Change Default Save Location & Format For Screenshots In Mac

Do you take a lot of screenshots on Mac and primarily use the built-in screenshot utility to do so? The default utility may not be feature rich, but it gets the job done and lets you capture the entire screen, a window or just an area. The slight problem or inconvenience with it is that it saves those screenshots to your desktop, and that can add up to a lot of icons in a very short span of time. Here are two tips for changing the default location for saving the screenshots and the default format. Both are simple terminal commands that can be executed with little or no technical knowledge.

To change the default location for saving screenshots, you need to first decide what the new location will be. Create a new folder or use an existing one and copy its path. Then, execute the following command in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location /folder path/

We decided to save our screenshots to a folder called Screenshots so the command we executed looked like this: defaults write com.apple.screencapture location Users/usman/Pictures/Screenshots/. You will need to log out and log in again for the change to take effect.

To change the image format (by default it saves as PNG), execute the following command in Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type bmp

Like with the previous command, you will need to log out and back in again for the change to take effect. You can replace BMP with GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG and TIFF to suit your preferences.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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