3 ways to change the destination of Mac screenshots

Updated : Dec 20, 2021

I will introduce 3 ways to change the save destination when you take a screenshot on Mac.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so I will explain them as well.

List of ways and comparison of advantages and disadvantages

If you are a macOS 10.14 Mojave or later user and want to change only the location where screenshots are saved, I recommend ① below.

Of the three ways, ① is the easiest.

Furthermore, if you want to change the file format in addition to the save location, or if you are using macOS 10.13 High Sierra or earlier, select ② or ③.

② uses the Mac genuine app “Terminal.app”, but it may be a little difficult for some people because it requires command input.

③ uses a free app and is easy to operate, but you need to install the app.

You can jump to each explanation by clicking the title of the ways below.

MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
① Mac genuine app
“Screenshot.app”
・Mac standard function
・Easy to use
・Only available on
macOS 10.14 Mojave or later
・Only the save location
can be changed,
the file format
cannot be changed
② Mac genuine app
“Terminal.app”
・Mac standard function
・Compatible with
all macOS versions
・Both save location
and file format
can be set
・It may be hard for
who are not familiar
with “Terminal.app”
③ Free app “Onyx”・Compatible with all macOS
OS X 10.2 Jaguar and later
(Compatible with M1 Mac)
・Both save location
and file format
can be set
・Easy to use
・Cannot be used
at companies or schools
where free app is prohibited
・Requires a different “Onyx”
for each macOS version

① Mac genuine app “Screenshot.app”

▶ Open the “Applications” -> “Utilities” folder in the Finder and double-click the app “Screenshot.app” to start.

Mac Finder "Utilities" -> "Screenshot.app"

▶ When “Screenshot.app” starts up as shown in the screen below, click “Options” in which the menu icons at the bottom of the screen are lined up horizontally.

Mac "Screenshot.app"
Click to enlarge

▶ When you open “Options”, the following menu will be displayed, but the part surrounded by red is the specification of the save destination of the screenshot, so set the location you like.

In addition to the pre-displayed locations such as “Desktop” and “Documents”, you can also click “Other Locations…” to set locations that are not displayed here.

Mac "Screenshot.app" -> "Options"
Click to enlarge

▶ After changing the settings, click the x icon at the bottom left or press esc key on your keyboard to close the menu icon and complete the settings.

Mac "Screenshot.app"
Click to enlarge

This is the end of the explanation, “① Mac genuine app Screenshot.app”.

② Mac genuine app “Terminal.app”

Open the “Applications” -> “Utilities” folder in the Finder and double-click the app “Terminal.app” to start.

Mac Finder "Utilities" -> "Terminal.app"

▶ When “Terminal” starts, proceed to each setting from the “List of items that can be set” after this.

Mac "Terminal.app"
Click to enlarge

a) Save location, change / restore

▶ Copy and paste the following command to the “Terminal.app”.

In addition, add a half-width space at the end.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location 

As a result of copying and pasting, the following screen will be displayed in “Terminal.app”.

Mac "Terminal.app"
Click to enlarge

▶ Bring the Finder to the front and drag and drop the folder you want to save to into the “Terminal.app” screen.

In the screen below, “Picture” is specified as an example.

Mac Finder Terminal Drag & Drop
Click to enlarge

▶ When the command is completed as shown in the figure, press return key on your keyboard to execute the command.

Mac "Terminal.app"
Click to enlarge

▶ After executing the commands so far, copy and paste the following command and press return key to execute it in order to reflect the settings.

This command is the command to restart the Finder.

killall SystemUIServer

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Desktop
defaults delete com.apple.screencapture location

▶ After executing the restore command, copy and paste the following command and press return key to execute the same command as when you changed it.

killall SystemUIServer

b) File format, change / restore

▶ Copy and paste one of the following 11 commands into the “Terminal.app”.

After copying and pasting, press return to execute.

FormatCommand
PNG
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png
JPEG
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpg

Or
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jpeg
PDF
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type pdf
GIF
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type gif
TIFF
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type tif

Or
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type tiff
BMP
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type bmp
PSD
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type psd
JPEG 2000
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type jp2
TGA
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type tga
PICT
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type pict
SGI
defaults write com.apple.screencapture type sgi

▶ After executing the commands so far, copy and paste the following command and press return key to execute it in order to reflect the settings.

This command is the command to restart the Finder.

killall SystemUIServer

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png
defaults delete com.apple.screencapture type

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

killall SystemUIServer

c) File name, change / restore

▶ Copy and paste the following command to the “Terminal.app”.

Change the part of the dummy that has “ScreenShot” as the file name if necessary.

After pasting and renaming the file, press return to execute.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "ScreenShot"

▶ After executing the commands so far, copy and paste the following command and press return key to execute it in order to reflect the settings.

This command is the command to restart the Finder.

killall SystemUIServer

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture name "ScreenShot"
defaults delete com.apple.screencapture name

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

killall SystemUIServer

d) Add date to end of file, change / restore

Copy and paste the following command to the “Terminal.app”.

After copying and pasting, press return to execute.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture include-date -bool false

▶ After executing the commands so far, copy and paste the following command and press return key to execute it in order to reflect the settings.

This command is the command to restart the Finder.

killall SystemUIServer

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

defaults write com.apple.screencapture include-date -bool true

defaults delete com.apple.screencapture include-date

▶ To restore setting, copy one of the following two commands into the terminal and press return key to execute it.

killall SystemUIServer

This is the end of the explanation, “② Mac genuine app Terminal.app”.

③ Free app “OnyX”

Please download and install “Onyx” according to the version of macOS from the link below.

https://www.titanium-software.fr/en/onyx.html

If you are not sure how to install and configure Onyx, please refer to the following articles.

The following is an explanation of how to change the location where screenshots are saved, etc., assuming that the installation has been completed.

▶ Double-click the “OnyX” icon in the “Applications” folder in the Finder.

Mac Finder

▶ When OnyX starts, click the “Parameters” icon as shown in the figure below.

Mac Onyx
Click to enlarge

Below is an enlarged view around the arrow.

Mac Onyx
Click to enlarge

▶ After switching to the “Parameters” screen, click ① “General” and ② change the screenshot settings in the area surrounded by red.

The explanation of each item of ② is described at the bottom of the following screen.

Mac Onyx
Click to enlarge
ItemDescription
Screen capture file type・BMP
・GIF
・JPEG
・JPEG 2000
・PDF
・PNG (Default)
・TGA
・TIFF
Include the date and the time
in the name of capture
Add them
to the end of file name
Display a shadow
in window capture
Add shadow
around the screenshot
PathSave location
NameScreenshot file name

▶ The last item, “Name”, has a few tips, so I’ll add it.

If you want to omit the name, enter “”(two half-width double quotes) in the input field, and then click the” Apply “button.

If you want to return to the default “Screen Shot”, enter “Screen Shot” in the input field and then click the “Apply” button.

Mr. Otter
Mr. Otter

Note that if you leave the “Name” blank and press the “Apply” button, an error will occur.

This is the end of explanation, “③ Free app Onyx”.

Conclusion

This page introduced three methods.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so please consider which one to use by looking at the “List of ways and comparison of advantages and disadvantages” at the beginning.

Reference information

How to save Mac screenshots to the pasteboard, or a folder of your choice
We explain where Mac screenshots are stored, how to get macOS to save them to a different location other than the desktop, such as the pasteboard or a folder of...
How to Change the Screenshot File Format to JPG on Mac - Make Tech Easier
The default screenshot file format in macOS is PNG. If you prefer JPG instead, here is a trick to change the screenshot file format to jpg.
Spa cat
Spa cat

This is the end of this article.

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