Mac – how to change default location for screenshots

Mac screenshots are saved on Desktop by default. It can cause Desktop to get cluttered very fast. Here are the steps to change default screenshot location on Mac.

  1. Open terminal shell by searching terminal in spotlight search or from launch tray. Run the following command to see current default. If it is not set, it will be Desktop.

    $ defaults read location
    The domain/default pair of (, location) does not exist
  2. Create a folder for screenshots. We’ll create and use folder screenshots on Desktop.
  3. Run the following command to change the default screenshot location:

    $ defaults write location ~/Desktop/screenshots
    $ killall SystemUIServer
  4. Validate screenshot default location using:

    $ defaults read location
  5. Now try taking a screenshot. You can also use Command + Shift + 3 to take a quick full screenshot. It should get saved in screenshots folder now.
  6. In case you want to bring back default location to Desktop again, you can run these commands:

    $ defaults delete location
    $ killall SystemUIServer
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