macOS: Change where screenshots are saved

How to easily change the folder on your Mac where screenshots are stored, with a simple command in the Terminal app.

If you take a lot of screenshots on your Mac, you might find it irritating that macOS stores them by default on your desktop. This can lead to a very messy desktop, filled with screenshot clutter.

But you can easily change where screenshots are stored by default on your Mac with a simple command in the Terminal app.

Here’s how you can do it:

1. Open the Applications folder.

2. Open the Utilities folder.

3. Open the Terminal app.

4. Use this command to change the location where your screenshots are stored:

defaults write location ~/Desktop/Screenshots

5. Log out and then back into your account, or restart your Mac after typing in the command in the Terminal app.

Note that you can change the location by typing in a different folder. In the command I listed above, screenshots will be stored in a folder on your desktop called Screenshots.

I used to suffer from screenshot overload on my Mac's desktop

I’ve found that it’s well worth it to change the location where screenshots are stored on my Mac. I tend to take a lot of screenshots, particularly for this blog and I inevitably end up with a massive amount of screenshots clogging up my desktop.

In the past I’d wait until I had so many that my entire desktop was pretty much cluttered with them. Then I’d go in and move them to a folder or dump them in the trash. But why bother doing that when you can have them placed into a specific folder automatically?

Once you start using a specific folder for your screenshots, it makes it very easy to get rid of them when you don't need them any more. You can just select all of the ones in your screenshot folder and then send them right to the trash in a couple of seconds.

Since I changed their default location I no longer have to manually clean up a zillion screenshots from my desktop, and thus I’ve saved myself some time and work. If you’re in a similar boat, I highly recommend that you change the default location of screenshots in macOS.

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