How to change where screenshots are saved on Mac


Taking a screenshot on a Mac is effortless. Simply hold down Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen, or Command + Shift + 4 to capture a highlighted area. You can even hold down Command + Shift + 5 to open Mac’s screenshot utility for capturing a specific area or timed screenshot.

The only annoying part is that screenshots are saved to the desktop by default, which creates a cluttered mess if you take a lot of screenshots. The good news is that there is an easy solution for changing the location where screenshots are saved.

Read ahead for step-by-step instructions on how to change the default screenshot location on Mac.

How to change where screenshots are saved on Mac

Step 1: Search for Terminal in Spotlight Search in the top-right menu bar.

Step 2: Open Terminal and type the following command:

defaults write location ~/Documents/Screenshots

change screenshot to Documents

Step 3: To apply the changes, enter the following command:

killall SystemUIServer


That’s it. If you entered the commands successfully, your screenshots will now save to a Screenshots folder within your Documents. Make sure to actually create the folder before applying the changes through Terminal though.

Note that you can type any directory that you wish to save screenshots to, as it doesn’t have to be ~/Documents/Screenshots if you would prefer something else. For example it could be Documents, or Downloads.

To revert back to saving screenshots to your desktop, you can enter the following command:

defaults write location ~/Desktop

followed by:

killall SystemUIServer

If you have any question about how to change where screenshots are saved on your Mac running macOS, feel free to ask. You can comment below or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

And for more, take a look at how to hide the floating screenshot thumbnail preview on your desktop.