How to Change Where Your Screenshots Are Saved on Mac

You can easily change where all your screenshots are saved on macOS.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Every time you take a screenshot on your Mac, the image is saved directly to your desktop. I usually have no problem with this because it gives me quick access to my screenshots, which I can then drag into an email or upload to a website in my web browser. Sometimes though, the clutter of those screenshots can get a little too much – which is why you might want to consider changing where your screenshots are saved.

In older versions of macOS, you had to use Terminal to change where your screenshots were saved, but that has changed since the release of macOS Mojave. Now all you have to do is go to your app settings and change it. In the story below, we’ll go over the two ways to change where your screenshots are saved on macOS.

How to Change Where Your Screenshots Are Saved on macOS Mojave or Later

With macOS Mojave and Monterrey (the latest two versions of macOS), you no longer need to use Terminal to change where screenshots are saved. Instead, you can simply do the following:

1. On your keyboard, press Command + Shift + 5.

2. Click on Choice in the screenshot menu at the bottom of the screen.

Under Save in, you should see a checkmark next to Desktop. You can choose other options, including Documents, Downloads, Clipboard and more. If you want to choose another folder that is not listed, click Other location and find the folder where you want to save your screenshots in Finder.

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On MacOS Mojave and later, you can press Command + Shift + 5 to bring up the screenshot app and change the save location in the options.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS

How to Change Where Your Screenshots Are Saved on MacOS High Sierra or Earlier

If you’re using MacOS High Sierra or earlier, you’ll need to use the Terminal app to change where your screenshots are saved. Note that only use Terminal if you know what you are doing. You can cause a lot of unintended problems with Terminal.

To get started, launch Terminal and type the following:

defaults write location com.apple.screencapture

After typing “location”, you’ll need to enter a space, then type the path to the folder where you want your screenshots to live from now on. The easiest way to do this is to find the folder in Finder and drag and drop it into Terminal. For example, if you drag the Downloads folder into Terminal, you’ll see Users/yourname/Downloads as the folder path. Once the command is correct, press Enter on your keyboard and your screenshots will now be saved in this new folder.

If you can’t drag a folder into Terminal, you can manually enter the path. If you don’t know the path, navigate to the folder, right-click on it and press To have information. You will see the path next Orfrom /Users. Also, if you want to go back and save your screenshots to your desktop, use ~/Office as the path in the above command.

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On MacOS High Sierra and earlier, you must use Terminal to change where your screenshots are saved.

Nelson Aguilar/CBS


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Steven L. Nielsen