How to set/change screen snapshot directory in macOS

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macO saves screenshots on the desktop by default. For users engaged in content writing, it is not ideal to save screenshots in the “Desktop” folder. The more screenshots you add, the desktop view will become ugly over time. This short tutorial will show users how to change or update the Screenshots directory on macOS.

First determine the directory where the screenshot should be saved on the computer. In this guide, I changed the macOS screenshot directory to ~/picture/mac/screenshot.

Let’s create this directory.

mkdir -p ~/Pictures/mac/screenshots

After creating the required directory, please run the following command to update the screenshot directory in macOS.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location -string  /path/to/screenshots/directory

In my case, I will run the following command.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location -string ~/Pictures/mac/screenshots

Confirm your settings.

$ defaults read com.apple.screencapture
{
    "last-analytics-stamp" = "615817431.071682";
    location = "/Users/jkmutai/Pictures/mac/screenshots";
}

(Optional) Set the viewfinder to display File extension This will also affect the image.

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleShowAllExtensions -bool true

We can test the settings by taking new screenshots. The keyboard shortcuts for screenshots on macOS are:

Shift + Command + 3Screenshot. If you see a thumbnail in the corner of the screen, click it to edit the screenshot. Or wait for the screenshot to be saved to the desktop
Shift + Command + 4Capture part of the screen by manual selection.
Shift + Command + 4 + SpacebarCapture window or menu. Click the window or menu to capture it.

Check to confirm that the new screenshot has been saved in the directory we just created.

$ tree ~/Pictures/mac/screenshots
/Users/jkmutai/Pictures/mac/screenshots
├── Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 00.51.52.png
├── Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 00.51.54.png
├── Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 00.51.56.png
└── Screenshot 2020-07-09 at 00.52.03.png

0 directories, 4 files

You have it. You can follow the same steps to update the catalog.

More information about macOS.

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