Laptops Software

How do I change the folder Mac screenshots are saved to?

Mac screenshots
Screen captured: you can change screenshot settings on a Mac

We’ve covered in the past how to quickly grab screenshots on a Mac using just the keyboard or, if you own a modern MacBook, the Touch Bar. But, how can you change the default settings associated with these – specifically the file name and the folder location?

Change where the screenshots are saved

If you’re using Mojave then there’s a simple way to do this – press Shift + command + 5 and when the screenshot menu appears, select Options. You can now choose a new default location to save your screenshot.

For those not on Mojave…

  • First of all, create a folder where you want the screenshots to be saved to
  • Launch Terminal (it’s in the Utilities folder on your Mac)
  • Type in the following:
defaults write com.apple.screencapture location
  • Drag your new screenshots folder into the Terminal window after the text that you’ve just typed, so that it displays the path of the folder
  • Press Enter
  • Type:
killall SystemUIServer
  • Press Enter

All screenshots will now be saved to your new folder.

Change the name of your screenshots

Not happy with the filename of your screenshot? By default it’s “Screen Shot” plus the date and time that the screenshot was taken. To amend this:

  • Launch Terminal
  • Now, depending on what you want to change, you have a choice of 3 commands to type:

To replace the entire filename with a name of your choice:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "Your Chosen Name"

To change the name but keep the date and time:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture name -string "Your Chosen Name"

To remove just the date and time:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture "include-date" 0
  • Whichever you choose, press Enter after you’ve typed the command
  • Finally, type the following:
killall SystemUIServe
  • Press Enter

Now read this: How do I silence the Mac startup sound?

About the author

David Artiss

Currently working for a technology company based in San Francisco, David has worked in IT for nearly 30 years. He is a keen gamer and happily admits to being a gadget nerd too.

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