to save them for a time while I’m working on a project. So I created a folder in my Documents folder called Screenshots, and, on each of my Macs, I save them to that folder.

But the Mac doesn’t give you an option to choose where to save screenshots. Fortunately, there is a way you can change this.

Start by creating a folder called Screenshots and putting it where you want.

Open Terminal, which is in your /Applications/Utilities folder. Copy the following code and pasted it into the Terminal window, then press Return.

defaults write location ~/Documents/Screenshots

(If you’ve chosen a different location for your Screenshots folder, make sure the command contains that folder path. ~ is a shortcut for your home folder.)

You’ll need to log out of your account and log in again, or restart your Mac for this to take effect. From that point on, any screenshots you take using the system shortcuts (such as Command-Shift-3) will be put into that folder.

This is practical for two reasons. If you store other files on your Desktop, screenshots won’t get in the way. And, as I said, it keeps them all in their own folder, which you can put in a location that is more practical for you.