Apple makes it easy to quickly take screenshots on a Mac, whether it’s the whole screen or a specific selection.
What’s also easy, unfortunately, is completely filling your desktop with the countless screenshots you’ve taken. By default, your Mac will automatically save any screenshots you take onto your desktop, and there’s not an immediately clear way to change this.
Luckily, it’s a pretty simple process to change where your Mac saves your screenshots. Whether you actually need to keep all of them, however, is a decision best left up to you.
Here’s how to change your screenshots end up:
First, make a folder to save your screenshots in; it can be located anywhere on your Mac. I chose to call mine “Screenshots,” and saved it in the Documents folder.
Next, you’ll need to open up Spotlight to search for the Terminal, which is Apple’s app for tweaking your computer’s software code.
There are two ways to do this:
- Press Command + Space, and type in “Terminal”
- Click on the Spotlight Search icon (a magnifying glass) at the top-right of your screen. Type “Terminal” and press Enter.
Once the Terminal is open, copy and paste the following text into the box without quotation marks. You’ll need the extra space before the second quotation mark, so don’t delete it: “defaults write com.apple.screencapture location “
Make sure your cursor is placed after “location” in the Terminal (with a space after it), then drag your desired screenshot folder into the Terminal window — the path to that folder should automatically paste into the text box. Press enter after this is complete.
This is what the Terminal should look like if you completed the last step correctly. Your usernames/folder names will likely be different, of course.
Finally, try taking a screenshot to test it out.
Press Command + Shift + 3 to take a screenshot of the entire screen, or Command + Shift + 4 to select a portion of the screen to capture.
Your screenshots should now show up in your desired folder.
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