Hate How Screenshots On A Mac Save To Your Desktop?

Send them to their own folder automatically with this 20 second hack.


Over the years, I’ve purchased something around fifteen Macs for myself, my family, and my previous and current startup team. There is always one little thing that I do immediately after unboxing.

Taking a screenshot on a Mac is effortless. Since my cofounder and I are actively building product for our newest startup Whttl right now, it means that I take at least five to ten every day. Holding down Command+Shift+3 captures the entire screen, and Command+Shift+4 captures a highlighted area. By holding down Command+Shift+4, and then hitting the space bar, you’ll even capture a screenshot of a specific window or menu. Here’s the problem, though. By default, Mac OS stores these on your Desktop, which clutters up and slows down your computer. Every so often, you have to go to your Finder and manually migrate all of the images from your Desktop into a folder of your choosing. This is a pain.

I recommend changing the settings so that all of your screenshots are saved to their own folder. Here’s how you do it.

1. Create a new folder in “Documents” called “Screenshots”.

2. Open the Terminal app by searching on Spotlight.

3. Enter the following prompt, exactly as it looks:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture location ~/Documents/Screenshots

4. Hit Enter. It should look like this:

4. Enter the following, exactly as it looks, to reload your new settings.

killall SystemUIServer

5. Hit Enter. If this screen shows up, you’re all set! If it doesn’t, you computer may self destruct in 10 seconds. (Just kidding.)

Got another hack? Tell us all on Twitter. (You can edit before tweeting.) And if you love startups like Lyft, Instacart, RelayRides, and Munchery, checkout Whttl.

If you found value in this, it would be tremendous if you scrolled down a little further and hit the “Recommend” button.

Greg Muender is the founder of Whttl, described as the “Kayak.com for startups.” Use it to find the sweet startups that have launched in your ZIP code and thus, #winatlife. Drop Greg a line via greg<at>whttl/dot/com or check him out on Twitter.


Originally published at blog.whttl.com on January 15, 2015.

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