Hazel AirDrop

Every waking day I send tons of screenshots from my iPhone to my Mac via AirDrop. And every day I wish that Apple allowed users to customize the AirDrop save location. Not only is the ~/Downloads folder the default save location, but it can’t be modified, not even via undocumented methods.

As a workaround, I use Hazel ($29 w/ free trial) to automate the process of moving images sent via AirDrop to my Desktop. It’s a great workaround that does the job. While it would be nice if Apple allowed you to specify an exact save location, this is probably the next best thing.

Step 1: Install Hazel

Step 2: Set up a rule for the downloads folder as follows:

Hazel AirDrop to Desktop

Step 3: Change any parameters that you feel you need to change

Step 4: Send an image via AirDrop, and watch Hazel do its thing

You can alter this in any way you see fit. Perhaps you don’t send photos via AirDrop, but you send something else? You can change the file extension or any other conditions to meet your needs. Hazel is an extremely deep tool for OS X automation, so I urge you to play around with it. There’s a reason it costs $29. It’s not a toy, it’s power user tool.

So yes, while it’s probably overkill to solve such a minor issue using a tool like Hazel, I’m very happy with the setup, and I’ll be using this permanently going forward. What do you think about my setup? Oh, and if you do happen to stumble upon a method for customizing the AirDrop save location, let me know.

  • Hey Jeff,

    You should give our app a try as an Airdrop alternative. You can send files between your devices (and change the download location) and to other people across the internet, on Windows & Android as well.

    It’s also free 🙂


  • asch3n

    Could you also use Automator as an option for someone who can’t afford the $29? I’ve never actually built a workflow using Automator but I think it could do this as well.

    Although, I assume this is probably easier to use.

  • How can Hazel tell if the file arrived by Airdrop? I have images from other sources in my Downloads folder, and want to direct Airdropped files into a folder call “Airdrop” so that they do not interfere with my other workflows.