When you take a screenshot on your Mac – using the Shift-Command-3 shortcut to capture the whole screen, or Shift-Command-4 to capture a portion of it – the image files are saved straight to your desktop. This can result in this:

no screenshots
If you'd like to change that default save location to somewhere different, simply follow the steps below.

If you're running macOS Mojave or later, you can press Shift-Command-5 to invoke the screen capture panel, click on Options and choose "Other Location" to choose a destination.

options

For versions of macOS prior to Mojave, you'll have to follow these instructions:

How to Change Where Screenshots Get Saved on Mac (Prior to Mojave)

  1. Open a Finder window and press Shift-Command-N to create a new folder where you want your screenshots to be saved, and give the folder a recognizable name.
    screenshot save location 1

  2. Launch the Terminal app (found in Applications/Utilities).
    terminal

  3. Type in the following command and then press the spacebar, but don't hit Enter just yet: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location
    terminal

  4. Now drag the folder you just created into the Terminal window. The folder's path should appear after the command you typed in. Press Enter.
    screenshot save location 2

Your captured images will now be saved in the designated folder whenever you use the screenshot shortcuts.

Important note: Do not delete this folder until you've changed the save location to somewhere else using the same Terminal command, or you'll run into issues. If you want to switch things back in future so that images are saved on your desktop again, simply input the Terminal command as above, but change the path to ~/Desktop.

Top Rated Comments

Darth-Kylie Avatar
53 months ago
In Catalina, Shift-Cmd-5, click Options, choose Other Location. Sticky setting.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkpaw Avatar
53 months ago
Couple of issues with this. If you're writing out steps, they really need to be correct, or you end up confusing the user, someone who may never have used Terminal before.

Step 1: You don't need to click the folder's name, because when you press Shift + Command + N, the folder's name is already highlighted for editing. Also, you can always just press Enter to rename a file.

Step 3: Be sure to tell the user to add a space at the end, or their Terminal command will be "defaults write com.apple.screencapture locationFOLDER". I realise that the text on the article does have the space at the end, but a non-expert won't know that it's meant to be there unless you point it out to them.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
53 months ago
article's been updated. Though the real trick is getting a screenshot of the screenshot options. ;)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
29 months ago

Don't work for Monterey.
a quick search should help you answer your question. I think you will find this works:

Change where screenshots are saved Mac
[LIST=1]
* Press Command-Shift-5 to open the Screenshot app.
* Select Options.
* From the Save to section, select your preferred location.
* If you select Other Location, you can choose a different folder of choice or create a new folder.

Select the one you like, and it persists, I never use the screen shot app myself, just the keyboard shortcuts. Most times I use the copy to clipboard option and paste it immediately.

Despite what some have said in this thread, you can deflect the show floating thumbnail option and the thumbnail does not show with the screenshot being immediately saved.



Attachment Image
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
53 months ago

More importantly though, is it possible to save screenshots immediately? I HATE when I take a screenshot and must wait for it to disappear from the bottom right and appear onto the desktop. Yes I know I can drag it but sometimes that ends up opening it by mistake due to double clicking the thumbnail on the bottom right. Can't you make it instant "like in the old days?"


In the same Command-Shift-5 Options pop up. Uncheck "Show Floating Thumbnail" -- but I still feel like it takes too long to appear.

arn
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Hieveryone Avatar
53 months ago
Hey now this is a good article. Thanks MR :)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

Revealed: iOS 18 Works With These iPhone Models

Monday June 10, 2024 3:57 am PDT by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and hence also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, but older iPhone models will miss out. Here is the full...
ios 18 tile summary

Apple Announces iOS 18 With New Customization Features, Redesigned Photos App, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 10:17 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 18, the next major update to the operating system for the iPhone, with new customization features, a redesigned Photos app, and more. iOS 18 features new customization tools for the Home Screen. App icons now feature Dark Mode and users can tint them with a color to create a unique look. Apps can also now be placed anywhere on the Home Screen freely. The Control...
WWDC24 Live Coverage Article

WWDC 2024 Apple Event Live Keynote Coverage: iOS 18, Apple's AI Push, and More

Monday June 10, 2024 9:20 am PDT by
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) starts today with the traditional keynote kicking things off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. MacRumors is on hand for the event and we'll be sharing details and our thoughts throughout the day. We're expecting to see a number of software-related announcements with a focus on Apple's efforts to infuse AI throughout its operating systems and apps....
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Massive iPhone Upgrade Coming This Week But These Devices Will Miss Out

Sunday June 9, 2024 1:25 pm PDT by
Apple is planning a major AI overhaul in iOS 18, with a feature set it is referring to as "Apple Intelligence." However, these new features will not work on older iPhones, even if they do appear on the new operating system's device compatibility list. Apple's initial AI roadmap for iOS 18 is said to come in two parts: Basic AI features that will be processed on-device, and more advanced...
ios 18 button bulge

iOS 18 Adds Pop-Out Bezel Animation When Pressing iPhone Buttons

Tuesday June 11, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a small but interesting change for the buttons on the iPhone, adding more of a visual element when changing volume, activating the Action button, or locking the screen. When you press an iPhone button in iOS 18, the display bezel bulges outward slightly. This feature is available for the volume buttons, Action button and the power button, and it will also likely be used for...
Next Gen CarPlay WWDC24 1

Apple Provides Updated Look at Next-Generation CarPlay at WWDC 2024

Monday June 10, 2024 7:11 pm PDT by
Apple today shared a few WWDC 2024 coding sessions related to its upcoming next-generation CarPlay system ahead of its launch later this year. The sessions include lots of updated next-generation CarPlay images, with one revealing new Vehicle, Media, and Climate apps in action for the first time. MacRumors previously discovered evidence of these apps in the iOS 17.4 beta. Next-generation...
iPad Air 5

New: iPadOS 18 Drops Support for These iPad Models

Monday June 10, 2024 4:16 am PDT by
iPadOS 18 will drop support for iPad models equipped with the A10X Fusion chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS and iPadOS updates. In other words, iPadOS 18 will drop support for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the second-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Support for the sixth-generation iPad, which uses the...