How To Change the Default Location of Where Screen Captures are Saved on Mac.

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If you’re a busy technical support rep. you know that taking screen captures for personal documentation and for clients is extremely important. I found that at the end of the day my desktop was cluttered with screen captures.

In this quick How-To I’ll show you how to change the default location of where screen captures are saved for macOS. This will eliminate the need to spend time at the end of your day cleaning up your desktop of all the previous screen captures you have taken and will help keep them in a nice organized place. (For those who would rather watch a video, please watch the YouTube video above.)

  1. Create a new folder called “Screen Captures” in your desired location. (For this example I have placed the folder on my desktop, also the folder name does not have to be Screen Captures you can name it whatever you want.)

  2. Open up the Terminal application by searching for it in spotlight. (The magnifying glass in the top right hand corner of the menu bar).

  3. Copy the following command with out quotes “defaults write com.apple.screencapture location “ and paste it into the Terminal window. (Make sure there is a space after “location” or the next part will not work.)

  4. Now select your new folder you created called “Screen Captures” on your desktop and drag and drop it to the terminal window. This will place in the system folder path for us so we don’t have to type it out by hand. (If there wasn’t a space after location you can add it now by using the arrow keys to get to the place right after location and hitting the space button.)

  5. Verify that your text looks similar to this within Terminal “defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /Users/mark/Desktop/Screen\ Captures” then hit Enter.

  6. If everything was entered correctly your screen capture location is now changed to the “Screen Captures” folder on your desktop. (If this did not work you either have a error in your Terminal command or do not have admin privileges to make this change.)

  7. To verify this do a screen capture of your desktop to see if it goes into the folder. If you don’t know how to do a screen capture hold down “command shift 4” and you’ll get a selector to select the range of the screen capture. Simple left click, drag the desired section you want to capture and let go of the left mouse button. (You’ll hear a camera noise if it took the capture and sound is on.)

  8. Once you have done your screen capture and verified that your image is in the new folder you are done! (DO NOT DELETE THIS FOLDER! If you want to change the location just follow the steps above again to put it back to your desktop or a new folder.)

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