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.

About Joe Cotellese

Joe is the founder of Learning OS X. He's often spending way too much time playing with new Mac software in order to improve his ability at "Getting Things Done."


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


  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 […]

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