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How to Change the Destination Where Screenshots are Saved on your Mac

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Mar 27, 2024• Proven solutions

Whenever you take a screenshot on a Mac computer, a file is saved to the desktop by default. Most Mac users never have the need to change this setting, because they can always move the file to a folder where they want to store it. On the other hand, creating a lot of screenshots every day can make a chaos on your desktop. Luckily changing the destination where your screenshots are saved is a simple process that lets you decide where your images will be stored.

Here's how you can change the location where the screenshots you take using the keyboard shortcuts will be saved.

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Part 1: How to Save Screenshots to a Specific Folder on Mac

Changing the folder where you store your screenshots is not an irreversible process, which means that you can reset the destination where the files are saved to Desktop at any point. Do not delete the new folder, because your Mac may not be able to take screenshots, afterward. The process described below is the only way you can delete a folder or add a new destination for your screenshots, and failing to comply with it may cause your Mac to malfunction.

 Mac Screenshots

Create a new folder on the desired location on your hard drive, and then launch Terminal, by typing Terminal in the Search Box and clicking on its icon. Once the app is open, you should insert the following command into the Terminal window:

defaults write location

Then enter a space at the end after 'location'.

 Mac Screenshots

The next step is to add the new location at which screenshots will be saved and you can do this by simply dragging the folder you created into Terminal and adding it at the end of the command you just entered. A path is created and the command line should now contain the folder's unique location and it should look like this:

defaults write location /Users/username/Screenshots

To execute the command you have to press Enter. After Terminal finishes running the command, its window will appear on the screen again. You should proceed to confirm the changes you've just made by resetting the User Interface on your computer. In order to do so, you'll have to insert this command below the one you previously entered:

killall SystemUIServer

Hit Enter once more to confirm the changes and run the new command. Close Terminal app by clicking on the Terminal menu and selecting the Quick Terminal option. The default location where the screenshots are saved on your Mac is now changed and every time you take a screenshot using the Command + Shift + 3 shortcut the file will be saved at the new location. If for whatever reason you want to make the Desktop once again the destination where the screenshots on your computer will be saved here's how you can do it.

Part 2: How to Change the Screenshot Save Location Back to Desktop

The process of changing the default screenshot save location back to Desktop is nearly identical to the process we just described. You just have to open the Terminal app and insert the following command into the prompt.

defaults write capture location /Users/Username/Desktop/

Make sure that your username is properly written, and then press Enter to run the command. Now you only have to reset the UI so it can recognize the changes you've made, and you can do it by inserting the killall SystemUIServer command into the Terminal window and pressing Enter to execute it.

Don't forget that deleting the folder you use as a default location for storing screenshots should only be done using the process we just described in the Terminal application, since all other methods may cause unnecessary trouble.

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Max Wales
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Max Wales

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