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Change where screenshots are saved on your Mac

Change where screenshots are saved on your Mac

By default, your Mac will save any screenshots you take straight to your desktop. This isn't always convenient, but fortunately there is a simple way to change the save location.

If you haven't yet discovered OS X's powerful screenshot features, be sure to check out our guide on how to take screenshots on your Mac.

To change the default save location for these screenshots, begin by opening up a new Terminal window. The easiest way to do this is to search for 'Terminal' in Spotlight and then press enter. You can also find Terminal by opening Finder and browsing to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal.

Saving screenshots to a different folder

Once you have a Terminal window open, you can decide where you would like your Mac to save screenshots to. To keep things simple, we're going to save them into a Screenshots folder which exists in the user's Pictures folder.

If you haven't already created the folder in Finder, do so now. Alternatively you can enter the following command into Terminal and then press Enter:

mkdir ~/Pictures/Screenshots/

Enter the following command into your terminal window, and then press Enter:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Pictures/Screenshots/

Then enter the following command, again followed by pressing Enter:

killall SystemUIServer

Once you're done, you can close the Terminal window and try a test screenshot. You should find that is it saved to the new location you specified. Some users have reported they needed to log out and log back in again for the changes to take effect, however others say it worked straight away.

Change back to the default screenshot save location

If at any time you wish to revert back to having your Mac save screenshots on your desktop, open a Terminal window and enter the following command:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop/

Followed by this one for the changes to take effect:

killall SystemUIServer

Again, some users have reported the need to log out and then back in before the save location changes, whereas for others it worked immediately.