Saving System Screen Shots to a Specific Folder

When you use the keyboard shortcuts to take screen grabs in OS X the default is to save them to the Desktop. If you are like me and you use these keys a lot, your desktop will quickly become crowded. What you need to do is change the default folder for screen shots.

I don’t know why this isn’t a System Preference but it’s pretty simple to change the defaults with a little Terminal-fu.

1. Open an OS X Terminal (Go to Utilities->Terminal)
2. Inside the terminal, issue the following command

defaults write location /DESTINATION

where DESTINATION is the directory you wish to save to.

3. Logout and Log back in.

So, for example, if you create a Screenshots folder inside the Pictures directory your command would look like this:

defaults write location ~/Pictures/Screenshots

That’s all there is to it. If you have any interesting system tweaks, let us know in the comments.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Barclay. Jeff Barclay said: RT @appletasty: Save Screen Grabs to Any Folder with Defaults Tweak #apple […]

  2. Matty Sallin on August 27, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    FYI: You have to log out and log back in for this to take effect.

    • Joe on August 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm


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