Changing Default Screenshot Location

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RMD68, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. RMD68 macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2007
    I tried the the online directions that I found for changing the default screenshot folder via Terminal, and I haven't been able to change the default location.

    I'm tired of screenshots cluttering my desktop, so it would be nice if I could move all those screenshots to a new folder in my documents folder.

    I used the directions on this website:

    The directions are seemingly identical on all the other sites, so I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

    I'm sure it's an easy fix, but I don't want to mess around with terminal.

    Thanks you for the help
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    The instructions at your link are correct but not exactly clear, I think. Steps 3 and 4 should say to press the "Enter" key after the step. Also, you might need a space after "location" and before what you type for your folder selection in Step 3.

    But I don't know if that's why it's not working for you.
  3. RMD68 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2007
    I keep typing this

    defaults write location ~/pictures/Screenshots;killall SystemUIServer

    I can't get it to work
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Exactly what doesn't work?

    The location ~/pictures/Screenshots isn't in your Documents folder, like your first post said you wanted. It's in your Pictures folder.

    Also, the sub-folder Screenshots within your Pictures folder must exist, i.e. you must make a new folder manually, and give it the right name. The screenshot handler won't create it.
  5. RMD68 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2007
    I should have clarified that I followed a more detailed approach from a YouTube video.

    I made a folder called "screenshots" that I placed in my "pictures" folder. I had originally placed the screenshots folder in my documents folder, but I moved it to the pictures folder so that I could directly follow the videos instructions.

    After I typed the above command, I take a screenshot, but the screenshot still lands on the desktop while the newly made screenshots folder remains empty.
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Copy and paste this command by itself into a Terminal window:
    killall SystemUIServer
    If any messages are emitted, copy and paste them into a post here.

    Then, copy and paste this command into Terminal:
    defaults read
    Then copy and paste the complete output into a post here.

    Which OS version are you running?
  7. RMD68, Apr 23, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014

    RMD68 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2007
    I'm using OS 10.9.2. This a direct copy of what happened after I followed your instructions. I changed my user name to for posting.

    Last login: Wed Apr 23 13:30:12 on ttys000
    :~ $ killall SystemUIServer
    :~ $ default read location ~/pictures/Screenshots;killall SystemUIServer
    -bash: default: command not found
    :~ $
  8. RMD68 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2007
    Finally! I was able to get it to work after finding another video on Youtube, but now I want to take it one step further.

    I just bought a logitech Performance MX Mouse, and in the Logitech utility there is a way to set the scroll clock button to take screen captures, but when I take a screen shot, the file is saved as a "region capture" to the desktop. There isn't a way in the Logitech utility to specify the file location, so I'm hoping there is a way to also get these files in one folder. It's easier than the command+4 option, which works now.

    Any ideas? Thanks!
  9. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I'm late to the party.... but I see in your later post you are on Mavs. I think your problem might be that Mavericks now caches plist files, so this change you made will not stick unless you make the change then restart to flush the cached version of the plist. Then your change should work (assuming the command is correct).
  10. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009

    The command must be defaults, not the singular default. That's why I asked you to copy and paste it into Terminal.

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